This March we had the pleasure of interviewing some amazing mother-daughter duos working in business together. It was amazing hearing about their relationships, how they work well together and of course delving into their jewellery boxes. But I couldn't finish this interview series off without chatting to my own mum who has helped SO much whilst starting up Glitzbox AND has an enviable box of jewellery herself. So here we go...
Tamsin: So tell us about some of the jewellery you've brought down:
Joanna: This is a gold signet ring that had been my mothers when she was a girl. She had two, one that was hers and one that had been her aunts, so she gave me and my sister one each. I had it resized for my pinky and wore it for years. Then not long ago my three daughters got to the age where they wanted something from my jewellery box so I gave them each a signet ring because I had accumulated three over time from family. So this one went to Tamsin!
Then I had one made for me and this time I had it made in platinum.
T: Why did you have a new one made?
J: I wanted a pinky one because that's how I had always worn mine in the past. That way I can wear it all the time even if I wear another dress ring I don't have to take it off. And also I wanted my initials on it as my other signet ring had my mother's initials on it. And I really like it because I can't even feel I'm wearing it. It's so comfortable.
T: Where did you get it made?
J: Well I was at one of your Pop Up events helping out and it was near my birthday. Actually it was my birthday!! And I was still helping you out... *rolls eyes* It was there spotted Monarc Jewellery's display and loved the design so commissioned Ella to make me one in platinum and hand engraved with my initials, and she was great.
T: What about the next one along you finger with the green stone?
J: Ah this one was a gift because I coveted it from the Glitzbox collection for ages. It's got that emerald green colour I love. I wear a lot of black and brown and great but I do sometimes wear emerald green, so I quite liked the idea of having a statement ring that toned with my wardrobe.
T: And these diamond rings?
J: So this one is my mum's engagement ring. And obviously one of my first memories of it is seeing it on my mums hand. It goes with this chunky gold ring which was her wedding ring. And I remember always loving it and me and my sister would fight over who would get the ring. Once my mum passed away I was given the rings, but by that point I had gotten engaged myself. I'd gone to Hatton Garden where my mum got her ring and went to a vintage jeweller to get my ring as well. So my ring was also an antique. However, the setting on my ring was not as good as on my mum's so I had mine reset in a smoother setting so it no longer catches on things. I also had it put in platinum as I stopped wearing as much yellow gold. And It's so much more comfortable now I wear it all the time and it never catches, I'm so glad I reset it as I was worried about wearing it before.
My mum's wedding ring is interesting because she didn't have a wedding ring like this when she first got married. She originally had a simple gold band and then she had that melted down and added to more gold to make this bigger ring because she wanted a thicker ring. Also as my mother's wedding ring had patterns across it I thought that was traditional for wedding rings. So I also chose one with a pattern on it when I was married, so they are a similar style in the end.
T: So why don't you wear your wedding ring anymore?
J: Because it's too small for me now. I literally can't fit it on my finger any more. I was so skinny when I got married! So I was stuck without a wedding ring and ended up wearing my mother's wedding ring for a long time.
T: But, now you wear a silver one?
J: Yes this one I now wear all the time and I made it myself with my daughter (you) at a ring making workshop. But as it's just silver I may get it remade in platinum at some point to properly match my reset engagement ring.
T: Yes we made these together with The Workbench girls when I was just toying with the idea of starting Glitzbox!
J: Yes I think it was your birthday present, now we both wear ours all the time!
T: So You seem to be a ring person! Which other rings do you wear?
J: These are my favourite three dress rings. And they are all quite funky I think and completely over the top, which is why I like them.
This one was my mums and it was bought while my parents were abroad in Malaysia. I was born over there so a lot of the jewellery I've collected is from there. This to me looks more Indian, but I never though to ask the heritage! It's got rubies in the middle and then all different gemstones around the outside which looks cool.
