My friend Beth Bernstein has written a book. It’s a wonderful memoir that cleverly connects the major events (and people) in her life with her love of jewelry. As she herself says, In My Charmed Life, I connect my past and present by linking the jewelry in my life, conjuring up lost keepsakes and fiery moments—until I realize that the brightest gems are the ones you give yourself, and find freedom I never thought possible.
As a young girl, I learned that not all engagements came with a ring. From the unconventional watch my father used to propose marriage to my mother to my own rocky romances–the too many rings I fell in love with and the too few men that could commit to a lasting bond, this the story of my life from age five to fifty, as told through the jewelry that I inherited, purchased for myself, and received (or didn’t receive) as gifts. Each chapter reveals a gem that brings forth an intimate memory– my mom’s post-divorce transformation from Jackie O pearls to donning love beads to my grandmother’s dime store fantasy gems and the sparkle of promising new relationships and the meltdowns of many breakups.
Then when my mother unexpectedly passed away, my life was forever changed. I not only lost my best friend, but also a big part of myself–the woman who taught me how to love, overcome obstacles and how to accessorize. In “My Charmed Life”, I connect my past and present by linking the jewelry in my life, conjuring up lost keepsakes and fiery moments—until I realize that the brightest gems are the ones you give yourself, and find freedom I never thought possible.
From To Catch A Thief Jewelry Chapter: Platinum and diamond art deco line bracelet
From Buccellati Ring Chapter: diamond, 18K yellow and white gold Buccellati Ring
From Engagement Watch Chapter: my mother’s art deco platinum and diamond engagement watch
From both Self Purchase and Pearls of Wisdom chapters: Platinum and diamond eternity bands I’ve collected and wear on my left hand. The top band is a ring that I had remade from a pendant my father gave to my mother when they were still married
From Pink Gold Rolex Chapter. 1930s 18k gold pink gold Rolex bubble back watch
There are more wonderful photographs of Beth’s watches and jewelry mentioned in the book
on her website.
Main Photo: From Chakra Stones Chapter: a collection of charms given to Beth by jewelry designers and friends for protection and luck
Beth will be reading in New York at Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway at 82nd Street on Monday, July 30th 2012 at 7pm, Come One, Come All!