Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A change of style

Just over three and a half years ago (3 years and 7 months today to be exact. And who doesn’t love being exact?) my Grandma died.
She was a woman who had things in order and all grandchildren were left money that had been put in savings accounts since we were born (mine paid for my trip to America in 2008) and we all got something else.

My cousins both received jewellery and I received my clock, which I have spoken about before and might just be my most prized possession.

A few months ago I was round at my Dad’s and he told me that he had something for me from Grandma.

Hello randomness.

It turns out it was from Grandma, but via my Dad’s wife, who had been left a ring by Grandma, with the intention that it would eventually be passed to me. For reasons unknown, C has decided she doesn’t want the ring anymore and so it’s been passed to me early.

I don’t really wear much jewellery to be honest. I have my charm bracelet (remind me to introduce you to him some time) which I wear all the time and a few necklaces rotate round but I’m no longer dripping in it like I used to be when I was younger.

Most of the time I have just one ring on my finger. A small, square-cut amethyst with some teeny tiny diamonds on either side that my Mum bought me with some insurance money that she got when she was burgled many years ago. It’s pretty neat and plain and I love it and when I’ve sat and daydreamed about my engagement ring (there’s no point pretending I don’t, sometimes I’m too girly for my own good) it’s always been along similar lines.

This guy has changed a lot of that for me.

You can tell how long these posts end up in the preparation stage of life - the eagle eyed among you will spot that the book in the background of this shot is Wuthering Heights!

For a start it’s gold. I have always sworn I don’t like gold, I’m a silver or white gold lady. (I’d be a platinum lady but I don’t think I know anyone rich enough) But I don’t mind this gold.

Second it’s all a bit old-fashioned and fancy pants. I don’t really know my cuts of stones but I’m going to go with the blindingly obvious and say this is an oval cut (please let me know if I’m wrong) with some diamonds kicking about it and it’s not my usual style at all.

But I think that secretly that’s what I like about it. I like that it’s different. I like that it’s not like anything you’d see in H Samuel. It’s been around the block a bit. I remember when I went shopping for a pink sapphire for my sister’s 40th a couple of years ago – I went to a second hand jewellery shop and could have spent hours in there looking at all the different rings, not that pricey at all, only not ‘worth’ much because they’re a little bit older, not perfect and not fashionable. I think I’d to know that my ring wasn’t new on – I’d like to sit and imagine who had owned it before and where it had been.

It’s not worth masses of money. I wasn’t sure if I should get it insured so Culture Friend and I took a visit to a wee jewellers in town to get a verbal evaluation. We were told by an incredibly snotty woman that it was damaged (opals are apparently notoriously easy to mark and chip, they’re not particularly hardy and you apparently shouldn’t get them wet either) and that if it was on the house insurance I’d probably get about £200-300 for it. And this was all said with an air of “So it’s not worth anything.”

But to little old me, £200-300 is a lot of money so I am super careful with it and I’m not wearing it all the time. It’s not relegated to once in a Sheffield flood, it’s just one that I wear if I’m going out or on a weekday when I feel I just need something really pretty to look at.

PS. Incidentally the other day Dad found the receipt for the ring. My Grandpa bought it on 9th December 1972. Grandma’s birthday was 10th December so this was obviously a last minute purchase for her birthday (it would have been her 49th). And he bought it for the grand total of £59

PPS. Don't worry, I'm not particularly superstitious so the fact that Opals are supposed to be bad luck doesn't really phase me.


  1. Sod the lady in the jewellers. I experienced something along those lines when I had a couple of things valued a few years back. I am glad that she told you about not getting it wet though. I bought an Opal ring when I went to Oz, came back, washed some dishes, and basically it fell to pieces.
    I'm sure you'll be taking very good care of this ring though, seeing as it belonged to your gran.
    I love all the colours glinting away in your photo :0)

  2. I love a bit of Grandma's jewellery! In fact, I have a post lined up about it myself... Gorgeous ring btw, xxx

  3. I'm pretty sure £59 was quite a bit of money in 1972. Material value aside, it is lovely and being your Grandma's makes it priceless.

  4. Oh that is a lovely ring... I inherited a very similar style ring from my Grandma but mine is a large oval cut Garnet surrounded by smaller Garnet. I had to have it resized as my Grandmother was incredible small but it is so worth and I love it now (like you - I like that it is just different from what you see today)
    Apparently you have to be careful with what you "clean" Opals with too...

  5. I find that as I get older I appreciate family 'heirlooms' more and more, even if they're not worth much (even though £2-300 isn't to be sniffed at! Snotty shop lady!), I don't care about fashionable jewellery so much and I love finding pieces with history! That's a beautful ring and the most beautiful thing is that it means a lot xxx

  6. The ring is lovely, and so is your nail varnish (I never have enough finger nails the same length for it to look anything other than the work of a 6 year old!).

  7. Absolutely beautiful, it's so nice that you have a ring with some family history

  8. Pfft to the shop lady! I'd like to live in her world where £300 isn't considered a lot of money.

    I think opals must have spooky powers because I'm categorically NOT a gold person either, and I adore my opal and gold ring. Tisn't as big as yours and I bought it for £15 from an antique shop so it doesn't have any heirloom type associations for me, but I love it.

  9. Hello! Blog Mum here! That ring is beautiful! So are your nails! When my Grandfather died we each could choose something from the house, I chose a buddha statue.. I used to whisper all my secrets in his ears when I was little, so he had to come with me! Suzie xx

  10. It's so pretty! But reminds me that my own heirloom, a silver locket of my granny's, is missing in action! I blame too much gymming, and onning and offing with the jewellery :(

  11. Pretty ring, love secondhand jewellery, much more character and much more likely to be unique! Plus great back story (even if you have to make it up...I have been known to invent what I imagine must have been the part life of a piece of jewellery...!). X

  12. I love this ring! My grandmother had a few just like it - except the one I dreamt about strangely disappeared and I wonder if someone in the family took it or if I just confused it with my aunt's ring as she wears opals too.

    I think opals are beautiful and I like the idea of an hierloom or an old ring. There is more romance there. Treasure it! xxx

  13. What a lovely post! I'm with you on the appreciating-older-jewellary, and that applies to other things too. Can't beat a secondhand book.

    Its beautiful, and it must be very special to think of the smiles it would have given her too. Suits you. Love the nail varnish. xxx

  14. Oh I think it's lovely - so much nicer than the mass produced nonsense they make these days!! :)

  15. That's so pretty! I've similarly had a change of heart in recent years from ultramodern white gold and clean lines to secondhand, fancy, interesting stones and settings. Not that I really wear jewellery, but that's the way I plan to point my man in future! BTW, "oval cut...with some diamonds kicking about it" might be the best description of jewellery ever.


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