My little magpie heart always flutters for a well made piece of jewelry. There’s a magic to pieces you wear every day, special memories engraved into metal, resting on fingers, nestled in clavicles, draped over a wrist. A great piece of jewelry should feel both decadent and special, personal and objectively cool.
I wear the same rings every day. A square ring on my right ring finger. I bought it for myself at the start of my gap year, the first time I’d bought jewelry that cost more than ten dollars and didn’t turn my fingers green. On my right hand, a twisted ring a friend bought in Senegal, tarnished but elegant in its simplicity. I just added a third, a slim gold band with a diamond sent to me by AUrate, a piece so delicate that it succeeds in making my scraggly nails look graceful and feminine.
Sometimes my rings get caught on things. I’ve bent them on clothes hangers, torn out chunks of hair, scraped unsuspecting friends with an unexpected sharp edge. I’ve lost jewelry too. A bracelet, dropped out of a treehouse and surrendered to the foliage. An open locket, tarnished with age and adrift somewhere at the bottom of a lake. Most recently a ring I’d had and worn for almost ten years, made by my brother, gone, but certainly not forgotten. Losing jewelry, beyond financial woes, feels personal, feels like a loss of self. But there’s something to jewelry that influences how I move through the world. When I see my hands, with my rings, it’s somehow the most personal my personal style gets, something unequivocally myself, a tangible reminder of autonomy. And so it’s a loss I have to be willing to risk.
As far as other pieces go, I tend to stick to simple, geometric bits. For earrings, most days I wear tiny silver hoops. If my outfit needs a little something more, I’ll go for a statement piece, which everyone knows is basically the sartorial equivalent of a really great night of sleep. I also recently purchased a tiny pair of hand earrings, to wear on the days when I need a helping hand to get through. AUrate was kind enough to expand my collection twofold, with a pair resembling an open fan, and a gorgeous ear cuff that lets me live out my dream of playfully decorated earlobes without facing the needle.
A note on quality – I’ve worn jewelry I’ve made myself, jewelry from the discount area in Nordstrom Rack, clip on earrings made of plastic from dress up sets, and some really beautifully made pieces. A higher price doesn’t necessarily indicate better quality. A really good company should have pieces that feel as good as they look. For years, I’ve loved AUrate (seriously, check out this post from 2016) because they make super high quality, interesting pieces at a low price point, and give back to their community through a literacy program. I honestly can’t say enough good things about them.
Jewelry is the most personal of personal style, both for its connotations and for the sentimental value of wearing something so close to the skin for so long. It’s a way to add a little sparkle, a little thank you to the ears that hear, the fingers that work so tirelessly.
What does your jewelry mean to you?
Note: AUrate did send me these pieces, but all opinions are my own. They’re a company I legitimately love, and am so excited to be able to share with you all!