I don’t know for most people, but jewellery has always held a special place in my heart. There’s a particular piece that held the most significance for me – a delicate silver necklace with a small sapphire pendant.

It belonged to my grandmother and was given to her by my grandfather on their anniversary. When I was a wee bairn, I marvelled at its beauty, and loved running my fingers through the patterns.

When I turned sixteen, my nana gifted it to me. To me, it symbolized our bond and my entrance into a new age. I constantly had it on cause it made me feel connected to her like she was watching over me.

Every single time I clasped it around my neck, I felt a surge of nostalgia and her love. Over time, that necklace became more than an accessory; it became a cherished memory, a tangible link to my family’s history.

In this blog, I will be sharing my journey into the world of jewellery. I hope you go through this journey with me as it will inform your decision on choosing that special jewellery piece. 

holly 16th Birthday
Me on my 16th Birthday wearing my gift from my grandmother

The Initial Spark

Like I started with, my grandmother is responsible for my fascination with jewellery. When I was a little girl, I would sit at her vanity and watch her string her collection of colourful beads together to create vibrant necklaces and bracelets.

The sparkle in her eyes mirrored the shimmering beads antique charm. That always made me curious and made me want to create something beautiful.

I was exploring my grandmother’s attic one summer afternoon when I stumbled upon a dusty old jewellery box. Nestled inside it amongst many layers of tissue paper, lay a jewellery collection.

As I carefully lifted a string of pearls and ran my fingertips against their smooth surface, I could feel my heart racing. Each piece seemed to hold a story, whispering secrets of generations past.

As I grew older, I began to practice what my grandmother taught me – to experiment by stringing beads and weaving complex patterns. The joy of finally crafting something with my own hands and the pride as people compliment my creations when I wear them filled me with a sense of accomplishment.

It was on my sixteenth birthday that my grandmother presented me with a sterling silver necklace that she had crafted specially for me. Tears welled in my eyes as I admired the beauty of her creation.

holly 30th birthday
I also wore it on my 30th birthday to keep her memory close

Exploring the World

I expanded my interest in my grandmother’s beads and paid more attention to the artistry and history behind each piece. I would spend hours at the museums almost every day studying designs and learning about the cultural significance of necklaces and earrings from around the world.

The glittering artefacts spoke volumes about the traditions and beliefs of different societies. Fortunately for me, I had mentors who shared my passion and guided me on my journey.

A local jeweller took me under his wing and I learnt the techniques of metalwork and gem setting. His expertise and patience sure inspired me to hone my skills and strive for perfection in every piece I create.

I decided to travel to distant lands from the ornate filigree of Morocco to the vibrant beads of Africa to learn more about a collection of jewellery traditions. As expected, my understanding of the craft was enriched and I started to appreciate its cultural significance more.

It became a means for me to express myself, a link to the past, and a celebration of craftsmanship. Regardless of being an anklet, choker or brooch, I found myself drawn to vintage and traditional styles over modern.

Beyond the Bling

Aside from the luxury bling, I was drawn to the rich history and profound symbolism of jewellery. I discovered that it was more than just adornment; each piece seemed to carry a story that reflected culture, identity and human emotion.

The meticulous setting of gemstones and the elaborate metalwork involved in creating fine jewellery fascinated me. I saw artisans who poured their hearts and souls into crafting these treasures and I was captivated.

It was easy to see their passion in every stroke of the hammer and twist of the wire. Each piece symbolized something. A wedding ring symbolized eternal love and a talisman warded off evil spirits.

Either way, I realized that jewellery had the power to evoke emotions, spark conversations and forge connections between people. It is safe to say I gained a deeper appreciation for the beauty of the world around me and the stories that unite us all.

And I find it fascinating. Every pearl is naturally made by marine oysters and freshwater mussels by slowly secreting layers of aragonite and conchiolin. Every gemstone is product of the earth, amethyst, emerald, ruby, opal, topaz, or aquamarine, all compressed over century’s.

holly travelling in Africa
Travelling the world in my early 20’s started my fascination of jewellery of different cultures

Finding Your Spark

I was no longer content with simply wearing adornments for their beauty alone because my style and expression evolved. I began to see jewellery as a means of self-expression that reflects my personality and values.

Instead of following fleeting trends, gravitated towards pieces that formed my identity, whether it be a vintage ring with a mysterious past or a handmade necklace from a local artisan.

Whether it was a simple silver bracelet, diamond earring or a bold statement necklace, I wore each piece with confidence, knowing that it was an authentic expression of myself. I also found joy in mixing and matching different styles and materials; from layering delicate chains to stacking rings on every finger.

One major lesson I got through my journey with jewellery is that one should embrace what makes them unique and avoid following the latest fads or conforming to societal norms. Indeed, there are nicer metal type than gold.

Reflections and Inspiration

The following are the invaluable lessons that have enriched my life in countless ways. The first lesson I learnt was to appreciate the significance of craftsmanship and the artistry behind each piece.

I learnt to recognize and admire the skill and dedication that goes into creating beautiful jewellery. I also learnt that each piece of jewellery has a story to tell about different cultures, traditions, and human experiences.

My advice for first-time jewellers would be to approach the world of designer jewellery brands with an open mind and a curious spirit; a big name brand doesn’t guarantee high-quality or expertly crafted. Don’t be scared to explore different styles, materials and techniques and unique artisan pieces. And finally, allow your intuition to guide you.

Personally, I hope to continue growing and evolving as a jewellery enthusiast and artisan. Through my passion for jewellery, I hope to inspire others, spark curiosity in them, ignite creativity, and foster connections beyond borders.

I’m happy that I get to share my story with my readers. I hope to inspire my readers who have a passion for jewellery to tow the same path that I did and build their own personalized collection.

You don’t have to wait till tomorrow to begin building your collection, the right time to start is now! As my nana used to say, gie it laldy, and give it your all.