It’s 5am. Your alarm you’ve titled “Get Up, It’s JEWEL-TIME” sounds off and you quickly fling yourself out of bed. You can barely open your eyes, but you easily type in your username and password and get ready to go head-to-head with buyers who are actually at the auction house which you’ve just virtually logged into, bidding live somewhere in England.
Yes, that is a normal week day in the life of an avid-obsessed collector. A jewelry collector, that is…and to be even more specific–antique rings. These little, sometimes sparkly, golden hoops of joy. I can’t imagine anything else that I feel so much allure for–the charm and temptation is overwhelming at times. How can something so unnecessary be so…well, NECESSARY?!
And since you collect antique rings, you’ve got that annoying saying, “wow when will I ever see one like that ever again?! I need it!”
From one morning bidding session, to another. I frantically check eBay and my “Watch” list gets longer and longer. I spend over an hour browsing and realize I shouldn’t be spending, rather $aving… So, I’ve devised my own Savings plan–cut back on what I spend most on, FOOD. I decide on a new meal plan called, “whatever is in the refrigerator.” A couple handfuls of scredded cheese, a scoop of peanut butter and some leftover walnuts in the pantry. That should hold me over.
An hour goes by and I realize that is the worst plan ever. I then take matters into my own hands and delete my eBay application from my iPhone. There! No more bidding.
So where did this undying love for jewelry come from? I try to think back to when I was little and I do have some fond memories of playing in my mom’s jewelry boxes. Most of her stuff was costume jewelry, but I loved draping on necklaces and piling on bracelets. My paternal grandmother loved jewelry and still does today. She would travel to Italy when I was little, and come back with a piece of jewelry for everyone. I remember being so excited every time she came back from Italy, I always would wonder what she brought back for me. One time it was a heart charm, another time it was a gold bracelet…I still have each piece of 18k Italian gold. Now, my maternal grandmother…it was her that I know I got the collecting bug from! It is almost a borderline collector/hoarder. She collected lots of things–owls, wolves, teapots, trains, miniature houses (which she formed an entire mini-city), tin boxes, plates…I know there’s more. The best part of her collecting, which I definitely inherited, was the way she displayed things. Her small cabin in the woods was basically a mini-museum. It was so fun to look at each thing and she loved going to garage sales, which was where she bought most of her collectibles. She now lives in a small townhouse, which she has shelving throughout the entire house in order to display her enormous teapot collection.
As a collector, I think my favorite things consist of:
1. finding new hidden places, full of the coolest/neatest antique jewelry
2. finding others that share my obsession and talking with them
3. planning my next adventure/buying my next acquisition
So, no matter how broke I become or how much sleep I lose over these little things we call Rings, I have never had an inanimate object bring so much happiness, purpose and drive to my life. I will always have a memory or story behind each and every one. And I will continue to collect, and venture to far away places in search of new pieces to add to my special collection.