When I was little, one of my favorite things to do was go to my grandparent’s house. My grandmother was warm and loving and adored her grandchildren. I remember being fascinated with her jewelry when I was very young. I loved it when she would take me into her bedroom and lay out all of the fancy jewelry from her jewelry box on her bed and let me try on different pieces. Most of them felt heavy and and silly and me. The rings were thick silver and slid right off my fingers, and the necklaces bearing big turquoise stones (her favorite gem) weighed down on my neck.
My favorite piece that I always had to try on was, however, a bit more delicate than the rest. It was a silver Tiffany key pendant on a thin silver chain. It had a lobster claw clasp that stuck a little bit when you tried to close it, so that you had to be extra sure it was securely fastened so as not to lose it. My grandmother knew I treasured the little key, and when I was old enough, gave it to me as a keepsake.
I’ll always treasure the Tiffany necklace, and I rarely take it off. I’m positive that I could recognize it among dozens of the same because of the finicky clasp, and also because of a slight bend in the shaft of the key where hands have worried at it over the years and caused a slight distortion to the delicate silver. And, since it is almost always around my neck, it usually gets a bit more tarnished than I probably should let it!
While it is a beautiful piece of jewelry, the most precious thing about the Tiffany key is the memories that I associate it with, the familiarity of the piece and the special person it serves to remind me of.