Privilege Blog

Guilty Sparkly Pleasures

When I was little I would creep into my father’s study and read the Encyclopedia Brittanica. In those days, a set consisted of something like 20 volumes. The volumes were oversized, and had illustration pages. Called plates, I think. These pages were thick, shiny, suck-air-between-your-teeth desirable.

It might have been that I was precocious and hungry for knowledge. But no. I was in search of volume G-H. G for Gems. I would sit on the floor and look at the pictures and shiver. I don’t know what it was. Maybe the facets. A hall of mirrors, endless reflections, not knowing where the end or the center might be. Or maybe it was the sheen and heft of the old paper.
Nowadays I watch Jewelry TV. Yes. I do. I love the women who announce the pieces they are selling. I love their Southern accents. I love their French manicures. I love the way they pluck the gemstones they want to hawk out of the case with those special plucker tools. Pop. I want to order a mixed stone parcel and sit on my sofa late at night, running my fingers through the colored gems. I would even replace one of the burned out lights in the outdated track lighting overhead. With a pinspot. I would keep the illicit sparkle secret.

And the click and clack of stone hitting stone.

First image: James Alger
All others:

7 Responses

  1. omg what a fabulous post.
    I too love gems…always have. I actually have this teeny velvet pouch full of gems i took from my parents when I was 4. I swore I was a millionare. I don’t even think they know i have this. :)
    I looove that you watch jewelryTV. Thats my total guilty pleasure.
    I quickly swith the channel when my man walks by.

    great blog.

  2. I love sparkly things. Gemstones are so pretty … all the different colors! I don’t wear much jewelry anymore since it only gets in the way and has to be removed at PT … but I still love looking at it! : )

  3. When I was very very young, I dreamed of becoming a gemologist. I even had my own little rock hammer and encyclopedia of gems and minerals. I distinctly remember getting a rock tumbler for my 8th birthday and thinking it was the greatest gift of all time. Ah, youth!

  4. This post, and especially the pictures, make me think of the Gem room at the Museum of Natural History in NY. You’ve been there, I’m sure, LPC. Don’t you love those HUGE amethysts? They’re kind of amazing.

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