My Path to Heirloom Jewelry

My jewelry calling began with a childhood interest in family heirlooms. My grandmother was both a collector of jewelry from her travels and of our family pieces. She wore her own wedding bands daily and was the keeper of her mother-in-law’s (my great-grandmother) ring as well. I adored spending time with my grandmother, trying our family jewelry on, and listening to the history of each piece over and over. The wedding rings were simple gold designs with interior engraving (hidden secrets and promises to my child’s mind).

I would inspect the hand engraving of my great-grandmother’s band, admire the script, think about their partnership of 64 years. I would imagine their wedding day in 1921 -- their nerves, their excitement, their beginning. I feel lucky that I knew my great-grandmother (GrannyAnne to my sisters and me) for the first few years of my life and I distinctly remember her gold wedding band on her 93-year-old beautiful, boney hand. She wore her wedding band for seventy years.

As a child I would play with my grandparents’ wedding bands while they wore them, holding their hand and spinning their rings around and around. I would look at my grandparents’ bands, before and after their deaths, and think about their nearly fifty years of marriage. Of their determination to marry despite her family’s objections. Of their complicated lives that included entrepreneurship, opening and closing businesses, health crises, four children, seven grandchildren, and so many memories.

From the youngest age, wedding rings came to represent an enormous amount to me. They represent lineage, heritage, commitment, partnership (and so much more). They encapsulate the entirety of a partnership in one often understated object. And they are, for many of us, the only material items we use daily and keep for the entirety of our lives. I can’t think of anything more special and meaningful in the material world, and it is a thrill and an honor for me to collaborate with clients to bring meaningful, symbolic heirloom objects to life.

With love,
Jen