Perspectives: The Grandmother and the Granddaughter
5th October 2017
I think that your perspective on many things depends on where you stand in space and time. This was never more obvious to me than last Friday with the pieces I finished for a non related Grandmother and Granddaughter.
Over the last decade or so I have made quite a few pieces of jewellery for this woman`s family. It has been very enjoyable and I would like to think that her repeat business means they value the service I provide.
The most recent piece I have made for her was to mark her wedding anniversary this year, a pair of natural emerald clip hoop earrings in one of my popular designs. This style I have made previously using varying gems.
The Grandmothers perspective
When I had finished delivering the earrings a question was put to me that shocked me a little.
Rather than her family having what she perceived as the hassle of deciding who gets what of her jewellery and it`s value when she dies, she asked me to advise her of a way to liquidate all her jewellery on her passing so that her family could evenly disperse cash.
This was a course of action derived from a Grandmother`s desire to make everyones life that bit easier. It sounded like something my late mother would say.
For me it would mean the disposal, or even worse the destruction of every symbol of her life that we had created in jewellery for her..
Defining value - a Granddaughters perspective
As regular readers of my website will know there are two types of value that I deal with in the jewellery I make, monetary & sentimental. It so happened that on that same Friday I finished a ring for a young lady in Townsville so I told her the story of this young ladies piece.
The young ladies grandfather had been a gem cutter. She wanted to make a ring out of one of the gems he had cut. She shared the birthstone of Amethyst with her Grandparents so she decided to use one of the Amethysts that he had cut and set it into a ring.
You can already feel the great deal of thought this young woman has put into treasuring the memories of her late Grandfather.
Value - The chosen gemstone
Amethyst is not an expensive gemstone. This particular gem is technically speaking not cut well further reducing it value. Yet to the granddaughter it has great value.
She is quite small and the gem at nearly 8mm in diameter quite large. Another aspect of the gem that we would have to work around was that it is extremely deep and even set as low as possible it would be a high ring.
The chosen design and the little things
I was given this design as the starting point. My job was to make the predefined finger and gem size work together.
I am going to skip the numerous stages in the design process and go to pretty much the last change we made. It was to finely adjust the gap in the split diamond set band to a bit narrower.
Putting a value on something that cannot be replaced.
Great value is placed on some of the most trivial things that have absolutely no real use. They are irreplaceable because of the connection they have to things that can never be repeated. For example, an empty prescription pill bottle belonging to Elvis sold a few years ago for nearly $4,000 to a person that more than likely never met Elvis.
There will never be another Amethyst cut by this young ladies Grandfather and she values it as such. To her it is priceless.
I often make jewellery for people who are later in life when money is frankly a lot easier to come by. The commitment this young lady, just out of school, has put into designing, creating and paying for this ring to honour her grandfather impresses me greatly. As my Zenadth Kes customers often say "respect".
- Amethyst gemstone
- Palladium white gold diamond set band
- Rose gold swirls
The "ifs" in life
Now if the grandfather had set some of his gemstones in pieces while he was alive the granddaughter would have more than likely never come to me, she would have simply been able to receive and wear a ring. I doubt very much if she would have wanted to change the design her grandfather had made either.
Which brings me back to the grandmother who after hearing of the making of this ring was a bit emotional. I hope she gives her family the opportunity to treasure her jewellery.
If all they see in it is monetary value then that in my opinion will bring very little long term happiness. But that is just my perspective in my place and time in life and everyones is different and that is what makes the world interesting.