Jewelry Through the Generations – Happy Mother’s Day!
A blog post by Marci Bailey
In my last post I wrote about a recent discovery in my closet. A long-forgotten box of keepsake jewelry. Most of it costume, pieces from my childhood and from family members, some pieces I had found myself in my travels and hunting. Two bracelets that I found that belonged to my mom and grandmother (both jewelry lovers) have continued to linger in my mind and I thought I would share some details of these amazing pieces.
The first, my mom’s charm bracelet, was a gift from my grandmother when my mom turned 16. The bracelet has intricate links with both smooth and rope detail. It is large in width but has an open, airy feel. It has 35 charms, all silver. What is so amazing about her bracelet is the places that she has been. My mom grew up with a father in the oil field, which meant moving often. When she was 16, living in Newfoundland, Canada, her bracelet was given to her and shortly after her adventure continued with her family moving to Scotland. She has charms from Ireland, Scotland, England, Malta, Canada, Africa and the US. Pieces that reflect being a part of an “oil family” like a hard hat, an oil rig and a small black vial, meant to look like oil, I believe.
My grandmother’s bracelet, which she started after becoming a mother herself, reflects similar travels. It is a braided style with rope and braid detail, large in scale, featuring 29 charms. The highlight to me is a small, jug-like charm that holds actual crude oil from the Middle East collected when my grandparents were living in Libya, in Northern Africa in the 1970s.
I’ve often wondered where my fascination with estate, antique, worn out and discarded jewelry comes from and finding these bracelets explains it all. I tell people that my parents are gypsies, having no home base, they travel extensively, staying with me, my brother or friends and family when not off exploring. Having lived in Singapore and England early in their marriage, they have an informed world view, which I love.
My obsession is in my blood!!! It is a generational passion that I am so grateful for. I’m curious to see if my daughters will have a similar bend towards all things shiny!! The ladies in my life have paved the way for me to be involved in an amazing community, culture and business. Many thanks and love to you moms and Happy Mother’s Day.