Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gorgeous Jewelry Giveaway!

To continue our theme of exclusive Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way excerpts and corresponding giveaways, I'd like to give you a sneak peek at the accessories chapter, along with a chance to win this amazing necklace and earring set from the online jewelry boutique ABT Arcade:

(Please click to enlarge!)

Talented jewelry designer Allison created this set using vintage green glass beads and flower charms, which contrast beautifully with assorted gunmetal chains. She named these pieces after Mary Tyler Moore, and just like MTM, they will stay classic and stylish forever.

Speaking of which, here's a sidebar from my book:

Six Types of Jewelry You Should Never, Ever, Under Any Circumstances, Get Rid of, Because if You Do, You will Live a Life of Sadness and Regret

• Cuff or bangle bracelets
Small, medium, or large, these pretty pieces are a great finishing touch to your outfit.

• Simple gold or silver chains
Classic, flattering, and versatile, I challenge you to make a chain necklace look anything but elegant.

• Jeweled brooch
Yes, brooches can come off as a bit septuagenarian, but balance them with your dazzling youth and you'll be fine.

• Large cocktail rings
Always, always in style.

• Pearls
I once wore my triple-strand pearl necklace to conduct an interview in a chicken coop. The interview went really well, which leads me to conclude that pearls are appropriate and beneficial to every possible life situation.

• Anything with a family history.
Accessories, and especially jewelry, are a really special way for generations of women to relate to and honor each other. My great-grandma left me four inexpensive Timex watches that don't tell time anymore, but sometimes I'll stack them all on my wrist and be four times as late as I normally am, which is OK, because they make me think of her. All my friends have favorite memories of playing with their moms’ jewelry or trying on hats (or wigs) with their great aunts.

Style Lesson #29: Even if a piece of your grandma's jewelry is absolutely, totally not your style, do me a favor and tuck it away somewhere. You'll be very glad you did.

For a chance to win those gorgeous Mary Tyler Moore earrings and necklace, leave a comment telling me about your favorite piece of jewelry. Feel free to write two words or two-hundred, but I'd love to hear where you got it and why it means so much to you.

If you don't have a favorite piece of jewelry (tragedy!), just tell me why you'd like to own the set above. I'll choose a winner at random this coming Monday. And as always, please tweet or blog about this contest to earn yourself another entry!

Thanks so much, and good luck!

Update: Congratulations to our lucky winner, MP! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful, touching, and funny jewelry stories! I truly enjoyed reading them. :) And keep an eye out for the next contest!

120 comments:

futurelint said...

My total favorite piece is from my great-grandmother... I was a totally weird 8th grader and my favorite weekend activity was hanging out with her at the nursing home. When she died that year, I gave the eulogy, which also meant I got first pick on the jewelry...
it's just a petite chain with five little jade pieces (think dangling pickles). I love it but don't wear it much because I'm scared I'll lose it. It hangs on my closet door though, and it makes me smile every time I see it (like 30 times a day!)

Mar said...

My favorite piece of jewelery is definitely this pair of silver earrings with sea green chalcedony drops. I got them on Etsy.com and I think they're the most beautiful things I own. They're a perfect color for my eyes, and they're dressy enough to wear to a wedding, but simple enough to wear with a t shirt! Plus, whenever I wear them I get like 20 compliments on my outfit even if I've gone out in a burlap sack, no joke.

Jenny K. said...

Wow I love the Mary Tyler Moore pieces! Beautiful.

Kristen said...

Hm, my favourite piece would be my vintage Razza zodiac pendant - I'm a pisces, and you can always tell because I never take off my gigantic fish necklace :P I fell in love with it online, didn't buy it, and totally regretted it. It took me months to track down another one, but it's crazy worth it!

Alpha Monkey said...

Ooohh!!! FUN one! I LOVE my one-of-a-kind art piece from a gallery in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. It is a necklace made out of the components of vintage compasses. I love the history and the symbolism of it.

But a VERY close second is my beetle pin. The artist that made it originally added an acid patina to it to turn the silver a dark grey. Only then it looked like a REAL INSECT crawling on me. And that just draws the wrong kind of attention. And an occasional slap. So he brushed the finish off and now it looks like he silver-plated a beetle. The responses are much more positive.

Alpha Monkey said...

Ooohh!!! FUN one! I LOVE my one-of-a-kind art piece from a gallery in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. It is a necklace made out of the components of vintage compasses. I love the history and the symbolism of it.

But a VERY close second is my beetle pin. The artist that made it originally added an acid patina to it to turn the silver a dark grey. Only then it looked like a REAL INSECT crawling on me. And that just draws the wrong kind of attention. And an occasional slap. So he brushed the finish off and now it looks like he silver-plated a beetle. The responses are much more positive.

MP said...

My favorite piece is a necklace I have that was my grandmother's. I'm named after her and although we were never that close I was grateful to get it after she passed. It's a simple gold 'M' and I wear it at least once a week even though the rest of my jewelry is primarily silver. It is a nice reminder of her.

Heather P said...

My favorite jewelry is my mom's charm bracelet from she was young. It has charms from every period in her life including charms my dad gave her when they first started dating. The only problem with it is it is LOUD. I feel like a cat with a bird bell. Everyone knows I am a comin'...

Beth said...

I have a huge ring collection, but actually my favorite piece of jewelry is a pair of earrings my mom gave me. They're mother-of-pearl, they look wonderful with my skin tone, & they go with EVERYTHING. I would wear them every day if I thought nobody would notice.

I'm glad you posted this, actually, because my mom gave me the pearls that her mother gave her on her 21st birthday on my most recent birthday. I was thinking of giving them to my sister when she got married [I don't wear pearls, she does], but maybe I'll keep them & lord them over my sister until my style changes. Mwahaha!

