Picture a Day - Day 7

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item.

It's very hard to see in this picture, but this is an heirloom ring that has traveled through my matriarchal line since the 16th century. Well, not the ring itself, the stone. The story, as it was handed down to me, goes something like this:

Five-hundred years ago, one of our mothers, while walking on a beach in southern Ireland with her younger sister, saw a stone shining up from the sand as a wave receded. She took it to a jeweler, who cut it into this spherical shape and had it set into a ring as per her explicit instructions. It brought her such good luck, and intuition when she placed it under her tongue, that she handed it down to her eldest daughter on her thirteenth birthday. Thus it has continued until it came to me. It has been set into numerous rings, its current being a simple gold band, the stone held by four prongs. The stone spins in its setting so that it can be set according to the moon's phases.

I don't know how much of the legend is true. Firstly, I know the Irish and our love of spinning a good and mysterious yarn. Also, I can't find any evidence that moonstones occur in Ireland. My mother told me that her mother, Nora, received it on her thirteenth birthday from her mother, Anna, who came from Ireland during the days of the immigration. Nora handed it down to her eldest daughter, Helen, on her thirteenth birthday. When Helen died it was given to my mother, who gave it to me when I turned thirteen. I tend to believe a lot of what I was told about the ring--I'm quite aware of the pagan leanings of my Irish matriarchs. Nora herself was an herbalist, concocting all kinds of medicines for her family. She told my mother stories of the "Little People" of Ireland, stories that my mother passed down to me.

I'm not really sure what I should do with the ring when I pass. I have no blood daughters or granddaughters--no females of any kind in my blood clan. It all ends with me. A psychic once told me that I was the woman who found it on the beach, in a previous life, and that it should be buried with me, having completed its cycle.

Who knows?


  1. Well, unless you have an actual memory of finding the stone, I wouldn't go with that theory. Seems a shame to end the legacy, kind of anticlamatic. There must have been someone in your life that needs the connection to you and your ancestors and would continue the tradition! Just my two cent opinion....which is about all it's worth!

  2. I may give it to Nettl's eldest daughter, with a document stating what I know about it. I really don't know. It's a puzzlement.


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