As many of my friends in the industry know, 2014 was a huge year for me personally, as I married my husband, Eric, and became a father through gestational surrogacy. As someone who came of age in the 1980s, believe me when I say I never thought I’d type that last sentence!
Although I’ve been with JCK—and in the jewelry industry—for a decade, I’ve never really experienced the kind of emotional jewelry story we often discuss in the pages of the magazine and online. A recent decision by my mother-in-law changed that.
Eric’s mother, Jan, had a piece of jewelry with a fascinating history. Sometime after the 1929 stock market crash, her grandparents decided to take money out of the bank and put it into a 1 ct. diamond, for security. Over the years, that diamond was combined with four smaller stones and eventually placed in a 1960s cocktail ring. Eric’s mom owned the ring for years, but because she did not have a daughter, it remained stashed away.
In a beautiful gesture, Jan announced she would love to make a present of the original diamond to our surrogate, Amanda, as a way of thanking her for the unbelievable way she helped bring our son, Nolen, into the world and into our extended family. It was decided we would set the diamond in a necklace, so that it would represent Nolen and our family as always being close to her heart.
Our surrogate, Amanda, holding our son, Nolen: She’s wearing the diamond pendant we made for her using a family heirloom.
Eric and I brought the stone to a wonderful retailer and designer named Scosha in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, and she created a gorgeous 18k gold artisanal setting and chain. We gasped when we saw the cleaned, restored, and beautifully set stone. It was truly alive again.
Of course, Amanda was blown away, and there were tears all around.
After years of learning about the things that make this industry special—rare stones that capture light and fire, artistry and design, trust in a relationship with a retailer, and the emotional impact of a piece of finished jewelry—experiencing it all firsthand was truly a joy.
Back at JCK, we’re all anticipating a great year ahead. Look inside this issue for exciting updates to the magazine and, in a few months, new features on our website and important changes at the JCK show.
This month includes one of my favorite weeks of the annual jewelry calendar, Tucson Gem Week, now made better by the JCK Tucson show in addition to the AGTA GemFair and the many vendors who showcase their wares beneath tents. I look forward to mingling with all of you in the warm desert air!