Never met a Greek girl who didn’t love her jewelry! Seriously, I think it’s in our DNA. There’s something about being adorned with pretty little trinkets that generally makes us tingle. And, it’s not necessarily precious metals and gems that are needed to do the trick.
Personally, no matter how much I have, I can always find something else I need or want, as the case may be. Yes, sometimes you need a piece of jewelry. I always seem to have a hole in my collection that needs to be filled. Jewelry is not like most collections. It doesn’t just sit around and collect dust. It has a purpose!
I can vividly remember, when I was a child, the jewelry pieces worn by the special women in my life. I loved going through my mom’s jewelry box. I especially remember an elongated oval amethyst ring that was from Greece and probably set in 18K or 22K gold. I used to love trying it on.
I also used to love going through my Yiayia’s jewelry boxes and drawers to see their treasures. Neither of them had very fine jewelry but who knew the difference. Of course many of those pieces were from Greece. I remember loving a little pin that my Yiayia Kalliope used to wear. It was a little bird carved into mother of pearl. I have it now. I love it.
My Thea Liz had fantastic jewelry. My Theo loved to buy her jewelry gifts. Every summer when they went to Greece they would come home with a gift of jewelry for my sister and me.
It’s funny how so many of my memories are centered around the giving and receiving of jewelry gifts. I remember one summer that my Thea Liz came home with a beautiful ring that she bought while in Athens. When she passed away, my Theo remembered my sister and I each with a piece of her jewelry. That is the ring he gave to me. I treasure it.
But, the aunt who takes the cake for having a jewelry addiction at least as bad as mine is my Thea Irene, an award I’m sure she’ll accept proudly! I will always credit her with having the best and most fabulous jewelry pieces and perhaps my first and best childhood example of overindulgence in jewelry. Her enviable collection is beyond compare.
In the late 70’s my Mom’s sister went to Spain and brought back a beautiful funky sterling silver cross. I remember watching my mom open it, like it was yesterday. It was such a cool piece. My mom has since given it to me and I wear it all the time.
Of course as Orthodox Christians, the most important piece of jewelry we wear is a cross. We all receive this most important piece of jewelry as infants at our baptism. We really should wear our cross inside of our clothing. It’s not supposed to be an outward statement or decoration necessarily but, frankly, who wants to tuck away a beautiful cross where no one can see?
And don’t even get me started on mati jewelry!Now with the popularity of talisman jewelry, there are so many different kinds of matis!! Although I realize they have no actual or power, (According to Fr. Christ at St. Luke, we should just play marbles with those little eye balls) they’re still fun to wear. They remind me of my trips to Greece and, they make me feel connected to tradition.
Probably the best thing about a piece of jewelry is it helps you to make that emotional connection to something you hold dear. Of course, very often I just love a piece of jewelry for being pretty, but my favorite pieces are the ones that bring the special moments and memories to life for me and connect me to my faith, memories and the people I love.