Then this one next to it is an antique ring from my great grandmother and it was a shape that I always loved. My grandmother had it when I was little and she would wear it and would always say "this was my mother in laws ring, but it doesn't suit my hands because I've got short stubby fingers. She had long elegant hands and lovely fingers". Then as I grew older I apparently inherited her hands and so she said to me "this ring is coming to you when I die because you have her hands". And so she left it to me and I do love it, as I have quite long fingers it sits nicely on my hands.
And then this one on the end is super outrageous, a huge big chunk of a ring. It's a smokey quartz, but it used to be in a broach. A horrendous filigree gold one in a big leafy setting. My mum had had it made in Malaysia but I was just never going to wear it in a million years. So I had it reset into just a simple ring because it's such a massive stone it didn't need much else going on. So now I wear it and it goes with lots of things because it's practically black when you put it on your hand.
T: And what about earrings?
J: I hardly ever wear any earrings. I just wear the same studs which were given to me by my aunt. She had an eternity ring that went all the way around her finger and an engagement ring which she never wore because it was so massive. So she had them broken down and made into diamond studs for me, her two daughters, her daughter-in-law and herself. So we all have these matching diamond studs. I used to have other diamond studs, but I took them out and ended up losing one. So I'm terrified to take them out in case I lose one so I don't really wear other earrings much.
T: And necklaces?
I do quite like necklaces, I've got a pearl necklace that was given to me recently which I love. I had a pearl necklace from my mother so I wore it for a long time, but when you were a toddler you ripped it from my neck. It was a knotted pearl necklace so it was quite hard and expensive to repair so I have never had it done. But I probably should now! In the meantime I got one that's a much longer chain and can be worn lots of different ways. Loose, in a knot, doubled up... actually it can even go round three times.
Apparently the queen said recently "you have to wear pearls otherwise they die" and you should keep wearing them so they keep their lustre.
Recently I've also been given some new additions to my collection as you are working in the jewellery industry. This one I love and it has my daughters three names on it and it's cute because I can wear them close to my heart. I had a circle one with the three names written on so then you had to buy me a new one. I then ended up finding the original one!
Then this key pendant I got given from my husband. When we moved back to England after 22 years living abroad. He knew how much I'd wanted to live back in England and feel at home so he wanted to find a little gold ring to represent that. And he is not usually the romantic or thoughtful time usually so it was a lovely surprise.
T: Tell me about your bracelet collection:
J: I quite like bracelets and bangles! This one was one of two identical bangles that were bought by my mum and dad in Malaysia. They are that very yellow 24ct gold and were given to my two grandmothers, who have now died and they have both come back to me. But as you are now coveting it I'm loaning you one for the time being. They both originally had little bells hanging off them but one of my grandmas found them super annoying so had them taken off and this is the one without them.
T: You never even wear it! Hopefully borrowing will evolve into keeping... Why don't you tell us about the pieces you collected whilst living in Brazil next?
J: Yes I had quite a few pieces made there. I had one really outrageous necklace made in all multicoloured semi precious stones. And created a set of earrings and a ring which is even more over the top as they are all so matching.
We used to have these coffee mornings whilst living in Brazil and this guy would come with all the gemstones. He would lay out a long table with piles of stones and keep the most expensive ones up near him. In Brazil the most expensive stone to buy is an Emerald, not a diamond, because they couldn't mine Emeralds and had to import them.
T: Yes that was my first memory of jewellery as well!
J: Yes and then it went all the way up to amethysts which were the cheapest. And they had some really big amethysts so I had these earrings and pendant made there. So you would go to these coffee morning and you would select the stones you liked and then go to the next table where there was a jeweller with a catalogue and you got to select which setting and design you liked. The design I got here was called the crown setting which was quite an expensive style of setting but the stone was literally like 30 quid.
Then I chose this stone which I thought was quite interesting as it was the only one in a triangle shape. I got it set into a pendant so that you can open the top and add it to chunkier necklaces or pearls for example. I also got each of my daughters a little ring made to keep as a memento for when they grow up.
And that is a wrap on the Mother Daughter series - I hope you enjoyed delving into real women's jewellery collections and hearing about their relationship with each other and the meaning behind their most precious pieces of jewellery. Any requests for more series like this let us know!