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Article: Behind every piece of jewelry

Behind every piece of jewelry

Behind every piece of jewelry

Behind every piece of jewelry, there’s a jewelry story: just look at your own collection and the cascade of memories it brings. There are the pearls your father fastened around your neck when you turned 16. The diamond stud earrings you bought with your first bonus. The bracelet from your husband after baby number one. The diamond pinky ring after baby number two.

Brooke has a trove of tales about jewelry – the pieces she owns, the pieces she dreams of, and the pieces that got away. Here, she shares some of her stories.

 

First jewelry memory

There's a photo of me in a pearl bracelet when I was about 3 or 4. I have two of my baby rings on my charm necklaces. Jewelry and I go way back.

The one thing you'd beg/borrow/steal from Queen Consort Camilla (or Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, Queen Latifah?):

Marie Antoinette's diamond bracelets that she wore on each wrist. Even she couldn't afford them and borrowed from her husband to pay for them. There were a lot of things about Marie Antoinette that weren't admirable, but her jewelry was spectacular.

When she was imprisoned, she sent her jewelry in secret to a friend in Austria who passed the crate along to her only surviving heir, Marie-Therese Charlotte of France. The bracelets sold at a Christie's auction in 2021 for $9.35 million.

The thing I'd grab in a fire (not that we want to jinx anything):

If I leave the house without my Eve or Rolling bracelets, I always turn back and get them. But not if the house is in flames. I have to draw the line somewhere.

The piece of jewelry I lost and still miss:

There was a moveable Pinocchio charm that I had when I was a girl and wore on a chain. I also still think about a bracelet from the 1970's. It was a stiff bangle hinged at the back with three horseshoe nails that met at the top on each side. I'd love to recreate it.

The best gift I received:

About 10 years ago, my three children gave me a small engraved chain. It reads, "For our mother who taught us how to love." It undid me! And I never take it off.

The best gift I gave:

My father gave me pearls when I turned 21, and I gave them to my daughter when she turned 30. She wears them high on her beautiful neck wrapped five times around.

The small present I like to give:

Our tiny diamond zodiac necklace on a thin chain is really special to me. My father and I had it made in Paris in the 70's and I've always loved it. I gave it or encouraged my sons to give it to friends, so you might notice it on the necks of many exceptional women. I added my children's signs to mine and have seen several other women do that, too. It rests at the throat and is something you rarely take off.

The jewelry I'd never wear:

Anything uncomfortable! That's why everything I design is flexible and supple, often with no clasps or loud jangling.

The jewelry from a painting I'd like to come to life:

The pearl earring in Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring but I'm happy to just gaze at it in the painting. The glow is extraordinary.

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