What does sentimental jewellery mean to me?


It was no larger than a small, sugared almond. I remember the ferrous taste of the gold in my mouth from the countless times that I sucked on this pendant that hung around my neck. The glassy cabochon felt blissfully familiar on my tongue until my Grandma tugged gently on the chain, pulling me out of my daydream: “Don’t put it in your mouth! You’ll swallow it and then what will your mum say?”

As a young girl my Pocahontas necklace must have spent an inordinate amount of time in my mouth since that is the strongest, and only memory I have of it. I had begged my dad to buy it for me. It was “all I ever wanted in life” and “I’d never ask for anything ever again”. A wistful portrait of Pocahontas encased under a glass cabochon and firmly set in gold. She stared back at me with a defiant and distant gaze into the brave future. Between Pocahontas and Jasmine, I had decided on my role models by the age of 10. Strong, independent and imperfect women with a fierce sense of justice, adventure and a large heart. Am I sentimental about it? Incredibly. This pendant represented my childhood, a lifetime of opportunity that lay ahead, my naive belief that this pendant was ‘all I ever wanted’, and memories of those Saturday shopping trips with dad and a brown bag of McDonalds fries in tow.

It’s the tactile feel and sound of jewellery that tugs at my heart strings. Absentmindedly, probably for comfort or concentration, I fiddle with my earrings or run my pendant across its chain, tugging gently on my neck. I recall the sound of my Grandma’s bangles clinking when she was rolling hot, buttery chapattis for me as a child, and the reassuring feel of my rings when I use my thumb to spin them around my fingers, like I did on my Grandma’s hands as her loose rings swung around the base of her fingers.


These little vessels are sentimental by the nature of the companionship that they have provided me. They are always present in arms with me, whether it be through boredom, life’s milestones or hours of contemplation. I see my jewellery as miniature monuments. I know that they will outlast me and will likely outlast generations, akin to the buildings and monuments that capture histories. As such I place great importance upon their design, durability and wearability. I realise that a jeweller’s responsibility, of bringing a piece of jewellery to be, is essentially to create a worthy companion for someone, a vessel ready to hold what its owner has to pour into it, and a monument that can likely be on this earth for generations. A tall order, and rightly so.

©2018 Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden |