One of my earliest memories of jewelry is the surge of excitement I’d feel when a parent gave me a quarter in the supermarket – I could try my luck with a quarter machine and maybe take home a treasure!
I would stare into the machines, scanning the little plastic containers for what they actually contained (as opposed to the cool stuff always displayed in front). I carefully made my machine selection, put in my quarter, turned the crank, held my breath, and waited for the metallic “clink” that meant my new item, whatever it might be, was ready and waiting. The moment before I checked was the most magical one of all. I might find almost anything inside!
Sometimes it was a cheap friendship bracelet. I remember getting gaudy plastic rings with huge stones. Every now and then, I would get something wonderful.
It’s been years since those days, and now it takes a bit more to catch my eye. Still, I love chasing down that feeling: a treasure might be waiting.
Estate sales, second-hand stores, and beyond are the new places where that sense of victory waits (and the let-down of a “wasted” afternoon from time to time, it’s not a perfect system). The thrill of the hunt, I guess!
When you set out to search for treasures, what catches your eye?