Krista said...

Oh man, this is a hard one for me as jewelry is absolutely one of my biggest vices. Choosing a favorite is unfair! However, I'm going to have to go with a necklace that was my grandma's. I loved her so much and she suddenly passed away while I was studying abroad during college. When I came home my mom and I had to go through her closet, which was heartbreaking but wonderful at the same time. She had been a teacher's assistant and because of this had a large collection of fun, playful jewelry and accessories that the kids loved. Let's just say I took away many items that I cherish and beam with pride every time someone compliments me on a piece that I get to say was hers. One of my favorites to wear is her roadrunner necklace. The roadrunner is metal and is on a long chain with small pieces of turquoise in its crest. I mean, really, how many people can say they have fabulous roadrunner necklaces?

caffeinerd said...

My current favorite is the ring I wear every.single.day (yep, would feel completely naked without it). It's pretty simple---sterling silver with a rectangular yellow amber stone in the middle. But I bought it on the streets of Prague while I was studying abroad 3 years ago and just haven't been able to go a day without wearing it since.

And I love both pieces. Would be especially helpful for celebrating St. Patty's day, but I'd love them on other days of the year as well :)

Am said...

My favorite piece would be...my pearl necklace from my granparents. It is a simple gold chain with 18 pearls. It was a gift on my first birthday with one pearl and then every year, until I turned 18, another pearl was added. My grandparens did this for all of their grand-daughters and each of us have worn our necklace on our wedding day. It is very very special!!

Courtney said...

It's funny that the excerpt you posted is about jewelry that you should never get rid of once you have it. I recently blogged about a pair of jade ball post earrings my great aunt gave me when I was 11 or 12. When I opened the box they came in, I thought they were the ugliest, old lady earrings and totally inapppropriate for a 12 year old. But I kept them, because she had seen them, and thought to buy them for me while on a vacation. Now, they are my favorite pair of earrings. I wear them almost every day.

abbi said...

Right now my favorite piece of jewelry is a lovely green vintage brooch that I found at my thrift store a few months ago.

Liz said...

I have a necklace of my grandmother's that was a government gift after two years of of service. It has the county seal and it strange and perfectly unique!

Amy said...

My favorite piece is a ring I made with my grandpa when I was little. It's two pieces of gold wire twisted together. I was so little then that now it only fits on my pinky. Every time I look it I am reminded of my grandpa. Plus it's one-of-a-kind.

allison said...

When I was visiting my grandmother last summer in West Palm Beach, FL (typical, I know), she pulled out some of her jewelry to start giving to her granddaughters. She had a bunch of delicate chains and tennis bracelets, not really my style, and then looked at a ring and said, "This was my mother's; none of you would want this." It was a huge gold cocktail ring with two intertwined snakes with emerald eyes and diamond tails from the 1920's and is now, by far, my favorite piece of jewelry that I own. I get compliments every time I wear it, and I love knowing it was my great grandmother's!!

Devora said...

I inherited a pocket watch on a chain from my Israeli relatives - instead of having numbers, the watch face is marked with hebrew letters to tell time. It's silver inlaid with very tiny diamonds, and it's in the shape of a Jewish star. It's currently squirreled away somewhere, but it's very beautiful and unique.

Michelle said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is this little photo pendant necklace that I got off of Etsy. It has my sons pics in sepia. He has on these HUGE Elton John style sunglasses and it just cracks me up, it lets me know that even now at only 5 months old, he'll have an awesome sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

My favourite piece of jewelery is a navy blue beaded necklace. The actual necklace isn't all that special but I remember wearing to a school disco about 5 years ago and the boy I really fancied said he liked it. Whenever I wear it now I think of that moment and it makes me giggle like a school girl again! Jewelery is so amazing!

Shayla said...

My favorite piece was recently bought at Forever 21. It's fake pearls with gold chains mixed together. It's not extremely special, but I absolutely adore it! It goes with everything.

Kristen said...

i'm adopted and i have this tiny gold locket given to me by my biological mother. i've had to put it on a new chain (since my neck is no longer baby-sized) but i wear it all the time. i always get compliments, and it makes me feel connected to her

Clare said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is the wedding ring I'll eventually wear if and when I ever get hitched. It was my great-grandmother's wedding ring. White gold set in gold gold ("gold gold"? sounds weird) with tiny diamond stars around the whole thing. It isn't small, it isn't feminine, it isn't traditional. And I love it.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Years ago (might have been a graduation gift), my grandmother gave me a coveted piece of her jewelry - a big old silver cross with tiny pearls and big chunks o' amethyst. I have no clue if it is real or how to wear it without feeling like I'm in a Goth Halloween costume, but I love it and someday I will rock it how it is meant to be rocked!

Alexandra said...

My favorite piece of jewelery is a really plain-looking string of amber colored beads. It belonged to my friend Amy and she gave it to me before I moved away from home (home is Canada, I moved to California). I love it because it reminds me of her when I wear it, and also because it is the most totally perfect and versatile thing in the entire world: I can wear it as a necklace in about a million different configurations, or loop it around my wrist as a bracelet and it matches everything.

Muttersome said...

Some family friends just gave me a set of classic pearls, and I absolutely love them. I wear them every chance I get!

Christina said...

Those colors are beautiful!

My personal favorite piece of jewelry is a gold pinky ring passed down from my mother. It has a little dangly charm with Queen Elizabeth's face whom I really admire as a strong female leader, so it serves as a constant reminder to emulate her best characteristics. Also, my mother was gifted this by some of her piano students in Korea, so it has a lot of love behind it!

