I was also asked to address what is my favorite piece of jewelry, heirloom or otherwise.
Every married/engaged woman's favorite should be her engagement ring. And for years that was my favorite piece of jewelry. But I need to get back to my jewelry roots.
When I was a child, I loved jewelry. My mom had a wonderful jewelry box, about which I have written before. My first piece of jewelry was a baby ring. I still have it. It is gold and has a small emerald in it. Why an emerald I don't know, since I was born in March and the birthstone for March is aquamarine. Mom would only let me wear it on Sunday to church and when I got home, she would make me remove it and she would put it back in its box.
As I got older my father would let me wear his step-mother's jewelry. And eventually, when I was in my late teens, he gave me a beautiful necklace which is very ornate, but delicate at the same time -- very, very Victorian. It is set with garnet and pearls. My father also gave me a sterling silver ring when I was 13, which was pierced with little hearts. It was such a pretty ring, but somewhere along the way I lost it.
Then when I was 16 he gave me a birthstone ring -- aquamarine -- I still have that ring as well.
See a pattern here? I LOVE rings. So, enter my engagement ring. It was designed by Bailey, Banks, and Biddle -- a very old, Tiffany-type jewelry store in Philadelphia. I loved that ring. Alas, it broke. Yes, one of the prongs broke off, so I had to have the diamond reset. And while I do like the new setting, it's not the same, therefore, no longer my favorite piece of jewelry.
I think at this time my favorite piece is my mother's engagement ring -- which was an aquamarine ring that I wore for years and years. The setting on that ring, also, caused the stone to come unpronged, and it couldn't be fixed, so I had it reset. And I do like the new setting. It makes the stone look huge.
There is other heirloom jewelry which I have shared with my sister, and we have traded a piece or two.
One final note: When my father died, I found his step-mother's will. She had willed all her jewelry to me. Unfortunately, during the poor times of my father's ministry he sold several pieces, so that part of her will was not honored. That's okay, though. My Father (heavenly) is rich and I don't really need more jewelry. I'll be awed when I see those gates in heaven which are made of precious stones. And, those golden streets. Awesome.