Beauty that Pleases and Sometimes Saves

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They say, that a Muslim woman leaves the house with just what she is wearing after her husband says the word “divorce” three times. Supposedly, that is why married women in Arab countries have strong and twenty-four-hour relish for heavy expensive jewelry made of precious metals. I have no friends belonging to this denomination who could share their own experience that is why I take the word of the authors of these books and the Internet and I will build my further reflections on this starting point.

The European attitude to “gems” is definitely somewhat different though there are some Arabic motives in it. Even in very well-to-do families the wives who do not have any sources of income except the money provided by their husbands quite often consider jewelry to be a security reserve in case force majeure circumstances arise. And, a pawnbroker I know used to tell me, jewels frequently serve as collateral. By the way, unmarried women with rich suitors and patrons resort to this means too. And now about the personal. In our family, “the jewelry strategy” has been formed empirically, changing from generation to generation.

Grandmother Irina Heorhiivna (still in good health)

My great-grandmother, who I remember, was often given treats by her husband, a well-known lawyer. In pre-war soviet days, he was trying to recreate the atmosphere she had got used to in her parents’ home: the situation very accurately depicted in Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun”.

A late grandmother of mine, a zealous austere komsomol member used to wear rings and ear-rings only because her status demanded. On the other hand, my second grandmother, who is still in good health, gathered an impressive and diverse collection (including imported “gems” which was quite rare in those days) later to be shared by her numerous offspring.

My mother Yelena Yevstaphievna

As for my mother, I cannot but admire her skill at choosing and combining even today.

As a result, several simple, clear and still unformalized principles have been independently formed by trial and error:
1.    “A range” of jewelry is worn only by women. For men are wedding rings, watches, cufflinks, fin.
2.    Jewelry should be given to women by men or to daughters by their parents. A woman buying herself something is nonsense. Of course, it does not deprive a lady to be given a present from participating in the process of choosing a gift – the “neck” turns the “head”, the child twists mom and dad round her little finger.
3.    Jewelry should not suggest an idea that it was bought only because of the amount of grams of precious metals or the size of the gemstone. Design is the first thing.
4.    “Gems” should not be posh or mass-produced – not because you lack money but because of a snobbish desire, if you wish, not to see a “clone” of a piece of jewelry you were choosing so carefully worn by someone else in your circle.
5.    Jewelry should give you a wish to be handed down. Because precious metals, gemstones and semiprecious stones are a great power and a great energy of embodied love.

When an announcement of another club by Forbes “Investment in Jeweler’s Art” came out and Carl Fabergé was mentioned in it, for some reason I remembered a “brand” silver glass-holder made at the beginning of the century with the marking of “I.Marshak”. Only it and a handful of small gemstones were left with my great-grandmother after the fascist occupation of Kyiv ended. By exchanging the family jewels for bread she saved her own, her mother’s and her daughters’ lives.

Sapienti sat.

Tags: Free time, Investment, Jewelry