Julie said...

Favorite jewelry: easy. Simple silver hoop earrings (I swear, hoops look good on everyone) and my grandma's jewelry: she had rings for herself and my mom made out of her engagement rings after my grandpa died (this was almost 50 years ago; my mom was ten). One is smaller, and one is larger, with a floral motif. Very 1960s, but fun and different and they have a story.

jstazagodfrey said...

My favorite piece of jewelry in the entire universe is this amazing vintage necklace--pretty simple (and apparently pretty urban outfitters)--it's a large gold, engraved heart on the end of a thick chain. It goes with everything. It looks lovely with everything. I think I may propose to it.

Kristen said...

My favorite piece of jewerly is a turquoise bracelet that I got in a jewelry box my grandmother gave me. It's huge and amazing, and looks great with pretty much anything. Plus there's sentimental value. I'd wear it all the time if it wasn't too big to make taking notes difficult ;-).

Bekah said...

my favourite piece of jewelry has to be a necklace my sister got for me in a funky shop in paris. it's a big blue beaded necklace, and the beads are blue with green and purple concentric circles on them. but that's not the best part! inside the circles/beads are funny little pictures. there's a picture of the top of a pop can, a baby, a rose, an escalator sign, pictures of lips, lightbulbs and old portraits with clown noses and party hats on. every bead has a picture on each side in the bead (this is getting really complicated to explain) and then there's little metal spirals between each bead on the necklace.
it's a really unique necklace and whenever I wear it I get a bunch of compliments on it and people getting uncomfortably close to my neck/face to oogle over the pictures

oh, and I made a post about the contest c:
http://purplewagon.blogspot.com/2009/10/another-impromptu-daddy-likey-post.html

SarahMae said...

I have tons of jewelry, and I always have rotating favorites. I think my favorite pieces though are actually these two tiny Italian silver bracelets I found at the thrift store for 50 cents each. They look gorgeous together and I wear them constantly. Simple but elegant!

Jae said...

I was given my grandmother's wedding set when she passed on. It was yellow and white gold, and vintage-y with lots of potential. I had the whole thing redone and redipped and now I have vintage bling that is impressive and sentimental. Score! (Can I also say that my verification word for this comment was BOARSPA? A spa! For boars! Love.

Vindiciti said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a gemstone butterfly that my husband gave me for our first anniversary. It's on a thin chain, so it makes it look like it's just hovering or something. What can I say, I'm sentimental.

Fashun_Dweeb said...

I LOVE the gorgeous Mary Tyler Moore earrings and necklace. I would say my favorite piece is oddly enough a locket that contains my grandma's picture the day she wore her first pair of slacks...such a rebel!

lgpartain said...

My great grandmother actually just recently gave me this pair of screw on earrings that she had when she was a teenager- 75 years ago, for my graduation present.

They are totally vintage-farm-awesome. The backs have to be screwed on, it's totally bombdig yo.

Not only are they wicked gorgeous, but they are also something that I can treasure and remember my great grandma Peggy with.

amanda said...

My absolute favourite piece of jewellery is the ring the Boy gave me for our 6 month anniversary. It's a simple white gold band with a princess cut garnet (that looks like a ruby) and I wear it on my left hand like a wedding ring.
I wear the ring every day and have been known to reverse halfway through an hour-long commute if I've accidentally left the ring at home.
He often jokes that he spoiled me too early in the relationship by giving me the ring after only 6 months, but as soon as that ring slid onto my finger, I knew we would be together for 600 years.

Rachael said...

When my great-grandmother died about 8 years ago, I got her jewelery box. Her pearls need to be re-strung (still), but I can't wait to wear them someday. The piece I wear the most is a turquoise ring she got on a trip to Mexico in the 50s. It only fits on my pinky, but I wear it all the time.

the little eastern heretic said...

wow reading about everyone's favourite pieces makes me envious. i love many of my accessories, hence i have no favourite.

i'd love to win this because i love green!!! :D :D :D

Crafty Lulu said...

I have a few favorite pieces of jewelry but there's only one necklace that I wear 99% of the time. My dad gave me and my sisters each silver heart shaped pendents with our names in gold lettering a few years ago for Valentine's day.

tegan said...

my favourite piece of jewellery is a antique ring my parents bought me for my 18th birthday - its gold, and has blue stones arranged in a flower pattern.

Katiedid said...

Love jewelry too much to narrow it down to just one piece so I will post my favorite jewelry memory.

My grandmother had fantastic taste in jewelry and amassed a fabulous collection over her life. When she passed away the family was all gathered together for her funeral. The day after the funeral we all got together to disperse the estate. All the ladies of the family gathered around my aunt's dinning room table with the "good" jewelry laid out in front of us like pirates' spoil. Here we were, a group of grown women, playing dress-up like six year olds. It was so much fun. The most amazing thing was that there was a piece of jewelry for each of us that only looked good on that person and no one else. We would all gasp when the right piece slipped on. For my aunt it was a pair of earrings made from petrified wood and carbuncle, for my other aunt it was my grandmother's wedding ring that was a thick cigar band with two fancy yellow princess cut diamonds, for my other aunt it was a large oval opal ring, for my mom it was an Art Deco style pin with diamonds and cabochon cut sapphires, my sister and cousins all found their pieces, and mine was a yellow gold wild rose brooch and earring set. We all knew that grandmother had collected these pieces through the years for herself, but we all felt like she had each of us in the back of her mind, too.

Claire said...

Hello Hello! My favourite piece of jewellery is either my long dragonfly on a chain - it's thin and faux gold and I got it cheap off ebay but I get loads of compliments on it, it's fab!!! Or it's a silver necklace which I got for my 21st from my Great-Aunt. It's like a chain of leaves, it's very subtle and goes with everything - either day wear or evening.

