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Jewelry Blog: Jewelry Tips
100 Years of Mother's Days
Apr-20-2009
The modern American celebration of Mother's Day reaches its 100th anniversary this year on Sunday, May 11th. Its history, however, can be traced back over 2,000 years. The Greeks held a celebration for Cybele, the Earth Mother, "The Mother of Gods", each year near the vernal equinox. Virtually all cultures included in their pantheon a figure representing the power of the birth giver.

The holiday in this country originated through the efforts of Julia Ward Howe after the Civil War to establish a day on which women could combine their voices in protest of war, the Mother's Day for Peace. The holiday as a day strictly to honor our nation's mothers began in Grafton, WV in 1908. It caught on quickly, probably because it was so deserved, and in 1914, President Wilson officially recognized it as a national holiday.
Gifts of appreciation extended on Mother's Day have traditionally included flowers, jewelry and/or a dinner out. In fact, the holiday is the single largest dining-out occasion in the U.S. each year.

Jewelry gifts for Mother's Day traditionally commemorate her children. Especially popular in this fashion is the mother's ring, a ring set with birthstones representing each child. Unfortunately, such mother's rings have a couple of shortcomings. Some birthstones such as blue topaz and opal wear more quickly than rubies and sapphires. The color of these gems is often not complimentary when set close together, either. These problems can be offset by a wise choice of ring design, though. Some gold designs, such as those emulating ribbons or flowers, provide recessed areas in which these more fragile stones can find shelter.

Setting the stones in a pendant, perhaps a nugget made from family gold, solves the wear problem nicely. An intricate design can also help disguise the color clashes, as well. Women with one or two children often choose jewelry with their children's initials. Script letters in particular make attractive pendants. A signet ring engraved with the children's initials also makes a lovely and very durable gift.

Mothers of abundant families often enjoy charm bracelets with which to remember their offspring. A good strong-linked charm bracelet can also provide space for charms registering grandchildren and special accomplishments. Most women don't choose to wear these daily, but keep them nearby whenever they need a memory fix.

Lockets are also popular Mother's Day gifts, allowing her to share the visages of her loved ones with her friends. Make sure, though, to use an appealing photo-- no Alfalfa hair, punk night out, or spinach on the teeth!
Those with unlimited budgets have even more options. How about a hand-carved cameo? One can set you back a few thousand dollars. An engraved or enameled family crest ring (you do have a family crest, don't you? Me neither) is not a small investment, either.

This Mother's Day, I'm sure mom would appreciate a little bauble from her children, and jewelry is always a good choice. It won't substitute though, for what she really wants -- remind her that you love her, for crying out loud. And set aside some time to spend with the one that spent so much of her life making yours possible.
Posted by Tom B at 5:22 PM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
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