For What It's Worth
Gemstones are usually divided into the precious and semi-precious categories. When I was studying jewelry and gemstones in college, my gemology professor preferred not to deem any stones semi-precious because, “They’re always precious to someone,” she rationalized.
This obviously resonated with me as it’s the premise of this entire endeavor. But we all know that’s not how the industry thinks. Certain stones and metals are ‘worth’ more, sometimes waaaaaay more, than others for different reasons. So, I thought, why not unpack those reasons so as consumers, we can decide if we want to buy into them or not?
Undoubtedly this will be a lengthy series with many different layers and learnings for all of us, so bear with me. Ultimately, I hope to arm you with some more info to make your own conclusions as you start to consider what each potential piece is worth to you.
So, let’s start with the concept of worth. It’s a super charged word to be sure; and one whose outcome has a different meaning for each of its beholders
I’ve had the idea to explore the nuances of jewelry worth for a while now and finally had the chance to sit down to it. Coincidentally, or perhaps divinely timed, I’ve been doing a lot of work around the concept of worth recently, most notably self-worth, with the guidance of Lacy Phillips.
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the incredibly talented Lacy through another lovely and magical human, Morgan Yakus. Lacy’s blog Free + Native guides her readers and clients in how to hone their abilities to manifest their desires through an examination and expansion of their subconscious beliefs, especially those of self-worth. She also happens to have impeccable taste in jewelry!
Free + Native feels as special and comforting as that well-worn pair of jeans you borrowed from your best friend and never gave back. Yes, it’s a feast for the eyes, but it’s far more than just Insta perfect. Lacy gets real with her message that while the end goal is achieving the things you want in life, those things are really just a by-product of your level of self-worth and you need to raise that first in order to align with the things you’re calling in. And in my opinion, that strong sense of self-worth is the ultimate manifestation.
In addition to becoming addicted to my weekly fix of Free + Native, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with Lacy one-on-one. She came into my life when I had a lot of self-worth work to do and didn’t even recognize it, which is sort of the point. As Lacy explains, our self-worth is the expression of the subconsciously ingrained conditioning we learned during childhood.
After starting the real work of mining that worth deep down below, I started to feel like a different person, until I realized that it was actually the authentic person I've been all along, she just got lost along the way.
Since then a lot of light bulbs have gone off and leaps have been made. One of the biggest being to honor my worth, value and contributions enough to share them with the world, or rather the Internet; same thing.
Which brings me here. While this series, For What It’s Worth, will not be about self-worth, doing the self-worth work is what has led me to finally make this contribution, that I’ve been dreaming up for years, to the world. The series will focus on topics like:
- Why are some stones worth more than others?
- What is the value of the time, materials and effort that go into an artisan’s handcrafted piece?
- What are the contributors to the prices amongst the big, commercial brands? (this is a big one to tackle I know, but aren’t you intrigued?!); and
- What role does sentimental value play in the worth of a piece to its owner?
Needless to say, I’m excited to dissect this meaty topic, I hope you’ll come along for the ride.