Patch and Dave said...

I have way too many favourite pieces of jewelery! I always wear two rings (engagement and 21st) and gold sleepers, so they get the "most wear" award, but I'm not sure what my favourite of all is. I love long necklaces that I can layer with shorter ones or funky necklines or scarves. I do have one particular long necklace I wear often that has a big deer on the end of it. I love it because people always comment about it and it makes me feel awesome :)

piccola samurai said...

I's the engagement ring of my great great grandmother. It's stunningly beautiful as only diamond rings can be. The one thing that I love the most is its little imperfection: during IIWW my great great grandmother lost a diamond during a bombing and couldn't replace it with one that was as beautiful as the others. During war time it was so difficult. So, right in the middle of the ring there's one which is almost fake. It's visible but for me it means that that ring had a very long life before coming down to me.

sonya said...

My favorite piece is a red costume jewelry flower broach that I've had since I was a pre-teen, given to me by my grandmother, who is no longer with us.

Clair said...

Currently, my favourites are some amazingly cheap neon pink hoop earrings (and I mean cheap.) I love them because they're fun - nothing else!

But before you think I must have awful taste, my enduring favourite is a beautiful pink/cream necklace made from tiny discs of ostrich shell. I bought the pieces in Namibia (dissertation territory) and made it myself. It holds such fab memories!

Elise said...

I can't wait to read more about the chicken coop interview, I certainly hope that's part of the book!

My favorite piece of jewelry is this beautiful intricately woven gold bracelet that my godmother gave me. She never had any children and when her mother died she passed the bracelet and a cameo onto my sister and I.

I only ever met the woman when I was young and I don't remember her at all, but even though I don't wear a lot of gold jewelry whenever I put that Zurich bracelet on I feel like I'm doing her and my godmother proud.

The bracelet itself apparently has a really interesting past and story behind how it came to be in her family, which just adds to the awesomeness of it.

Marcie said...

My favorite piece of jewelry was a gift from a friend who lived in Senegal. It is a gold bracelet that is supposed to ward off evil spirits. If warding off evil spirits means attracting lots of compliments then this thing totally works!

Jody said...

My mother in law has an amazing collection of costume jewelry that a couple months ago she let me go through as she is planning on selling some of it this spring. I got the most amazing vintage chunky silver neckalce with all these blue stones that is my absolutle favorite thing to wear with just a tshirt and jeans. And I do plan to go through everything again beofre she starts selling it all.

kylie said...

A ring from my mom that was a gift to her when she was a teenager.

MC SQUARED said...

My favourite piece of jewelry is from my Grandmother. My grandmother was an amazing woman with awesome stuff and a zest for life! When I was in high school my grandmother passed away from cancer, before she passed she made sure that my mom knew that she had wanted me to have her wedding rings. Unfortunately at one point of her adult life she was in a financial bind and decided to pop the diamond out of the engagement ring to get a little bit of money. When I received the rings I always had the idea that I would eventually get the rings fitted and have a new diamond placed in, but I never found a time when I had dispensable money to do so. Two years ago I got engaged and chose my best friend as my maid of honor. The day before the wedding I went out to lunch with my mother, sister and best friend. She handed me a little gift bag that had a little box tucked inside. When I opened it I immediately started crying. She had re sized my grandma's rings and put a beautiful blue sapphire in place where the diamond had been. She told me that this was my something blue for the wedding. She made my wedding day even better than I had anticipated and the entire day I truly felt that my grandmother was with me smiling and crying.

Sarah said...

My current favorite piece is a very large jeweled broach I picked up in Italy this year. I need more occasions to wear it though.

The Goddam Doctor said...

My favorite bit of jewelry is my Robert Kennedy/John Kennedy/Martin Luther King pendent. It's an orb of clear resin surrounding a picture of the three. It rotates to show the three and their respective names on the back. The best part, as if it could get better is the composition of the three. It looks like MLK popped up in a Monty Python like way to get in frame.

Abbie said...

No favorite piece of my own, but these would be great because, secretly, I want to BE Mary Tyler Moore.

zelavie said...

Clearly, you are right on target with the rule about jewelry with a family history!

My favorite, which I never wear for fear of losing it, is my grandmother's engagement ring. My grandfather passed away before I was born, and she gave me the ring on my 16th birthday. It's a beautiful white gold with these tiny chips of diamond - delicate and beautiful. And it means the world to me!!

adventuremeg said...

I have a gorgeous pair of tear drop-shaped earrings that my mom caught at an antique store when she was young. Not sure how I ended up with them, but they are by far my favorite pair of earrings. I love that they are antiques AND they are passed down from my mom. I hope I can pass on little treasures like this to my kiddos one day.

KayeStar said...

my favorite piece is a ring I bought at a pawn shop.... story behind said ring: When i was younger, I was fasicnated with my mom's silver star-sapphire ring. because a) i loved stars and wanted to be an astronomer and b) sapphire was my birthstone and c) it was gorgoues yet different than the every day ring. Well my plan was to one day convince her to give it to me. then many years later my younger sister was playing with it and broke it! My mom took it to get fixed, but the jeweler lost it... WTH?! A few years ago while i was browsing a pawn shop I came across one that looked very similar to my mom's- though this one was white gold and had two diamonds on it as well. Immediately I fell in love and had to have it. I don't think i have taken it off once since.

Sarah Iselin said...

My favourite jewlery is a silver chain with a little heart pendant which was a gift from my grandmother, who got it from her mother. It's not genuine silver or expensive in any way, but I love the litle engraved pattern and the fact that my grandmother gave it to me. I wear it often as it reminds me about her, wchich is a good thing since we now live in different countries and don't see each other that often anymore.

