My mother bought this bracelet 40 or 50 years ago, at a flea market or something. It’s sterling silver, from Mexico, and the stone is an amethyst.
I always loved it. The stone had a fissure in it, which I thought was intriguing.
Then Dad took some jewelry-making classes and replaced the amethyst with turquoise.
It was a reasonable enough choice, but I really hated it. I’m not a big fan of turquoise anyhow, but I thought it was completely wrong for this elegant bracelet.
After Mom died, I asked Dad if he could try to put an amethyst in it again. He bought the stone, but was unsure how to work it into shape.
I kept stone and bracelet, and got a quote from a local jeweler to replace the stone. $350 was too rich for my blood.
The bracelet sat on my dresser in a special box.
This winter, when a local art school was having a jewelry market, I brought the bracelet and asked around. I found Jeff Hunter, a lapidarist who said he’d be happy to do the stone for $45.
Jeff hadn’t worked with amethyst before, and soon learned how soft it is. He shaped four pieces, but each one chipped or cracked.
“This amethyst is giving me fits,” he reported. “I’m sorry it’s taking so long.”
After two months – he could only work on it occasionally because of his demanding full-time job – Jeff asked if I really had my heart set on amethyst.
Yes, I told him. But a flaw is OK, because that’s how the bracelet looks in my memory.
Today I got the bracelet from Jeff. It is so beautiful. I paid him extra and gave him a big hug.
“Again, really sorry it took so long,” he said.
No problem. Restoration takes time.
“It’s good that it’s cracked,” I told him. “It’s like me.”
Restoration takes time.
Today’s penny is a 2015.