Lynn Yaeger on the Pleasure of Buying Fine Jewels for Yourself

Photographed by Don Penny/Styled by Miako Katoh

The other children were being saving up for bicycles and roller skates. I experienced anything else in head. It was a 14-karat gold heart locket with a little diamond at its center and a body inside of to maintain a picture of your sweetheart, which in my situation was John Lennon. If the proprietress of the jewelry store in Massapequa, New York, was pondering what this 12-yr-aged was doing in her retail store working day soon after day, she did not enable on. I saved up my allowance funds, wheedled and begged my softie dad and mom to chip in, and, last but not least, I bought that sucker for myself.

I continue to have it. I realized it when I was in junior high, and I know it right now: Acquiring jewelry for by yourself is a single of the most enjoyable, joyful, everyday living-affirming encounters you can have. Who wants to hold out all over right up until a passionate partner stumbles into your existence, and why ought to this hapless soul be envisioned to know that what you definitely want is a Brent Neale three-stone ring or an Arman Sarkisyan hen bracelet? They could be the most great particular person in the world, but is not it far too significantly to count on that they realize the distinction involving Boucheron and Bulgari, Lalaounis and Lalique?

“Buying baubles is no a lot more egocentric, no far more heinous than acquiring clothing for oneself.”

Lest you persist in the perception that there is some thing slightly sad about shopping for high-quality jewellery for yourself, I would argue just the opposite—there is anything depressing about not purchasing factors you really want, that you can afford, simply because of some previous-fashioned idea that you aren’t worthy of marking your individual particular milestones with jewellery that is exactly your taste because, well, you picked it out. Why is it ok to invest in your dwelling room a dazzling chandelier but not all ideal to expend the very same quantity on a pair of chandelier earrings? Why are you comfortable obtaining a wildly high priced snakeskin purse but queasy when it arrives to forking around the large bucks for a Victorian snake ring?

Getting baubles is no more selfish, no additional heinous than buying outfits for yourself. In truth, it is far a lot more realistic. Jewellery retains its worth! Shares might soar and plummet, but a 1920s Cartier Art Deco diamond look at is often worthy of at the very least its pounds in gold, and generally a full whole lot far more. Furthermore, can you don a bank statement wrapped close to your wrist for a night out on the town?

lynn yaeger
Holly Dyment Lynn Yaeger Portrait Brooch ($5,800), musexmuse.com

Don Penny

If just about now you are wondering, This Lynnie is a selfish very little child, I would like to notify you that I am in fact in exalted business. Mae West, a single of the greatest-paid out women in The united states in the 1930s, wrote in her autobiography, “With this kind of earnings, I in some cases fork out myself in jewels.” Marlene Dietrich the moment took a bunch of her smaller sized pieces—diamond earrings, diamond necklace, ruby bracelet, some other trifles—to Van Cleef & Arpels and had them merged into the breathtaking cuff bracelet that grew to become her signature piece. (She can be found flaunting it in Alfred Hitchcock’s Phase Fright.)

Some collectors under no circumstances actually wear their treasures. Right after Andy Warhol died, the executors of his estate had been stunned to explore a stash of unbelievable jewels, including a Boivin coronary heart bracelet that after belonged to Millicent Rogers, concealed between two filing cupboards. Warhol plainly believed a great deal about jewellery, at the time musing, “It would be incredibly glamorous to be reincarnated as a significant ring on Elizabeth Taylor’s finger.”

And no much less a personage than Marie Antoinette—I may perhaps abhor her politics, but I adore her style in jewelry—got into the identical sort of problems I now do when she saw anything she just had to have. It took her six yrs to spend off a stunning pair of three-strand diamond bracelets, and she was admonished by her individual mother, who wrote: “The information from Paris tells me that you have just performed a obtain of bracelets for 250,000 livres, and to that influence you have unsettled your finances.” (These exact bracelets bought for more than $8 million at Christie’s a couple months ago.)

So go in advance, unsettle your finances! Be a part of me this Valentine’s Day in honoring that sure anyone who has caught with you via thick and thin, who has seen the disasters and the triumphs, and who is a lot more than worthy of that antique emerald parure you have been eyeing all 12 months very long. Let’s jingle the stack of bracelets that just turned up on your credit history card bill and celebrate the most deserving human being in your daily life: you.

[On top illustration: Arman Sarkisyan earring ($13,750 for pair), bergdorfgoodman.com; Christina Alexiou ring ($6,315), musexmuse.com; Nikos Koulis earring ($12,240 for pair), bergdorfgoodman.com; Anthony Lent Rings ($3,800 each), anthonylent.com; Foundrae bracelet ($1,375), foundrae.com; Buddha Mama bracelet ($7,300), brokenenglishjewelry.com]

This story appears in the February 2022 concern of Town & Nation.

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