Becky said...

Coincidentally, I just wore one of my favorite piece of jewelry yesterday and it can be seen on my recent Daily Duds post. It's an opal and amethyst bracelet. It's costume jewelry, and kind of gaudy, but I love it because it has a family history. My aunt gave it to me to wear with a purple dress I had for my high school freshman year homecoming. Her aunt gave it to her for her high school graduation in the 1950s (1957?) I LOVE it, and happen to have vintage amethyst earrings from my grandmother that match it perfectly!

saturdayjane said...

Holy moly, I am in LOVE with those accessories, the necklace especially. The green is absolutely charming. Eeee!

And your writing is, as always, stupendous. The pearls in the chicken coop part made me giggle.

My favorite piece of jewelry is actually broken, but I REFUSE to throw it out because MAYBE it'll be fixed someday. They are a pair of big, black, shiny plastic geometrically shaped sixties earrings.

They are just as fantastic as they sound.

I actually inherited them from my father's mother, Nana, who was an...unscrupulous woman. She was a bartender for a long time who would bring men home from the bars and steal their cufflinks as trophies before they got up in the morning. The earrings were part of her 'alluring outfit' which included several giant turquoise rings and a long cigarette holder.

The earrings have since broken, but I refuse to throw them away. :) Someday maybe I'll figure out how to fix them.

Jessica D'Amico (JeDa) said...

My most prized and loved piece of jewelry is a bracelet my grandmother got me for my wedding in 2003. She received it originally as a gift from my grandfather when he was stationed in north africa just after WWII.

It's a gorgeous looker of a bracelet too, not something to wear casually: 22K gold and 3/4 inch in width. Here's a pic on my flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeda21/4014707376/

She offered that I borrow it for my wedding (something old) and then completely shocked and amazed me with her generosity by giving it to me as a wedding gift before returning to Italy where she lives (where we're all from). She's 89 years old and is an amazingly stubborn woman, I think I took that little character trait from her undiluted ;)

If my townhome were ever to burn down, I'd grab my bracelet, my Franco Sarto purse, and my dog Benny. :) I'm sure my hubbie could figure out what to do on his own ;)

Christine said...

My favorite piece of jewelry are my grandmother's faux pearls. My grandpa gave them to me when I graduated high school.

They needed to be restrung a few years ago, and when I took them to the jewelers they said that the restringing would cost more than they were worth, but I didn't care because they were worth way more to me than that.

My mom remembers how excited her mom was when my grandpa gave them to her, and I know he must have saved up to afford them.

Brittney said...

My favourite piece of jewelry is a necklace I found at an antique store (the hill theater one, in hillybro). I'd visited four times and each time admired this lovely silver necklace that was $20 (out of my price range, 'cause i'm cheap). I finally found it again, discounted to $12... and it is now my favourite piece of jewelry! It's unique and everyone comments on it. Honestly I don't know much about it, I'd like to. I should take it to an appraiser thing.

Kate said...

My favorite piece is a gold Chinese coin (panda on the front, temple on the back) that was my grandmother's. The story goes that when she was younger, she and my grandfather were friends with a couple that had recently immigrated from China - the Yees. They were good friends for many years, and when my grandfather and Mrs. Yee passed away, Mr. Yee courted my grandmother. Nothing ever came of it, but he gave her a beautiful coin necklace on a gold chain. That was the last thing she gave to me before dementia took her away. I love it so.

Martina said...

Before I was born, my great-great-aunt Mary had already died and become something of a family legend. A big, bold, brash character, Mary was a flapper, a jewelry maker, and apparently smoked cigars with men! Somehow, I ended up being the only one of all the women in the family who resembled her, in personality and style, and so I've inherited a number of big, gaudy, hilarious, and fabulous cocktail rings, necklaces, and even dresses (that fit like a dream but are too old and delicate to really wear, sadly) from her. My favorite? We call it the christmas tree ring -- it's thee tapering tiers of emeralds on a thick gold band. I absolutely love it, even though it weighs so much I can hardly ever wear it!

Mrs.M in MI said...

My favorite piece of jewelry: my pearl stud earrings. My husband gave them to me on our wedding day, but they also encapsulate everything about my style. I didn't take them off for three years.

grace said...

my aunt used to own a flea market in tennessee. at one time, there was a vendor there who created custom engraved jewelry. when i was 4 or 5 years old, i went to visit the flea market with my brother and two cousins, and my aunt presented us each with a gold necklace personalized with our first names - circle-shaped pendants for the boys, and a heart for me. two decades later, i think i'm the only one that still wears mine...

BumbleBecky said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a really fun blue green tacky ass brooch I got at a punk rock flee market. At the time I thought "Sigh, Am I really going to get a dollar out of this?" So far, I have put it on my pea coat, my laptop sleeve, my wool hat, my polka dot purse, and my bookbag. So. Because I am a business major, if I put the brooch on each item only once, I get out 10 cents of each use. leading to the super overused slogan:

Entrance to the punk rock flea market $1 going towards FIGHTAIDS
Jeweled brooch $1
A million compliments and spicing up any outfit? Priceless.

I just ordered your book last night! it should be here tomorrow! I am so excited!
B

Loopy said...

My engagement ring! It's an antique from the 20's in a style I adore, but the best part is it used to belong to my grandmother. She had impeccable taste! She wore it from the time she got engaged, till she passed at 90. I would consider myself lucky to wear it for as long!

julia f said...

i had to think about this for a minute - but my favourite thing must be the ring i never take off, except to knead dough. it's touareg silver, incised w/ geometric patterns, and my mother got it for me in northern nigeria, and i saw a lot more of the same kind of stuff when i worked in mali, so it has all these resonances with places that i love and family.

