What’s sitting in your mother’s jewelry box?

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By Lee Scott

When I was a child, my mother had a collection of broaches in her jewelry box.

One of distinction was the broach I made for her for Mother’s Day when I was in Brownies. It was made of wood and had “Mother’s Day” spelled out in macaroni, and had been shellacked. I’m sure she loved wearing it to church, before the macaroni started to start to fall off and the meaning was lost.  

I was reminded of all my mother’s broaches recently when I was traveling and noticed a young woman sitting next to me wearing a beautiful broach on her jacket. It was round with emeralds surrounded by diamonds. I commented to her how beautiful it was, and she said it was her late grandmother’s broach.

It wasn’t long before I started to notice other young women wearing decorative pins and broaches, maybe because it can be a very expressive form of body art without using a tattoo needle. 

Surprisingly, there are numerous broaches that women can wear that make a statement. There are dog and cat broaches for people who want to show love for their pet. I have also seen colorful butterfly broaches.  

According to one of the saleswoman at a local women’s clothing store, it has become quite popular to wear and use vintage jewelry nowadays. Her shop sells magnets designed by a local artist using vintage broaches. The shop also sells beautiful long necklaces made from an assortment of old jewelry.

That’s when I remembered I still had some of the old jewelry from my mother and mother-in-law, who had both died in early 2008. 

I was amazed at the number of broaches I found in their collections. 

The first batch I went through included a cameo broach with two doves kissing over a basket of flowers. It’s beautiful, but like many of the others, needs some tender loving care. 

Some of the broaches have matching clip-on earrings too. (Are there women who still wear clip-on earrings?) 

The other various broaches reflected different holidays throughout the year, like hearts and cupids for Valentine’s Day and Christmas trees and angels for Christmas. I recall my mother wearing some of the broaches on her winter coat over the holidays.  

I’m not sure why my four sisters and I never picked up on wearing broaches. I guess we thought they were too old fashioned, looking more like our grandmother’s era. 

But it is nice to see some of this jewelry becoming popular again, or at least recycled.  

And maybe it’s time for me to start wearing some of the vintage jewelry that my daughter was wearing that day.