Stories of Family Gold

The concept of family jewels is inherently royal. Most of us first learn of the concept through stories of ancient kingdoms and modern monarchs as proof of societal wealth, a level of aristocracy we’ll never achieve. Even from the comfort on your own bloodline, precious metals passed down, hold a certain weight greater than carats. One rooted in legacy and access. The diamond brooch (be it real or fake) that your grandmother wore on her wedding day becomes inherently more valuable after she passes. With that mindset, possibly the greatest family jewels are those that come from family members you've never met, with stories you’ve only heard and never read. A legacy grows with time and family is eternal.

In the process of writing, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of family and legacy - specifically around gold. Precious metals and gems are rooted in the story of Africa and as a young Black person, that is the greatest legacy of my life. A descendent of slaves, Africa is a place that I know I’m from and a place I’ve never been. I’m told it’s beautiful. I’m told your first experience there you can feel the energy and the people are welcoming. Yet, I can’t shake the feeling that I’d need a map and a blood test to truly navigate the energy of such land. The distance - both physical and metaphorical - is daunting. My biological connection, unrefuted. A mammoth of a familial legacy indeed. And the heirlooms? Gold, diamonds, beauty, and resilience.  

The idea of family jewels in this sense feels almost redundant. For every piece is from the earth of my ancestors, yet it seems jewelry is my only remnant. In a world that continues to seek theoretical perfection, the tangible is all we have. Ideas are still being formed, history is still being written. All we have is the here and now. The family we’re born into and the family we make. I’ve spent time over the past week ruminating on how these two thoughts engage with each other. How a symbol of a legacy I can’t fully claim can be all the proof that I have and whether or not, it’s fair, just, equitable, or liberating to elevate material things to that state. And then I realized that much like a family, the facts are not always simple and we have very little control over how they play out. So we have to love them for what they are.

The Family Gold collection is a collection of beautifully made, simple pieces from natural and luxurious materials. They are inspired, accessible, and elegant. When they arrive at the door they’ll tell a story of intention. Perhaps a gift from a loved one, maybe a treat to yourself. And when they're passed down, from a will, at a first dance or in the future estate sales around the world, they’ll a story of the time that we are in. But as they warm against the skin on those lucky enough to wear them, they won’t tell a story, they’ll adorn one. The places we go, the people we meet and the energy that flows through the memories we make. In a world with such trauma and growing unrest jewelry can seem frivolous and unimportant, but turns out it might be the only thing that matters.

Guest post by Jefferson Ellison, Owner, Principal, and Editor at JAWBREAKING Industries @jawbreakingusa, a millennial-driven streetwear and media company based in Asheville.

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