Miss Molly said...

My grandmother gave me a ring for my birthday last week that had belonged to her mother. It's opal, my birthstone, and she said that she wanted a granddaughter with an October birthday to have it.

KellyAnn said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a sterling silver necklace my Nan (my mother's mom) gave me. It's a small silver heart with a gorgeous swirling design covering half of the front, and her initials, A.D. on the back. My initials are similiar: K.A.D. My middle name is Ann, after my Nan's first name. She got it when she was 16, and out of all my other female cousins and siblings, she chose to give it to me for my sweet 16. It was a crazy Sweet 16 (my family went camping and it rained, so for my birthday I ended up in McDonald's soaking wet), so it wasn't the birthday I'd pictured, but that necklace was the best thing about it. I feel proud, loved, and special whenever I wear my Nan's necklace.

Mishabelle said...

Hmm... that's a toughy! Right now it's tied between two pieces of jewellry... my broken-promise ring, and a necklace that my auntie got me when I graduated high school. My broken-promise ring is a simple silver spiral with two semi-precious blue stones on each end of the spiral. I bought it at the local island market at the beginning of the summer. It started out as a promise ring for myself so I would remember to quit smoking... but I wore it to a music festival where gloves were a part of my costume- thus, the ring was forgotten. Now I use it to remember to keep my promises!
And for my necklace, well, it's just a delicate dragonfly made of diamonds and amethyst and opal on a thin gold chain. It's just adorable and I love wearing it!

enna. said...

Green jewelry! This is the only reason I'll ever need!

But seriously, vintage and handmade jewelry is the only way to go.

Mishabelle said...

Oh, I posted about your contest on my blog, too! ;D

Meghan said...

Two words: fork. bracelet.
Not only is it perfect for a cutlery emergency, it's also fabulous. Why? Why is it fabulous? Fork bracelet. Oh? Need more than that...
Well, I bought it at an art show from a local artist which right there gives it “supporting your artistic community’ points. Bonus-it was made from a piece of her grandmothers Stirling Silver cutlery ergo, ultimate vintage. Ultage? Vintimate?
ANYWYAS, there were also knife earrings and spoon brooches-which, while equally fabulous, didn’t have the pleasantly curved fork prongs that serve the dual purpose of being whimsical and wonderful, as well as preventing death via jewellery (stabbed in the wrist by a fashion fork-either the best of worst obituary column ever).
All in all it’s a sweet, unique piece that has sparked more than one conversation starting with “Oh my God is that a fork?”
Yes, yes it is.

girlfryeday said...

Aside from my wedding ring, for obvious reasons, my new favorite piece of jewelry is an amazing silver cuff that I found at a thrift store. It was a total score to begin with, but it was one of those days where everything in the store is half off, so it was a complete steal. It's such a mysterious piece because it looks like sterling, but it is unmarked. However, the body of the piece is this sort of silver snake-scale like material, which is trimmed by silver coils along both edges. So, there really isn't a good spot for it to be stamped as sterling. It's a very tribal looking piece, which I love right now. The best thing about this bracelet though is that it is SMALL. So many bracelets are huge, like made for a man. I don't get it.

rb said...

I have a lot of favorites but my top one is probably the aquamarine ring I had made when my March-born daughter was a newborn. I thought I would wear it until she was an adult and then gift it to her. She only lived to be three years old and I am so glad I have that ring to remember her by.

Anna said...

one of my favs is a brooch that belonged to my grandmother. i like it especially in winter because it looks like a snowflake and i live in alabama for now where it never snows! i also have a cuff bracelet from her that isn't really my thing, but i plan to save it for my daughter someday and hopefully it will work for her :)

Audi said...

That's a tough one because I have several favorites, but the one that stands out is a small orange glass pendant with a vulture (my favorite animal!) painted on it.

JessieB said...

I do have a favorite jewelry piece...but my favorite jewelry-related object is actually a jewelry box that belonged to my late grandmother. It's made of wood with some kind of stone carving of horses on the front. It's sort of falling apart (the hinges are not to be trusted) and the velvet inside is pretty much denuded of its nap. But it's one of the only things of hers I have, and using it makes me feel close to her.

Gee thanks, now I'm all misty in the eyes!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I don't really have a favorite piece of jewelry honestly. I have a nice rosary (not jewelry) but I do love it. I'd love to win the above set for my sister though.

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

storiteller said...

This is sort of obvious, but my favorite piece of jewelry is my wedding ring. (Not my engagement ring despite the diamond!) It is simple white gold and matches my husband's ring, and has an engraving that quotes from 1 Corithians ("Love is patient, love is kind..."). Another favorite piece is a very simple spiral ring that I received in Paris. I bought a little wire owl, and didn't bargain for it, so the vendor gave me the ring for free. It was so sweet, because we were both trying hard to speak in languages we knew little of, but building a small little relationship despite our difficulty.

Lulu said...

My favourite piece of jewelry is (or... was...) a necklace of glass beads given to me by my grandmother when I was about eight. It wasn't valuable, but it was just so super sparkly and seemed to turn all the colours of the rainbow when it caught the light.

Sadly I lost it many years ago - but I still imagine matching it with half my wardrobe!

Amanda M. said...

This is a toughie, because my family has so much history, and I've inherited so much wonderful, funky jewelry. My grandmother wore big, chunky necklaces and bangles and big heavy clip-on earrings and heavy, sparkly broaches.

