Everyday on vacation I wore my Tiffany & Co. pearl stud earrings. Of course, they loved being worn. Pearls like being exposed to the natural oils on our skin in moderation. It makes them shine. And, of course, it should be noted that there are many things they do not like, such as any sort of cleaner, getting wet, being exposed to too much heat, cold or too much sun. They’re very sensitive.

It was delightful.

…One Valentine’s Day about four years ago or so my husband gave me a pair of Mikimoto studs he bought at our jeweler for around $600.00. The studs from Tiffany’s were purchased for around $200.00 to $300.00. Now, as it goes, the Mikimoto earrings really were better quality. They were smaller but they were so pretty. They were the highest grade there is, I believe, and Mikimoto pearls are generally always fantastic.

Of course, also as it goes, I lost the Mikimoto pair… At some point when we lived in Seattle I used them, didn’t put them away and I never found them again. *rolling eyes* BUT, as much as I love quality and wouldn’t mind another pair that are better than the ones I use (think thousands not hundreds) I actually think I’ll likely just keep my Tiffany & Co. pair as one of my usables.


Have you heard of “forever bags”? Well, I love and advocate the overall concept of buying genuine quality items that are classic and usable.

There are people who are beautiful souls who fly about like gentle birds through life and follow trends and do so brilliantly. They make life much better with their fresh perspective. They are reflectors of God’s light. (He’s very creative.) However, I am not that sort of person.

I do tend to think I’m a rather artistic person though, mind you, but despite that I really am at my best style-wise when I stick to what I know will work. I’m not a style butterfly… And part of being me is being able to find things that are highly usable. To me, true luxury is when the things I use everyday are really lovely – “boring” stuff that’s actually luxurious.

My current “usables” are: My Tiffany and Co. 8-9 mm Ziegfeld Collection Pearls, and my Louis Vuitton Noé (I need a new one from the store). I need to add more…

The thing is, in order to qualify as a “usable” it must be something that could last in good condition while being used at least weekly (not abused) for at least ten to twenty years. Perfume doesn’t count, of course, because it gets used up (of course make-up doesn’t count either). And it must be something that truly works with your style, is a sort of “staple” and is of high quality and, of course, kitchen sinks and cars don’t count as much as they can be similarly “usable” because I’m referring more to the things we wear. … I should also note that while I have items I’ve used for five years I don’t think that is quite long enough to count and I have pieces that have lasted longer but aren’t used frequently…

So, on my “usables” to-buy list are the following: 1. A pair of diamond earrings, 2. A decent wallet, 3. A new Cartier Tank, and 4. A top handle bag (and a new Noé). I’m fairly certain I’m going to buy a Gucci wallet and top handle (as I’ve said) but, to be honest, the Alma still intrigues me… I have a vintage (1950’s or so) Cartier Tank watch that’s been serviced by Cartier and works well but I need a new one I can put some mileage in. The vintage one can’t be worn everyday as it’s too old and I want to preserve it. And…then…there are the diamonds.

Oh, I love gemstones. Truly! For a brief time I even considered being a gemologist with hopes of specializing in diamond grading. I’ve been told I have a sharp eye and can see differences in quality that most people can’t. Actually, if we lived in Boston I’d likely just become a gemologist for at least the fun of it… I’d even do it now, but for the fact that the respected schools that teach gemology aren’t in the Midwest.

That being said, one of my closest cousins worked with a major auction house like Sotheby’s (or maybe it was Sotheby’s – I cant remember) for a while when she lived in California and she thought I could combine my experience as an antique dealer with my passion for gemology and work at one of the better auction houses (like Sotheby’s) with antique and vintage jewelry, however she may have more faith in me than I have in myself. Ha! Still, long-term, I can’t lie and say that that wouldn’t be a dream job I’d love to someday have in my late 40’s or 50’s (along with finishing my two novels).

*dreamy sigh*

So…I have exacting standards when it comes to jewelry. Just ask my husband. Uff da. Ha! And my diamond earrings will have to be…good. What does that mean? Well, I’ve looked into it and it means that for a pair of .90 to 1.00 ctw earrings (my desired weight) I’ll be paying over $2,500.00. I always go for better quality over size when it comes to diamonds and emeralds in particular… The three c’s (in regard to diamonds) are of great importance to me.

So, $2,500.00 is…the least I’ll likely pay. And that’s not a huge amount for good earrings but it’s also not a purchase I want to make lightly. I’ve wasted money before and at 35 I know better…

Most of the time they use lower quality diamonds in earrings actually, but…since I’m going to wear them frequently as a usable I want something worth it. They’ll be with me for decades. I want them to be a kind companion.

What are your usables? Your gold charm bracelet? Your diamond studs? Your Rolex? Your Timex (those can actually last a long time too because some were made really well)? Your gold hoop earrings? That old style, leather Coach crossbody (that leather ages very well)? Hmm?

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