Jewelry That Tells a Story

Posted by
The jewelry that shapes the lives of students at New Paltz High School

By Parker Reed, Staff Writer

Tragically, as many people learn, time cannot be delayed, and the memories we create eventually fade. And yet, despite the inevitable that is time, inanimate objects such as jewelry can pass on those memories and moments through tradition, gifts, and other means.

With this in mind, we are so quick as humans to disregard preconceptions and not take the time to find out more about the people we share the world with. So, a necklace that could look unassuming on someone else may actually be a priceless heirloom and a significant symbol of importance for the person wearing it. The time spent exploring the narratives that have shaped the individuals around us is just as valuable as the jewelry that so many students New Paltz High School wear.

Annabel Voorhis

“Shortly after, my aunt got me a really nice starfish necklace to resemble her, and so I have a memory of her with me all the time.”
“My grandma loved starfish, so all over our Cape Cod house there are starfish everywhere. And so when she died of cancer, we all got a bunch of starfish around our houses to resemble her, and because of that, starfish have become my favorite animal.”
“Everyone in our family has something with a starfish, so I definitely think I want to continue the tradition if I have children.”

Maggie Heenan

“My ‘Claddagh’ ring, which was on my dad’s side of the family for many, many years and was my grandma’s before it was mine, She actually gave it to my dad before she died, and I believe he gave it to my mom when they first got engaged.”
“I love that it connects me to my grandma and my dad’s side of the family, with whom we don’t have a ton of connection with. And also with our Irish heritage, since that culture is really important to my dad, being Irish immigrants, and losing that heritage because of assimilation. And even though I don’t wear it as a functional piece of jewelry, I keep it as an object because I love the connection it gives me to the generations that wore it before me.”
“Basically, they are from there, and depending on the way you wear it, it signifies your relationship status or marital status. So if you wear it with the point of the heart on the ring pointing inwards, it means you are married or taken, and if you wear it out, it means you are single or not married.”

Kala Schultz

“I love it so much, especially because, if you look at it closely, you can see that there are little flowers coming out of two hearts, which in a way are symbolic of my family.”
“This locket is very special to me because it has been passed down on my mom’s side from my great-grandmother to me.”
“Most of the jewelry I have purchased on my own and isn’t passed down from family, so because of that, this locket is very personal to me and the people in my family that came before me. It connects me to them in a way that can’t be done through any other form of communication.”

Zach Lieme

“This is a necklace that looks like a bullet and it has the Our Father prayer engraved on it. The story behind it is that i’m a Christian and having just blind faith is not easy at times so it is just nice to have something as a reminder of my faith.”
“It is meaningful because it is nice to remember that I might not be alone in life, even though we all have times when we feel alone, so it is just a comforting reminder that I am not alone.”
“I got this necklace one day when I found it on Amazon and decided to buy it.

Anna Guido

“I think about who people in my family were when they wore these pieces, and it lets me live their lives almost vicariously through the jewelry.”
“I have a lot of necklaces that come from my mom or my grandmother, and they’ve been passed down throughout our lives. And I think that wearing them brings me closer to them because I think about who my mom was when she wore these pieces.”
“I think that family heirlooms are really special because they’re something that transcends time.”

Nectarios Rodriguez

“I went to Greece in late July for 3 weeks, and my mother and I were walking in Astros when we came across this cute jewelry store.”
“I call it my ‘Starvo,’ which means cross in Greek.”
 “So we went in, and I got a pearl cross, and for me, it is a reminder of Greece, the food, and the culture.”