My Chanel from the eighties isn’t for sale!

If I were filthy rich, I’d buy a new piece of jewelry every week. I love the stuff and don’t know many women who wouldn’t agree. It’s so much fun, no matter what it costs.

I wear the same four (or five) bracelets on my right wrist every day and get compliments on them all the time. I guess you’d call them my signature pieces.

I collected old charms over many years for a necklace I wore constantly. Eventually, I tired of it. Now I’m not loyal to any one necklace.

My inexpensive rings consistently get more praise than the costlier rings.

The Chanel necklace from the eighties and my "signature" bracelets

I don’t care about big diamonds, emeralds, sapphires or rubies. Really big diamonds look cheesy to me. I prefer funkier, less traditional looks.

Pins aren’t my style, although I keep thinking they will be someday. I look silly in most earrings but I keep buying them.

I don’t buy or wear jewelry to impress anyone, although I think my Hermes watch makes an impression, anyway.

Most every piece I own has a story behind it, from the ancient wax filled gold necklace from the Far East to the Chanel watch my aunt gave me when she got sick.

My daughter never cared about jewelry until a few years ago, when she appropriated the stacking rings I collected.

Three women have offered to buy my Chanel necklace from the eighties.

There’s jewelry for every one of our FOF personalities and styles.  That’s a lot of jewelry.

P.S. My latest acquisition is this 18k rose gold necklace with diamond eyed bat charm. It’s designed by  Jack Vartanian. My FOF friend, Cathy Paul, said it’s perfect for me because I’m batty. LOL.

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11 Responses to “My Chanel from the eighties isn’t for sale!”

  1. Geri says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I look forward to talking to you.


  2. Barbara Hannah Grufferman says:

    Hi Geri: I LOVE wearing my circa-1980s Chanel pearl necklace that wraps around twice . . . and my Elsa Peretti squiggle line pin (also ’80s).

  3. Duchesse says:

    Hear, hear Susan Grant! Toby, your mother and I may share the trait of being hopelessly judgmental, b/c I am known for saying “After 50, your jewelry should be real”. I don’t mean necessarily expensive, but the noble metals, and natural stones or materials whether costly or not. A shell necklace on leather, say, rather than a piece of plastic. A stack of silver bracelets is far more pleasing than one big fake gold chain. (Plate can work but it has to be very good plating, and without signs of wear.)

    I also think that over 50, we should give our bitsy, too-junior pieces to our nieces or granddaughters, or recycle the materials into something new, such as combining the 6mm pearls you got for graduation with some bigger ones to make a new rope.

  4. susan grant says:

    Just as with clothing, it’s fun to mix fine and “fun” jewelry and of course there are pieces that are both, which are my favorites. Working in the field and exposed to so much, it has become somewhat of an addiction.

    It’s surprising to me that many otherwise sophisticated women are so unaware of anything other than generic jewelry and too insecure to wear anything else.

    Jewelry, clothing, accessories, anything for that matter, I think, should be valued by the enjoyment derived from them rather than some vague idea of someday redeeming them for dollars.

  5. cathy paul says:

    I love jewelry, always have, probably always will, its not about what is precious, or valuable, I love what I love, I work in fashion and sell jewelry because I love it, but what I love is not about that, I love going to the Pier or the armoury or to the second hand shops and church bazaars or to the junk shops anywhere… Paris, Allentown, wherever and finding things, I worked for a Japanese company in the 80’s finding jewelry in thrift stores, and Atlantic City and Jamaica Avenue and selling it in the best stores in Tokyo because I found it, it looked good and I loved it. I take time off from work to go to the Pier shows because I love the stuff, and what I sell as part of my work is really fabulous but what I buy may not always be 18kt but I love it, and the pleasure is the pursuit, the treasure hunt, the amazing gorgeous object there amongst all the stuff, and always the conversation that follows..And the pieces that I own and wear constantly start conversations…

    • Geri says:

      Hi Cathy,

      I just added the bat necklace to the post.

      oxo Geri

      • cathy paul says:

        Geri,thank you for the mention, I really appreciate your passion for unique and personal jewelry enjoy your beautiful bat , it really suits you and fits so well with your necklace collection. All my best-Cathy

  6. LPC says:

    Unfortunately, I’m only comfortable with the real stuff. I have to find other modes of self-expression.

    • Geri says:

      Hi LPC,

      So you think you can be expressive with the real stuff?


  7. Toby Wollin says:

    Jewelry is very sentimental stuff. There are very few physical attributes I share with my mom – she was tall, thin and red-headed. I am “none of the above”. She was hopelessly elegant all the time, threw great parties and was hopelessly judgemental. It’s hard to be elegant when you are out in the barn; I have a block against entertaining other than family, and people’s behaviors are more important to me than their looks. On the other hand, we shared one love: brooches. She collected. I collected. When she went to the great cocktail party in the sky, I got the brooches (and a lot of other jewelry, frankly; I believe in passing it on and asked cousins for their choices to send on). I wear brooches all the time (well, not out to the barn) – I have ones that are funny (a parrot about 3″ long), elegant (a Japanese sword hilt copied as a pin), full of colorful stones, little animals, space age (I have a silver pin from my mom that looks like something off a Star Trek uniform), cameos, a regimental pin from my grandfather, teeny symbols, you name it. I love that people notice them, and they give a unique touch to whatever I am wearing, even if it’s just on a sweater with a nice pair of slacks.

  8. Maureen@IslandRoar says:

    I love bracelets! I wear lots of costume ones or bangly ones. Can’t bear to have naked wrists. Like you, I have some nice pieces, but prefer the less costly, funky ones. Rings too.


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