PaperCity Magazine

December 2018- Dallas

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Bracelet with brilliant-cut round diamonds, at Diamonds Direct. Below left: Platinum emerald ring with brilliant-cut round diamonds, at Diamonds Direct. Below: Margot McKinney Mandarin garnet ring in 18K gold $125,000, at Neiman Marcus. Margot McKinney Kiss earrings in 18K white gold with South Sea pearls $29,950, at Neiman Marcus. no longer be needed, as big trees wouldn't fi t my parents' new life. I still remember them handing me boxes of artifacts from my youth and saying, "Do you want these? We won't have the room when we leave this house." "What?" was always my dire response. "You don't want my third-grade art project of birds I drew, for which I received a gold star?" I suppose, even as I near the age of 50, I want someone somewhere to cherish those yellowed grade-school papers — relics that confi rm I was once young and apparently cared about drawing birds. I like to consider myself an expert on fashion. In fact, I am dying for a luxury- g o o d s version of The Price is Right. I'm quite certain if Bob Barker asked me for my bid on a pair of emerald-python Blahnik slingbacks, I would most defi nitely come within $10 of the retail price. Jewelry, however, is another thing altogether. It has always fl ummoxed me. When a girlfriend asks me to admire a pair of recently acquired earrings, I'm perplexed on price. Were they a $15 fi nd at Forever XXI. Or, were they Cartier, a little something gifted by her husband for a special occasion. I guess that's why I fi nd jewelry all the more fascinating and otherworldly. Fashion trends, like life, are ephemeral. But jewelry endures. My mom's jewelry case was not an heirloom antique. It was perhaps purchased from a Sears catalog or an early 1960s fi ve-and-dime store. The brocaded fabric is well worn, with tears and scratches from the many items it has housed over the years. When I run my fi ngers along those aged edges, I am instantly transported. I am standing by mom's side while she fi xes her hair and contemplates what item she should pull out of the jewelry box to adorn her neck, wrist, or ears. Karen Carpenter faintly sings "a kiss for luck and we're on our way" in the background. (My parents were big fans of The Carpenters.) And then, just before dashing out the door for a night out with my dad, she gives me a kiss on my forehead and tells me not to stay up too late. Recently, as I was dashing out the door of my own home, I took out a pearl bracelet from mom's jewelry box and decided to wear it. In this new world of accepted androgyny and fl uid pronouns (I fi nally understand and genuinely appreciate the terms nonbinary and pansexual), it felt right to wear it. When NBA stars like LeBron James can carry a handbag and do it with such swagger that it feels effortless, I thought, "Why not wear a pearl bracelet?" As it turns out, that bracelet was the perfect accessory. Mom's pearls received numerous compliments that day, proving a wonderful segue for sharing stories about how she lovingly raised me to be a boy and a man who loves and appreciates beautiful things — a faint whisper I still hear from her today as I look at that jewelry box, putting it to my own nostalgic use. Spinelli Kilcollin Adara noir ring in 18K gold and black rhodium with micropavé diamonds $8,800, at Forty Five Ten. Mikimoto Akoya pearl strand necklace $6,780, at Bachendorf's. Left: Matthew Trent Diamond Fringe earrings with emeralds from 30th Anniversary Collection, at Matthew Trent. Bottom left: Wendy Yue 18K opal cuff with tsavorites and diamonds $53,800, at Stanley Korshak. Wendy Yue 18K gold earrings with jade, diamonds, tsavorites, and black agate $17,900, at Stanley Korshak. De Boulle High Jewelry cuff in 18K white gold with diamonds, at de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry. 77

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