Pearls Of Great Price

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There are many kinds of value…

I love jewelry.  I have loved it since I was a little girl.  My earliest memory of wearing a piece of jewelry is the time Mama put a little heart necklace on me when she got me all gussied up in a dress no doubt made by Aunt Ruby for some Pixie Pin-Ups pictures.

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Ever since then I’ve been hooked on all kinds of jewelry.  Gold, silver, (rose gold is a real favorite!), with gemstones or not, rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces are all fair game for me.  From the daintiest studs to enormous earrings, as fashions have changed over the years, I have experimented with different jewelry styles.  But there are some items that are classic, timeless, always right, always appropriate and always ladylike.  Like pearls.

As far as I know, Mama never owned a strand of genuine pearls, but she had good pearl earrings that I borrowed for dressy occasions until I received some pearl earrings of my very own.  For Christmas 1991, my sweet husband gave me a beautiful, luminous 18 inch “princess” length strand of pearls.  I was thrilled!  To this day I think they are the prettiest pearls I’ve ever seen.  I wear them for dressy occasions and, because pearls are part of my chorus’s concert attire, I wear them for concerts as well.

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And sometimes I wear them with casual clothes just because they are beautiful and I love them.  However I wear them, I take good care of them because natural and cultured pearl jewelry is expensive and I want them to stay as beautiful as they always have been. Someday I’ll be gone and someone will inherit my pearls along with my other belongings.  I hope that someone will receive as much pleasure from wearing them as I receive.

The most recent addition to my pearl collection is not of the expensive sort…but its value is beyond measure.  When Aunt Ruby died last August, my cousin Alan had the family gather at his house after the graveside service.  He mentioned that he had her old sewing machine out in his garage and asked if I wanted to poke around in the drawers.  I asked if everybody else had been through them and he said, “Yes, there’s not much of anything in there.”  So I had the chance to gather a few little treasures from Aunt Ruby’s sewing machine.  I took home a couple of little boxes not knowing what all they contained until I sat down for an afternoon of “pilfering” (what Mama used to call it when we went digging/rummaging/hunting for something).  In a tiny old-fashioned medicine bottle were a few random fasteners, the snap kind that Aunt Ruby put on housecoats, as well as a couple of sewing machine needles, the kind that served double duty as ear-piercing instruments.  And there was one small plastic “pearl” button.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she had used the other buttons like that on one of the many little-girl dresses she made for me.

What a treasure!  And I knew just how to use that solitary little button.  It now lives on the gold pin that holds my Confidence Charms, the talismans I wear for every important event in my life. It has found a perfect home there.

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Just a little plastic pearl button, not what could be considered valuable…but it’s priceless.

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