Gem Weekly 2
Questioning the things we value, and treasuring them.
This Gem was scheduled to land in your inboxes yesterday at the end of another "new normal" week , but sadly I received news that someone I know has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I questioned whether the semi jovial tone was appropriate. Directly or indirectly, Covid-19 and the current situation is shattering many peoples lives, and the harsh reality of that became very personal yesterday. However today, on reflection, I feel the content of the email is relevant to our collective circumstances which continues to encourage us to question the things we value, and to treasure them...
In a week when I’ve - taken moments to enjoy the sunshine in my garden, respected Earth Day by posting on Instagram a ring made with materials recycled from home, applauded our key workers, received a thoughtful bunch of lilies from my parent which were cheerfully delivered by the dpd man with the words “stay safe”, marked Shakespeare’s birthday by incorporating four of his created words in this week’s Gem (courtesy of Vanessa Veltz Word of the day*), continued to relish the colourful pageantry of the glorious sunrises and dawn chorus on my 6.30am daily walks, had all three bins emptied with a cheery thumbs-up from the dustmen through my window, and got overly excited by the discovery of a slice of mums homemade lemon drizzle cake in my freezer - I continue to re-evaluate and appreciate the multitudinous little things in my life, that I value and treasure.
Those two words treasure, and value are of course also inherently associated with jewellery – they are after all treasures and they have a value. But what exactly is the meaning of value in relation to jewellery? When Rosie (this week’s featured key worker) asked me if her inherited diamond ring would retain its value if remodeled, I found myself saying “Interesting question...” and then went on to explain that in regards to her ring I believe there are three kinds of value: Insurance Value. Resale Value. Intrinsic Value.
Insurance Value is what it will cost to replace it like-for-like with the same materials (gold, platinum, diamond etc) plus labour. It also considers inflation over a period of time. In that respect the insurance valuation for an old ring, new ring or remodelled ring would be similar, because all those costs are the same regardless of the age of the ring.
The resale value is mostly dependent on what is fashionable at the time, what is desirable, what kind of condition it is in and if the maker can be identified (unknown or well known) etc. I am often surprised when I see a low value placed on an old piece of jewellery on the Antiques Roadshow because I know it would cost more to replace it if lost. But the value they’ve quoted is influenced by what someone will pay for it, and so if it is not collectable or fashionable then that is reflected in the value they give.
There is a certain blandness and lacklustre to these two meanings of value which mostly centres around money and whether it is fashionable or not. Possibly in correlation to the values some hold in the world we live – maybe? But nature, the earth, culture, love, family, a smile, people that keep the world turning we ordinarily hardly notice (cheery bin man), homemade lemon drizzle cake… they provide a deep-rooted, fundamental value… an intrinsic value - maybe?
So ultimately when remodelling a piece of jewellery, it is the intrinsic value that' is retained and its sentiment that does not waver. It is not influenced by fashion, or inflation. The memories and stories it has carried for many years are preserved and new stories are created, beginning with the craftsmanship and hands that make it. It travels on a new journey, with a renewed longevity to pass down to generations to come.
And of course, if it is made by someone like myself then there is always the possibility that it will become desirable and collectable and the Antiques Road show will be bedazzled by it! Well I'd like to think so anyway ;)
*Vanesa Feltz’s Word of the day and Philological Challenge BBC radio 2, Weekdays, 5.00am – 6.30am.
Applauding our NHS and key workers
Through bespoke jewellery stories.
Rosie and her husband are working tireless doing their bit to feed the country from their Butchers & Larder – Dugard & Daughters in Hearnhill and Earlsfield. I’m a vegetarian, but I’ll forgive them for that!
10 years ago Rosie was gifted a diamond cluster ring by her mother-in-law. When she visited me a few month ago the center diamond was lost and it had experienced a fair amount of wear-and-tear over the years (pictured). Rosie asked if I could replace the missing diamond with a slightly bigger one from another ring she had. I started work to rejuvenate it just before Covid-19 struck, so unfortunately production came to an abrupt halt. Read the remodeling story so far on my blog and maybe pop by Dugard & Daughters if you live nearby!
"I'm looking forward to having my twinkly ring back, it’s a strange time at the moment and things that anchor to the past and family feels very apt" Rosie, April 2020
What's the story behind your jewellery?
Share your stories with me...
Jewellery to me is about the connection it has to people, places, moments in time, old memories retained, and new ones created. I’d love to collect the stories behind your jewellery and post them on my Instagram page
If you are happy to share them, please email me a photo of the jewellery with it's personal journey, connections and memories. The jewellery can be any shape, size, colour material, high or low in monetary value... it doesn't really matter, because it's the intrinsic value I'm interested in ;)
Planning a marriage proposal
Planning something to look forward to, could be a wonderful distraction right now.
Proposal of marriage is probably one of the most romantic things you will ever do. However no one can underestimate how daunting it can be. From thinking about the right moment and how you will propose, to purchasing the perfect ring they will love and cherish. I hope that I can remove some of that apprehension and put you at ease when it comes to discussing the engagement ring. Whether it’s bespoke or a ring from my collection I will work with you to ensure the ring you propose with is the absolute right one.
Read my engagement ring basics, what to consider for a complete surprise proposal, and also a few idea's such as this appointment card if you'd like to plan a visit to my studio as part of your special marriage proposal day! There's also a few inspirational stories from a few happy couples!
Diamond is the birthstone of April
Part two ~ A whistle stop history of diamonds
Read the next installment about diamonds and their evolution. From the first Table Cut diamonds of the 14th Century through to the Old Cuts of the Victorian era and to the Brilliant Cut ones of today.
Yes I can help you with these to!
There are things you need to be aware of when insuring your jewellery. Sometimes simply adding to your home contents insurance isn't enough or quite what it seems, so always read the small print! Read more details about this on my website