Thanks to the team at Invaluable.com 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.