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Treasured Jewelry

Jewelry should be worn often and treasured for a lifetime

Jewelry is a very personal item - choosing an engagement ring or a graduation necklace can express so much about a woman’s taste and lifestyle that it must be done with the wearer in mind or even in person.  But what do you do with a beloved piece that has been handed to you from an older relative, a piece that might not quite be in fashion right now or might not fit your lifestyle?  Repurposing jewelry is something that has been done for centuries.  Queen Mary, the current Queen of England’s paternal grandmother, was known to be quite a magpie with her vast collection of inherited and purchased jewelry tended to have major pieces re-set to create a more current and stylish item for their collection.   While your item may not be as grand as the crown jewels, it is still an item to be treasured and worn. Be thoughtful in how you choose to wear it!

But what do you do with these very special jewels? Everyone remembers the classic strand of pearls that women wore in the 50s, following Jacqueline Kennedy’s example, everyone wore them whether they were real or faux. Pearls can always be restrung with spacers of another gemstone in between each globe or set with a new clasp that has some sparkle.  Enhancers are a temporary fix to create a new necklace and can also be worn on a chain by themselves which makes a versatile investment.  A ring can be reset into a necklace or even a brooch to wear on a lapel or a hat.  Be sure to design thoughtfully when restyling a beloved piece of jewelry and don't change it too much.  It might become a treasured piece for someone in the next generation of your family to wear for their piece of heritage jewelry.

“My mother left me three strands of her pearls and I love them just as they are.  I should try to incorporate them into my everyday outfits more often,” says Johns Creek City Lifestyle senior ad manager,  Karyn Slovin.

Gold chains are back and if your mother or grandmother spent any time on QVC in the 80s she bought a herringbone bracelet or necklace of good quality from the smiling hosts who exclaimed that they would wear this piece forever!  Cameo brooches are also something that many women wore in the 30s and 40s or before.  Cameos are wonderful treasures that can be found in flea markets and the jewelry counters of resale shops.

“My grandmother just gave me her mother’s cameo brooch - I guess that would be my great grandmother!  She offered it to me as a graduation gift and I plan to have it cleaned and re-gilded because while it's not real gold it does have a gold color to the metal.  I will treasure it for my lifetime, just as she did, and her mother before her,” says Elizabeth Kelley.

Finding a gem of a necklace or ring or brooch in your mother’s jewelry box is literally finding hidden treasure - even if you knew it was in there all along.  Wear it with love and pride for the woman who wore it before you because she probably did, no matter what the occasion was when she received it. Jewelry this special should be worn often, and treasured for a lifetime.