As far as I can recall my mother’s image from the past, I remember her wearing an emerald pendant. The locket, shiny, bright and hanging from a rose gold chain, was an integral part of her profile, as is even today. It is very hard to imagine her without the green adornment; it’s as if – she was born with it. Nevertheless, being the only daughter of my parents, she promised ownership of that cherished emerald piece to me, if ever she chooses to part with it— perhaps assured in the belief that I will safeguard and own the pendant exclusively, till I decide to hand it over to a loved one — just like an heirloom piece.
But that was just my story. There are so many other beautiful recollections, like an elder sister’s platinum, charm bracelets or even a favourite aunt’s pearl clip-ons. The basic outline is that heirlooms, especially jewellery, tie us to the memories of our predecessors. It ties us to their love — bridging the past, present, and future.
But can everything and anything be considered an heirloom piece? Maybe not! And here’s why.
For a piece of jewellery to be regarded as an heirloom, it has to have three important elements — splendour, emotional attachment, even monetary value!
Typically, heirloom jewellery should include precious stones like pearls, emeralds, sapphires or diamond, because of which, they increase in monetary value over time. Durability is also a factor. Metals like gold and silver are quite popular as well. Additionally, it may also be said that these high-end pieces are classic and endure centuries of shifting fashion trends.
Many heirloom pieces are prized for their distinctiveness. Like my mother’s emerald pendant, it was hand-designed by a Persian goldsmith in the early sixties — something that I cannot buy at a typical jewellery store anymore.
But at the end of the day, it is always the story attached to the pieces that trump all other aspects. These unique stories narrate love, attachment, family bonding and rare accomplishments. And an heirloom piece can hold just as many stories as there are emotions.
Let’s get back to my mother’s emerald pendant one last time. After decades of wearing it, if mum chooses to give it to me, I will naturally add on my own stories to its history. Her stories of love, dreams, or even grief shall get entangled with mine. These deep emotional connections will continue with my children and they will, in turn, also contribute to the heirloom’s worth…
Isn’t that just lovely?
Model: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Jewellery: Alvi Jewellers
Wardrobe: Tangail Saree Kutir
Makeup: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon
Location: Eskay Decor