Families have traditions all around the world, some specific some bizarre, and some more mainstream. Christmas trees in Ukraine are traditionally adorned with fake spiders and webs. In Fiji, men ask a man for his daughters hand in marriage by bringing him a whale tooth. When a wedding is over in Korea, friends of the groom beat his bare feet with fish in order to prepare him for his first night as a married man.
Yes, there are some strange ones. Some traditions remain constant, however. Heirlooms seem to exist in almost every culture. Parents around the world have given their children watches, dolls, blankets, clothes or perhaps special delicate items. These items are meant to evoke a memory of the person who gave them, so that long after that person is gone, a piece of them remains etched in the hearts and minds of the family that moves forward.
Of these generation to generation gifts, the most coveted is jewelry. These handed down treasures will have a different quality within their shine, as they are filled with the memories and heart of those who wore themand thisis what makes the passing down of jewelry such a significant gift. For some, it could be symbolic of a changing time in your life, and someone marking it with a lavish and luxurious bookmark that recognizes the remarkable quality of that event. For others, it could be acceptance or a welcoming into a new family, or to remember someone with whom the gift is connected to. Regardless, it’s a gift from the heart, and one whose appraisal is as equal in symbolism as it is in physical value and one whose value continues to appreciate over time.
I believe that all jewelry has a story. From where it began to how it ended up on your hand may be its genesis, but that only begins its tale. On my wedding day, when my mother gave my new bride a bracelet that used to be my grandmothers, it meant more to her than something new. It created a bond between my mother and my wife, my wife understanding in that moment that my mother truly accepted her into the family by giving her something of irreplaceable value because of the sentiment it carried within its gold. It was my mother’s way of saying she truly knew my wife was the one who was meant to be in our family and connecting her to my grandmother, who my wife never, unfortunately, got the opportunity to meet. My wife swelled with pride, love and humility at this gift, because she knew it represented my mother’s love for her mother and that she also felt acceptance from my grandmother. Within that gift of love and acceptance is our story, and when my wife passes it on, it will be a part of her as well. There are no other gifts like this, gifts that carry such beauty within their beauty.
As far back as history has been recorded there has been the tradition of passing jewelry from one to another. In times of celebration, as a token of remembrance, and to immortalize a moment in time, the passing of precious metals and rare gems has stood the test of time. It’s a wonderful tradition these gifts go on to adopt new owners, often becoming a token that begins or continues the steps of being handed down through a family, allowing members of a bloodline to recall their history as they look into their future.
There is never a bad time to start these wonderful traditions, so when the time comes to select the right gift for the right moment, think about a gift that looks back as much as it looks forward.