Friday, August 28, 2009

I've never owned a piece of jewelry costing more than $200. so I was skeptical as I first began to read "The Necklace" by Cheryl Jarvis that I would get much out of the story. This book is the very real account of 13 Californian women (ages 50-63) who pooled their money to purchase a diamond necklace. According to their description it resembled a tennis bracelet with gems that gradually increased in size from clasp to center. (There are pictures of it in the book and on the Internet.) It is truly lovely. The jewelery store originally had the necklace priced at $37,000 but the price was bargained down to $15,000. They named the necklace - and their group - Jewelia.
Each woman is profiled in the book and many other community members were interviewed by the author. Jewelia was originally shared as each woman had a month to wear her and the group would meet monthly to witness the passing on of the necklace to the next person and to hear the tale of the wearer's month with Jewelia. Before long, the women were sharing the necklace with others outside the group of investors. The group's generosity spread as they used the necklace as a catalyst for fund-raising for worthy causes. Personality clashes and group dynamics are explored as the story enfolds and the influence of Jewelia multiplies.
I'm not going to run out to buy myself a diamond necklace anytime soon, but I'm glad I read this story of a glittering social experiment!

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