I love jewelry. This should not come as too much of a surprise, but to be specific, I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with gemstones and diamonds. It all started with the sciences and my days as a child spending hours in the rock and gemstone room at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The color, cut, shine, and geometry really spoke to me and does to this day. What can I say, I love shiny things! I am lucky enough to be a part of a long line of women who have felt similarly and over the years I have been the recipient of some big and beautiful gemstone rings.
My favorite way to wear my rings is to stack them. I love all the color, the combination of metals, and different cuts of the stones. They always start a conversation and I adore sharing the story of who the ring belonged to and when it was passed along to me. I have a few rings that belonged to my Great Great Grandmother!
1. Know what you are looking at. I always recommend having heirlooms appraised. This has little to do with monetary value and everything to do with understanding the metals, stones, gears, etc. of the piece. Some items that appear gold might be gold plate, platinum, etc. These differences matter in terms of care, longevity, and value for insurance.
2. Be brave. Just because an heirloom might not be your style, don't be afraid to take it out for a test run. If it has deep meaning to you but seems foreign to your look, give it a go for a few months. Try it out with a variety of looks from casual to formal. If it still doesn't float your boat, tuck it away in your safe deposit box for a year. If you haven't thought about it or thought of passing it on to another family member, consider giving it to a friend or selling it.
3. Record the story. When you receive an heirloom make sure to ask the story behind it. Who did it belong to? When did they acquire it? Was it a gift? Keep the details in a notebook or on the cloud so you can pass the story on to the next recipient someday.
How do you wear your favorite heirlooms? Post a photo on Instagram with #GoodMeasure to share your story.
Original photography, art direction + styling for Zelma Rose by Lisa Anderson Shaffer