A Life in Jewels

You may have been given a pretty pendant for your 18th birthday, or perhaps a special gold ring for your 21st. Then, as we get older, priceless items may be handed down to us – brooches, engraved bracelets or well-worn watches that fittingly show their age.

Growing up, many young girls take pride and pleasure in adorning themselves in pink, glittery costume jewellery or secretly wearing their mother’s or grandmother’s priceless jewels. I distinctly remember rummaging through my own mother’s jewellery box on numerous occasions – a treasure trove of memories and events. Silver, dangly earrings and beaded bracelets, pearl-laden necklaces and chunky rings I can’t really remember seeing her wear.


Maggie in her Palace coat with her treasured jewelled broach

A woman’s jewellery box is much like a memory box – a beautiful collection of timeless pieces that each reflect a special time in her life. Mismatched earrings and handmade bracelets, to hand-me-down pearls to only-worn-once necklaces. Some jewellery boxes remain untouched, never cleared, and so present a memorable timeline of a life decorated in jewellery.

When an aunt of mine recently passed away, she left behind a large box of priceless jewels and trinkets. Priceless not in monetary value but in that they told of a lifetime of parties, glitzy soirees, festivities and love. From ostentatious brooches to delicate watches, colourful jewelled earrings and antique ring boxes labelled from Paris and London. It took us through her whole life and across decades of sartorial change and style evolution.


Issue X of Semple Magazine featured jewels heavily

Growing up, I enjoyed a sterling reputation for wearing bright and dazzling costume jewellery. In my teens, it was strings of [faux] pearls. Venturing into my mid-twenties though, I began to appreciate the beauty of simpler, more dainty jewellery.

Despite this switch of preference, I’ve always made a conscious effort to keep my jewellery and to not impulsively get rid of it. Peter Rabbit brooches and chunky beaded necklaces – together with a handful of one half of those Best Friends Forever necklaces – still line my jewellery box at home.


Dulcie our Creative Director is a magpie when it comes to all things jewelled

While we are frequently reminded of the positive mindfulness that decluttering can bring, there are some rather more invaluable items that I can’t bring myself to part with. Sometimes it’s good to hold onto these special, personal items because in the end, it is those that paint such an intimate picture of the life you’ve lived.