Monday, August 17, 2015

More than diamonds

Thanks to the team at for inspiring me to do this post. Invaluable is an online auction marketplace that has art, collectibles, and jewelry for auction.

My mom loved bling. Big, bright, sparkly things — the bigger, the better.

But my story is not about expensive diamond engagement rings or priceless heirloom jewelry.  My story is about two 18k gold pinkie rings and the women who wore them.

My first piece of jewelry was an 18k gold pinkie ring with my name engraved on the front. My mom had one made for each of us when I was around nine years old, our script names engraved upon them. I wore mine on my ring finger for most of my middle school years, then on my pinkie finger during high school and college years.  Much later, when I outgrew it during pregnancy, it moved to my special jewelry box.

My mom recently passed away and, while going through her jewelry, I held her pinkie ring in my hand, worn down with years of constant wear, no engraved name to be seen. She wore that ring every day for the last 50 years. I held her hand so many times while she was sick and twirled that little ring around on her finger. So familiar, always there, it seems I have always seen my mom’s hand with a small gold ring on her pinkie finger.

I have a theory that the decorative, “hip-dresser” gene passes through alternate generations. My mom was always the presentable one, never a strand of hair out of place. She was always encouraging me to comb my hair and use a little “product.”  When I was leaving the house, she would plead with me to me to add a necklace —or two — and a few more rings. She was the “bling” of us and I am more the “moss on rock” person.

I have had many expensive rings. An eight-band, gold puzzle ring from Libya, gifts my mom and I both received from my stepfather. A big raw emerald and diamond ring that I bought with the money left to me by my grandmother. My grandmother’s beautiful gold, dome ring. 18K gold, Cartier tri-color, three-band rings. A very large amethyst ring in 18k gold that belonged to my mom.

Sadly, all of the above rings were stolen.

Mom and I both loved jewelry. She wore hers religiously and I just collected. After we lost a lot of our “real” jewelry, we turned to less-expensive, costume jewels — less stress and heartache when those pieces were lost or stolen. Much more fun, less commitment, less hassle and you can own so much more of it!

Buying my mom costume jewelry was such a thrill. I could never go shopping without seeing something very shiny that I new would make her very happy. Her opening a gift of rings and seeing her face light up was the best time ever. 

I have lots of stacking rings that happens to be my ring-soft-spot. I cannot tell you how many stacking rings I own, but it is many. But I don’t really wear mine. My mom wore her jewelry every day! I mean, every day. She would not leave the house without being completely dressed and decorated with all of her (costume) jewels.

So today, only a few months after her death, I see rings that I should buy. I think, “Mom would LOVE this” and then remember she is not here to open the box and shine with excitement. I really miss that!
Some rings I have bought over the years.

mom's necklace


s'mee said...

What a fun post!

When I was 12, I was completely surprised when my mom, who never really paid much attention to any of us, gave me a quite pretty ring, two swirls of thin gold rope wrapping around an oval amethyst and two tiny diamond chips, and it was the real deal. Seriously I was shocked. I wore that ring until I got pregnant, and now it sits - as your treasures do, in a special jewel case. One of the few times I felt my mom actually noticed me, although that felt oddly weird!

A dear friend went through a divorce and gave all her diamonds away (and she had a lot!) -I received a pair of beautiful 2 carat diamond earrings and she gave me a pair of glittery gold earrings once for a birthday, the kind that look like delicate leaves although they were solid and heavy, just gorgeous! (I can't wear earrings and I don't think she ever understood that, and they're too mature for my daughter yet! lol)

A genuine 24" strand of pearls, which I adore, another gift from my mom a few years ago, which yes, still confuses me.

And then there's my original plain gold band and then a pearl with a ring of tiny diamonds as wedding rings that Thor gave me. That's it in the way of "real" jewelry!

I am the Queen of Junk Jewelry (as was my Gramma) and I think I could open a small store if I had to. I LOVE rings above all else and I love quirky and unusual! I teach 6 little girls (8-12 years) every week and they love to see what ring I will wear, I plan on giving each of them a small little ring when they graduate out of my class, just for fun!

I rarely wear make up, I rarely look more than clothed! But I do love my junk jewelry!

Shelley Noble said...

Such a sweet memory and sensitive tribute for your dear mum.

Verna Ford said...

Reading your blog post showed how much you love your mother, and how much you are missing her. Jewelries are tangible memorabilia of our loved ones and the time that we spent with them. I am so sorry to hear that they were lost. I wish that there'd be a miracle, and you will find yourself holding them in the future. Thanks for sharing your story about your mother and the jewelries that you love. Take care!

Verna Ford @ JacobsTheJewellers

phlegmfatale said...

I remember that pinkie ring on Dianne. Sweet post, but I disagree that you are not stylish-- you just have a different aesthetic than she had. I miss her. I think of her every day, and I'll think of her every time I cook a meal for the rest of my life. :)

Kim Carney said...

Thank you Verna!

Kim Carney said...

Rita, thank you! I am not "mom's" stylish ... ;) LOVE YOU

Kim Carney said...

s'mee - me and you! Junk Jewelry sister forever