I don’t know what to tell you, I’ve just never been that girl. In fact… I’ll even go as far as to admit that before I started making jewelry, I never even wore it… I’d admire it on other people for sure, but I had no interest in wearing it myself, and any rings I did wear got covered in paint pretty quickly.
We’ve never had expensive jewelry in my family, my parents have been married 48 years, and my Dad only bought my Mum an engagement ring 5 years ago on a post-retirement cruise. She actually got annoyed with how the diamond ring wouldn't sit upright on her finger, so ended up tying it to another ring with a piece of thread to keep it in place — and I love her for that!
I had everything I ever needed growing up, a loving home, home-cooked meals every day, new shoes every school year, and we went camping most summers, but there was no excess; no labels, no stars on our tents and indeed, no diamonds. And absolutely none of that was missed!
To be honest, I was never even really around money, and never came into contact with “wealth” until I moved to New York at 20, and even then, it all sort of went over my head because I had no concept of what I was seeing. If I saw someone’s beautiful apartment, I was simply inspired and hopeful, as it seemed like something tangible and obtainable with growing older. I had no grasp of price point. I remember a girlfriend at the time pointing out a man’s watch and saying “wow he’s got a Panerai Marina something something...” and I looked at it and said “God that’s ugly” - I thought that was her point. A few years later I learned that that watch was north of $400,000 and my response was
“Oh my God, why on earth would a watch be so expensive?” I had NO IDEA and was completely haunted by the prospect of being able to fit something more pricey than the house I grew up in, on a wrist. How terrifying and absurd to walk around with such a thing?!
Then as I moved into the unfortunate age group where my peers became obsessed with the idea of marriage, I started to learn a thing or two about rings - the coveted, the acquired, and the ones held hostage…
When a friends engagement broke down in light of the prenup discussions - he was a legit psycho, don’t be sad - I was struggling to understand why she wouldn't just box up everything he had ever bought her and ship it back, stat.!
“Slam the door, cut the ties, block the bastard and be relieved you dodged a bullet!” I kept saying “there is nothing in the world worth the torment of him harassing your life, what’s left? Just send it all back!”… but he wouldn’t let up with his endless hounding, and I eventually found out she was still holding on to the ring….
“What! That was the first thing you should have given back woman!” I was dismayed, “you should have thrown it at him! What good is it to you, you aren’t ever going to wear it anyway.”
“But it’s worth $85,000!” she wailed, and I was stopped dead in my tracks.
Eighty, Five, thousand?! I had never heard of such a thing. I took a closer look. I didn’t get it. I didn’t even like it.
I looked her dead in the eye and said “That’s not your price. Give it back.”
The whole episode left me with a distaste, a discomfort, and also opened my eyes. I started to notice the number of women that wear diamond earrings so big that their lobes hung down. I had always put that down to them not realizing, or having bad taste, but now I was recognizing what I was looking at. I was looking at money. I started noticing bigger and larger rings, stones so big that they flopped to the side on the finger on the wearer. I started hearing comments about “my everyday ring” because the engagement ring was too big to wear around town, and it all left an inexplicable bitterness in my mouth.
I know I am prone to being judgmental, and please don’t dislike me for it, we all are in some way or another, and I have been working on it! I am human! I now no longer feel any distaste or disconnection from the owners of these stories, in fact, I have come to know and love several amazing, cool, smart, hard-working women that rock my dream apartment’s downpayment on their fingers. I have also come to accept and love that this just isn't my style, and not because I can’t afford it - finding a sugar daddy in this city is easier than finding a ripe avocado - but I like things a little more understated, a little rougher around the edges, and there is a place for that too…
So if like me, you like things a little more earthy, a little more subdued, and favor something that stands out as “different” rather than just expensive…. Oh, and might I add, CONFLICT FREE, I’d love to show you a little bit more about my style, and what I do, and why I choose the stones I do, and how I stoke the fires of rebellion with my work….