I’m pretty particular about jewelry. I don’t wear a lot of it, but when I do, I like the sparkle of diamonds and anything that arrives in a little turquoise box. I favour platinum and sterling silver. And simplicity.
So when Big B offered to mark the arrival of our first-born with a personalized necklace, I can’t say I jumped with joy at first. All I could envision was a mall kiosk where things made of pewter-like metals are engraved with script-style writing. Not really my thing.
But when he led me to Citrus Silver, and I saw the beautifully simple necklace charms with dog tag-esque engraving, I was smitten. I had one made with The K Man’s details, and later on with Miss Q’s – their individual charms both share the same necklace and their names and birthdays dangle close to my heart.
Since then, I’ve also bought personalized “jewelry” for Big B, giving him The K Man’s fingerprints forever captured in silver cufflinks from Dimples.
I received an email a couple of months ago from Tina Roeder, a Canadian biologist-turned-jeweller. She lives in Kingston, where I went to university, and as soon as I saw her website, I knew she had a brand that I wanted to share – especially near the holidays. She created a beautiful three-charm sterling silver bracelet for me, using a process called photoetching.
Tina used three bits of paper that I scanned and emailed to her to create a one-of-a-kind charm bracelet. One of them had a scribble on it that Miss Q drew while telling me “Q.” As you can see on the left, it in no way resembles a Q, but I’ll always remember exactly where we were when she wrote it. The second was “LOVE” in Big B’s handwriting, which anchors the centre of the bracelet. The third charm is a somewhat shaky-looking “K.” But this is no ordinary K – it’s one of the first proper Ks that The K Man ever wrote. We worked hard for weeks to get him to the point where he didn’t need a dot-to-dot guide to write his Ks, and the one featured on my bracelet will always remind me of this milestone accomplishment. Any simple drawing can be translated onto a charm (or many of the other custom pieces that Tina makes).
Admittedly, I didn’t really know how dirty the metal-mining business was – including contaminating drinking water for surrounding communities. Ew. Tina uses recycled silver for her charm bracelets, meaning you can feel as good as it looks.
Tina will size the bracelet just for you. Got tiny wrists? No problem! Like to wear your bracelets hanging down to your knuckles? She can make it bigger than average. This is the beauty of custom jewelry.
If you’re giving this as a gift – or instructing someone to give this to you as a gift (which I think is perfectly acceptable) – know that it will come beautifully gift-wrapped. I don’t know if one can take a course in tying perfect bows out of ribbon, but if such a thing exists, Tina has surely passed with flying colours.
It’s just a very simple, very pretty design. The charms aren’t too big or in-your-face. And its uniqueness is so eye-catching you can be sure people will stop to ask you about it.
A three-charm bracelet is $175, which I think for a solid sterling silver bracelet with three silver charms – all handmade – is reasonable. If you look to Tiffany & Co., a similar bracelet with three personalized charms would run you $525. Yes, Tiff’s is a more substantial bracelet, but I doubt it’s three times as much silver. And it’s certainly not going to be as personal as one of Tina Roeder’s pieces.
I’m accustomed to heavier bracelets, and this one is quite light by comparison. In and of itself, this isn’t a “bad” thing – except…
It fell off at a party. Not a house party, but an industry party in a dark venue. Thankfully, a light caught it on its descent and drew my eyes down. Otherwise, I may not have noticed. I had a few heart palpitations as I dove to rescue it from the floor. While I like the look of the closure, I would feel so much safer with a lobster clasp or toggle.
So…where can you buy it?
- Only from Tina Roeder on Etsy