My cousin is here from India and will be attending the Bead and Button Show, the largest show of its kind in the country, that is going to be held at the Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, WI, for three days starting from the 17th July. Though I do want to talk about it but I know zilch about beads (at least the ones worn and displayed on the decent parts of the body) yet the loose beads that I saw in the stores did look good.
The detailed workmanship and lampwork on each bead had me wondering how come the gold and diamond jewelry found here in USA is coarse and unfulfilling for the woman’s soul. Before the women reading this decide to have me tarred and feathered for making a supposedly shocking statement,let me say that machine made jewelry cannot compete with that made by hand.
In the world of Indian jewelry, for example, there are specialized craftsmen who make jewelry which comes under various categories as Kundan work (unpolished diamonds are set in gold), Menna work (includes gold and other precious stones)or creating simple gold necklaces with breathtaking intricate designs.
Stores like Tiffany do have jewelry that easily outshines any stuff produced by the Indian artisans but these bubbles are inaccessible to average American women due to the price tag attached to them.
Ignorance might be bliss but why haven’t the women who buy generic jewelry from malls realize that the glass and bead jewelry found here in America are far more beautiful than what they can afford in gold and diamonds.
When I see couples buying stuff from these stores all I can think is- ‘poor suckers are wasting their hard earned money’. A fat rock on the finger looks gaudy and the owner a noveau riche idiot. But a delicate moonstone lovingly set by hand on a thin wire hugging a slender finger shows taste and finesse.
My cousin’s excitement with this upcoming exhibition has been rather contagious especially for the reasons stated above. Though I have my share of family heirlooms, yet the urge to wear them is missing.
The jewelry passed down are family heirlooms and they have significant sentimental value, yet I’d rather wear the bead jewelry made by American artisans as their simple beauty is unsurpassed plus I have finally realized that diamonds, rubies etc are just status symbols.
Since I don’t move in snooty circles with trophy wives decked in fat baubles, my diamonds can cool their heels in the locker and I can expand my horizons into the world of grand yet affordable beauty.