Thinking about jewelry in times of a crisis

By Esther Ligthart on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, in Inspiration, Stories

In many countries, there is a new reality right now. And jewelry is probably the last thing on your mind in these times. Of course, it is; we are prioritizing other things, such as our health and especially those of others. Still, here I am trying to show you something about jewelry that perhaps may inspire you a little.

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Grief and worry and then hope

I don’t know about you, but my sentiment about the situation changes daily.
I think it’s actually true what David Kessler told HBR in an interview: we are experiencing the 5 stages of grief.’’We feel the loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection’’, he explained.
We know this too will pass, but we don’t know when. And we feel anticipatory grief; what more do we need to lose, give up, will this come back again one day?

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 It helps when we fear what could become a reality tomorrow, to apply some mindfulness exercises.

Or, if you reject that idea, just to focus on what is the reality around you right now. Just merely observing your living room, dog, kitchen, a cushion. Sounds too simple? It can help you to snap out of worrying about things that aren’t real (yet).
David Kessler wrote a book about grief, actually two books about grief, that are surely worth reading if you are into knowing more about the subject.

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Why jewelry in times like these?

Jewelry starts somewhere. Typically, in the minds of a designer. He/she then takes this idea to a drawing. Depending on whether this is a high-end designer, or a goldsmith/designer with his own small workshop in your town, or perhaps working in a large factory somewhere in China, a piece of jewelry starts in the minds of a designer.


The route to becoming an actual piece of jewelry can vary so much!
But the end result is a jewel. Maybe a piece of jewelry of less than €100,- Maybe a piece of jewelry that is one-of-a-kind and not so much for your wallet. But the end result is this piece of jewelry.

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What does a piece of jewelry mean to you?

This is the moment that the idea of the designer becomes less critical. Now the actual design, the actual piece is there, and it’s ready for your story. What do you see in it?

Why does it look appealing to you? Is it something similar to what others wear? Do you long to own this piece to feel more part of a community? Nothing wrong with that, I am just exploring all those ideas that play through your mind when you look at jewelry.
Does it make you feel happy? Does the color of the gemstone mesmerize you? Do you feel this is you? Are you spiritual? Do you like the ideas of a birthstone?

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Did you, or your loved one, experience something sweet, something intense, something beautiful? Did you commit to each other? Or do you want to celebrate sharing life together?
And those difficult moments in life? Did they bring you something right or good too? Did you discover your inner strength? Your resilience? Do you miss someone dearly?


What are your values in life? And how do you see them reflected now in these challenging times? Who are you, when the meaning of work falls away? Who are you in the eyes of your parents, your friends, your family, your community?
What do you cherish most? Friendship? Faith? Your inner soul? Or is it the beauty of art or nature? Music or Ballet? Is it your traveling around the globe?

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Finding meaning

We, as humans, look around us and try to make sense of the world. We find meaning in grief, meaning in a crisis, although we might actually still figure this meaning out right now. But we seek meaning, and jewelry is all about that meaning. Jewelry is often called this tangible emotion. And it actually is!


We touch the ring that we have been given by our mother, or our loved ones, in times of need. We reach it for comfort. Have you ever noticed how your hand seems to seek it in certain moments? Jewelry can bring is us many things. The connection between you and your loved ones. Connection to a spiritual feeling. Connection to hope and belief. Connection to our inner soul, our internal values, our inner selves. Connection to our memories. Connection.

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And in these times of uncertainty, we watch videos of people singing on balconies in Italy and Spain. We see professionals stand up and try to give free webinars or ''Ask me Anythings''.

We see celebrities without glamour trying to inspire us to stay safe. We see people like Ronaldo giving money and his hotel to serve a different purpose. We see football players who actually work for the poor; we see people sending messages on LinkedIn, Facebook, and what not to wish each other safety and good health. We are holding hands globally. We know that we are connected. And that our actions on this planet, and what we do to it and its creatures, is coming back to us. It’s all connected.

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Jewelry and connection to your world

Perhaps your financial situation leaves you no room for new pieces of jewelry right now. But even so, you can dream. You can think about your values, you can think about what you really would love to own. One day, sooner or later.
And if your budget allows it, and we are all free again to move how we want: go and spend time with friends again!

Have long diners! Feel the privileges of the connections we have. And think about spending less money on things you really don’t need.
Think about spending money, you can already start to dream right now, on things that last.

That has meaning, that celebrates you, your life, your values, your connections.
Jewelry, you don’t need it to survive. But life is about so much more than that. And we get the time now to think about that.

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Jewelry after the crisis to celebrate love, life and more

The reason I wrote this is not to make you buy jewelry, because I happen to be a jewelry writer. No. I have jewelry, and I often love what I see, but I don’t long to possess everything I adore. ;-) But I told my husband that we have a different year this year. We too will feel the financial pain of the whole situation.

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We see the holidays that we looked forward also (and booked in advance- instead of hurrying in the last minute to our travel agent for the first time in our lives) going down the drain. Remodeling our home, a project we finally started with an architect, is in jeopardy. We know things have changed.

And we both longed for something meaningful. Something tangible. Something to celebrate what we DO have. A son, a house that’s a real home.Our animals, our love for each other, our friends, our place in our community, our joy, our shared interests in animals, and so on. I feel how much I would love a piece of jewelry. Not because I need it ( I absolutely don’t) But to celebrate all that I mentioned above. And have something beautiful to remind me of it, long after this crisis is over.

 From my family to yours: please stay safe! This too shall pass....XXX

 

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