But despite all that, I would have to say it's my Star of David necklace. I wear it every day. I got it as a gift at my Bat Mitzvah from a friend of my dad's. It says Chai (it means life) in the middle and on the back it has my initials and the date of my Bat Mitzvah etched in. It's solid gold (yikes! I am not normally a fan of gold) and small. It's quiet, and it's just the right length - it goes with every neckline, and I can tuck it in the side or back if I ever need to. But having it on means I never, ever forget who I am or where I came from. I love my Mogen David.

Cyn Wexler said...

I have two necklaces I adore. Both were bought from Eyescream Jewelry and both are small stone hearts on a chain.

They're both really well made, don't tangle in my hair and are a flattering length. The tail end even wraps around the main chain really flatteringly too and has a crystal at the end.

Though they were about 30-45 dollars each (more than I've ever paid for new jewelry), the quality is such that I've never regretted what I paid for them.

Elisabeth said...

I don't have a favorite piece ... I never considered myself a "jewelry girl" until recently, so I'm still building up a respectable collection. As a redhead, however, I'm obsessed with the color green, which means that this MTM set would immediately shoot to the top of my "favorites" list if I were to win!

Margaret Walther said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a necklace that my boyfriend gave me. It's a key hanging on a man's silver chain. The key comes from a windchime that his grandmother had before she died, and the necklace was a gift to him from his cousin before he went over to Iraq for the first time. I almost never take it off.

Cate said...

my favorite peice of jewelery is a bracelet. it was once a tiffany heart bracelet, but i had the heart taken off and now it's just the chunky, cool, substantial chain - i wear it on my wrist with my watch where they are shiny and silver and sparkly together, which makes me incredibly happy. also, i may or may not ever take them off*

*really. except sometimes when im sleeping and they are digging in and bothering me. it's a waterproof watch, what do you want?!

evanadine said...

its a bit of a cop-out, but my favorite piece of jewelry is my engagement ring. not only is it extremely meaningful, but it really is very fashionable and quite a statement piece! (the boy done GOOD!)

katharhino said...

I'm not sure how to pick a favorite! The opal pendant necklace my husband got me for our anniversary? The blue-green multi-strand glass bead necklace my sister gave me, which goes with everything? But if I had to keep just one thing, it might be my great-grandmother's pearl necklace, which combines two of your never-get-rid-of categories, ha! I just wish I knew how to wear it more often. I'm kind of scared of wearing pearls I guess.

PS I've been lurking for a few weeks – I got linked here from academichic.com and I think your blog is hilarious. I'm adding your book to some Christmas lists, including mine. :-P

Cal said...

When I finally got "real" job after college (ie, something with medical benefits that didn't include copious amounts of making photocopies for other people) I decided to spend my entire first paycheck on a diamond ring I had been lusting after for over a year. My mom had done the same thing when she was in her 20's: cashed her paycheck, walked to the local jewelry store and said, "Give me the biggest diamond earrings I can get with this much money." So, now it is a family tradition and I haven't gone a day without wearing my blingin' ring since I bought it. It sparkles particularly bright in elevator lighting, in case you were wondering. Because I'm sure you were.

. said...

I would love to own this cause I'm just coming out of a non-jewelry phase and getting into a jewelry phase, so I don't own enough jewelry.

By the way, I LOVE my Memaw's old costume jewelry. It's too cute!

Anonymous said...

Hey! My favorite piece of jewelry is the circle diamond necklace my parents gave me for high school graduation- I never take it off!

-Melissa

Cyn said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a Bulova watch that I bought myself when I got my master's degree. It was from Amazon.com so it definitely wasn't full-price, but it is the nicest, classiest, most refined piece of jewelry I've ever owned (plus, it's so practical!) No one of my family really made a big deal about the degree even though I'm the only one in the family to get one, so every time I check my watch, I'm kind of like, "Go me!"

smiles1_9 said...

I have 2 fave peices...one is a cocktail ring with a giant fake emerald stone. simple, classic, and always a conversation starter. so many compliments.

the second peice is a sapphire ring from my grandmother's collection. it's sort of a tree branch with the sapphires as leaves. it's funky yet classic and the most expensive peice if jewelry i own.

that MTM set is positively gorgeaous! i've already planned several outfits around it. :)

ECaff said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a simple silver Celtic knot necklace with three-way symmetry forming a triangle that my mother got for me years ago on a trip to Ireland. My mother doesn't buy me jewelry that often, thinking I don't like it (FALSE), but I treasure everything she gives me. You know it's a favorite when you think you've lost it and fret about it for months, only to find it in a bag you've searched/used a hundred times since losing it...and reward your good luck "find" with a large glass of Pinot. I wear it frequently because, 1) it means a lot to me, and, 2) I'm fashion-challenged, and *I* think it goes with everything. As to why I would share my story for the giveaway, the set is stunning, and...see number 2...

Thanks! Love the site! :)

Vanessa said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a necklace that my boyfriend got from glitteryblue on Etsy. I already had another necklace of hers, but when I saw a cute heart-shaped locket with a little bird on it, I fell in love. I showed my boyfriend over the internet, but he made no mention of it. Little did I know, he bought it right away! One night, he came over my house by surprise, took me into my room and made me close my eyes while he put the necklace on me. At first, I was just happy that he surprised me, and then I realized it was exactly the necklace I wanted! I love it because it's adorable, and also because of how thoughtful my boyfriend is.

Anonymous said...

My favourite piece of jewlery isn't mine. It's a ring that belongs to my grandmother. The first ring my grandfather ever gave her. It is a simple ring with a blue-green-ish stone. Simple, elegant and beautiful.

Birte said...

