Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spellbinding Fine Jewels

By James Gilbert Pynn

I beseech you, my dear, to imagine me as a mesmerizer of great prowess. Now, if you will, imagine for a moment, that I command the stage lights to shine upon that piece of fine jewelry on your wrist (or ear, or wherever). Now, allow yourself to be receptive to my every command. Receptive, yet? Good. Now, let us pay a special kind of homage to the men and women who were responsible for producing that fine piece of jewelry. Once youve embarked on this reverie, you will find your thoughts drifting back, in time to the tapping of a jewelers hammer, to the misty past of ancient history. Despite the radical technology that makes modern jewelry possible, most aficionados would agree, there is something breathtaking about the fact your piece of jewelry has passed through the ages, from one set of hands (or ears) to the next.

The craft of the jeweler now is a technological labyrinth. Laser precision and binary algorithms abound. Though a robotic arm can not inscribe serial numbers on diamonds, it still requires a human hand to steady the chisel and be inspired to create. Jewelry itself seems to have a primeval hold upon us. It seems to represent or indeed, fill, a deep longing, a kind of permanence. As a species we seem to enjoy collecting " from rocks to stamps " we are wired into gathering and keeping. Somehow, it buttresses our faith and pushes back against the impermanence of life. A piece of fine jewelry grants us a moment of immortality, a reprieve from the inevitability of death.

We may catch ourselves chuckling at the behavior of our ancestors, or even more so-called primitive peoples, when they infuse their trinkets with anima. But, again, this seems to be an innate act, a deep-seated hunger to fill the world with entities that can boost our morale and protect us from harm. For example, coral was believed to easy the pains of childbirth. In China, jade is believed to ward off harm and is often fashioned into an array of jewelry for children. We have all infused fountains of luck and protection into our childhood rabbits feet, rings, and necklaces.

Aside from warding off evil and lengthening our lives, fine jewelry has been, and may always be, a form of portable wealth. It is not merely the stone or even the alloy used to make the piece, it is the labor poured into crafting the piece. They obviously, then, make for highly desirable gifts. Though, it should be said, the exchange of such a gift is usually reserved for inter-family or courting purposes. You wouldnt give someone you just met a diamond ring, but it is expected you would give your fianc one.

Now, when I count to three, you awaken, drawn back through the veil of time, to this moment now. You will look at your fine jewelry and instantly conjure the host of people involved in crafting it. You will better appreciate who gave it to you that much more and you will think long and hard when you wish to let someone special know how much you care about them. You will appreciate the special coding involved in each piece, how each line and twist and shimmer was the result of a host of peoples time, energy and love. - 16651

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