This is something that has been baffling me for some time. 

Someone is given a piece of jewelry, say, a strand of pearls.  They are beautiful and of high quality.  They are screaming to be worn, the perfect classic adornment of fashions new and old, the item that ‘completes’ the outfit, the piece whose beauty is MEANT to be seen.

Now what happens to that beautiful necklace?  It gets gently placed in the box from which it came and is then either placed in a safety deposit box or hidden in a secret place somewhere in the house.  The owner then goes out and purchases a strand of pearls, a strand as visually similar to the original necklace as possible, yet they are only a fraction of the quality and the price.  As time passes by, it is THIS strand that gets worn, the low grade copy of a fantastic original.  Why is this?  Is this what people mean when they talk of jewelry as an ‘investment?’  If you wear the original piece, it decreases in value?

Have you ever watched the movie “The Joy Luck Club?”  Towards the end, the father is looking for items to send with his daughter who is about to sail to China to meet her two half-twin sisters.  The mother had recently passed away.  He says something to the effect of ‘Your mother hid everything, even the fake stuff,’ and he, too, is baffled that she chose to hide BOTH real and fake items.

People will say they don’t want to lose or damage the original piece.  Even when insured, the real necklace will remain tucked away for fear of theft.  If worn, there’s always the possibility of getting mugged, right?

Still, this makes no sense to me.  Why purchase the first (expensive) piece in the first place?  Why try to make a feeble attempt at replicating them?  Overall, what is the point if you’re not going to wear it?  To have a valuable piece of jewelry to pass down to a daughter or granddaughter so they can hide it away in a safety deposit box?  To be happy in the knowledge that though you may be wearing a cheap imitation, you DO have ‘the real thing’ back home?  Because you’re so disorganized that if you kept it in your house, it would get buried under a pile of paper, so at least you know it’s somewhere safe?

Personally, I can even admit that I fall under that last category.  I’m a pretty disorganized person, yes, but if given a piece of jewelry, I feel that the intent of the giver was not for me to WEAR IT, not hide it away, nor buy a knock-off and wear those in their place.

There are a million things one can do to damage ANYTHING, not just jewelry.  Is this the reason?  Our own self doubt?  If the original is going to live an unused life, why not just buy the knockoff as a present? 

What do YOU think?  Is this something YOU practice?  Why?  In no way am I saying that this is a bad or a good thing, but it IS something that I don’t understand.  Let me know what your thoughts on this practice are.