My favorite piece of jewelry has the utmost sentimental value to me. It is my grandmother's wedding band, and I wear it on my right ring finger all day, every day, no matter what. It's just a simple little gold band with a tiny diamond in the center, but every time I get a random glimpse of it, it reminds me of my grandma ("farmor") in Denmark. After my grandpa ("farfar") died, my grandma decided to pass down their wedding bands to the women of the family. My aunt got my grandfather's ring, and I got my grandmother's. The ring will always be one of the things I hold nearest to my heart, and that's why it's my favorite piece of jewelry.

bdklug@gmail.com

Fashion Court said...

hm, i'm not sure what my favorite piece is. this really is tragic, bahaha.

HUzzah! Vintage said...

my favorite piece is a faux diamond snowflake brooch from the 1960s that I purchased on Etsy some time ago. The bling factor is classic and understated, and it goes with everything. I think. No one has told me differently. yet.

Ann C. said...

My favourite piece of jewellery is a necklace of green beads with a little silver-coloured box in the middle. The box is about 1cm square and hinged so you could put something in it. It's only a cheap thing from Topshop but I like it because it's unusual - even though it's from a big chain of shops I've never seen anyone else wearing one. And I like that I could carry secret messages in it :)

Hazmat said...

My silver cast Lego ring. It's huge, it's heavy, it's handmade by a wonderful person, and I can build on it.

Rachael said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is a ring my grandmother gave me. We share the same birthday - July 17th - and on my 18th/her 85th birthday she took me to tea and presented me with the ring. It's gorgeous; gold band & setting with gems of opals & rubies (our birthstone) set in the shape of a royal crown. I was stunned and touched at such a gift, and then my grandmother confessed, "Well, I wanted to give it to you on your twenty-first birthday, but who knows if I'm going to be around for that long!"
Oh. Way to kill a great bonding moment, Grandma! So like her.

For the record, Grandma lived until I was twenty-three, making it to her 90th!

I treasure that ring above all other pieces I own; it will stay with me forever.

Sarah M said...

My absolute favorite piece of jewelry is the anthropologie blue bird earring that i got with my aunt. I never see my aunt, so going on a shopping trip and agreeing that those earrings add the perfect bit of pop to any outfit made them that more special. Plus, I feel like Snow White everytime I put them on.

Claire said...

My favorite piece of jewelry technically isn't mine yet. They're a pair of earrings that belong to my mom, but I can't wait to own them one day. They're just a simple pair of earrings with three little dangley chains that have pearls on them ends of them. The pearls are probably the nicest in my mom's collection and the earrings are so delicate and understated and gorgeous. I've just realized I'm pretty bad at describing jewelry, but I love those earrings and am always worried something will happen to them when my mom lets me wear them.

Kristen said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is (what I assume to be) a cubic zirconia ring from my boyfriend that he gave to me on our first Valentine's Day together. When he originally pulled it out, I thought he was going to propose to me. Gladly, he didn't, because at the time we had only been dating for four months, and I probably would have vomited, passed out, or been stricken by some combination of the two.

Anyway, he likes to tell me often that the ring is cheap, he didn't have a lot to spend at the time (because he bought it on February 12th), and that it's really not that nice. However, I love it no matter what he says, and he has stopped complaining about his own cheapness ever since I told someone he won it out of a gumball machine. (OK, maybe that didn't happen.)

Caroline said...

Oooh, toughie. My favorite piece of jewelry changes on a regular basis, but for right now it's a really simple bone carved feather necklace from a teensy tiny native american shop in Colorado. I feel like it goes with everything. It's not at all fancy, but I love the earthy vibe it can lend to take any uppity outfit down just a notch.

p.s. You win triple points for the very excellent use of the word septuagenarian. Congrats.

Jess said...

Mine was a gift from my great-grandmother, on my twentieth birthday. It's HER mother's (my great-great grandmother's) engagement ring. Nothing fancy, just an opal on a copper ring, but it's beautiful. There's a picture of my great grandma as a little girl (c. 1915), all decked out in one of those frilly little edwardian outfits, and her mom, wearing a full-length skirt and ruffled blouse with a high collar, is standing behind her with her hand on my great grandma's shoulder. You can see the ring.

Anna said...

My favorite piece of jewelry is my wedding ring. It's a simple white gold band, and I never take it off. It reminds me that my husband is always there with me.

enc said...

You are so right. I can't find a bangle my mother got me, and I'm really heartbroken about it.

Kitty said...

I have a beautiful locket that I found on Etsy. I just love it! It's so original, and I get so many comments on it.

These are beautiful too! Pick me! Pick me!

Kelly said...

I also blogged about this here: http://swallowlightbulbs.blogspot.com/2009/10/jewelry-contest.html

Dao said...

I got a pair of gold chandelier earrings from my cousin about 8 years ago. It looks like something from India but goes with everything I wear.

Morgan said...

My favorite peices of jewelry arethis pair of smiley face earrings I got at Claire's. They're my favorites because I bought them for the opening of The Watchmen, and so I added little adorable bloody splatters in acrylic paint. They get a lot of double takes when I wear them out.

Laura said...

My Grandma's gold christmas bow shaped ring with 5 tiny diamonds in the center, she wore it every day. I used to ask her to see it all the time.

Claire said...

My favorite piece of jewelry actually belongs to my mother. It was her mother's, and it's a gold bangle with a ram's head. So there's a ram's head with horns sweeping backwards and emerald eyes, and the rest is sort of like...tail, if that makes sense. Like a ram's head on a snake's body, that wraps around your wrist. I now sound certifiable. But it's beautiful! : )

daddylikeyblog said...

I so, so loved reading these jewelry stories. Thank you SO much for sharing them, my dears!

xoxo
Winona

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