What is your most valuable piece of Jewelry?

Sometimes, it's not the piece that holds the largest monetary value but the piece that is priceless because of your connection to it and the story it tells.

I recently had the honor of turning something ordinary, a nickel, into something extraordinary, a talisman. A talisman is an object that one believes holds magical powers, good luck and protects the possessor from harm. Thank you Christine Hendley Goodrich for letting me share your story. Grab a tissue and read on my friends....

Our family home of 39 years has seen its fair share of hurricanes, so when we realized that Hurricane Maria had the potential of hitting St. Croix at a category 5, decisions had to be made... do we stay and brave the storm in a home that we know may not survive, or do we leave the island and our home and hope for the best? Thankfully, we were offered a third option and stayed with family.

At 9am, on Sept 19th, the winds were already beginning to gust and my husband Dave, dropped me, my mother, and father off where we would be staying. He insisted that he stay in the storm shelter of our home so he could be there to mitigate any damage. As we all stood in a circle saying our goodbyes, Dave bent down and picked up a nickel that was on the ground at his feet. He placed it in my hand and said “hold on to this and give it back to me when we are together again”. So, I put it somewhere I knew it would be safe…I stuck it in my bra!

Throughout the day we were able to text to keep in touch until around 8pm when Dave made the decision to take the family animals (2 large dogs and 3 cats) into the storm shelter and begin the long waiting game of what will the light of day bring... Around 1:40am the sound of the wind suddenly became deafening, like a jet engine and at that point he heard the unmistakeable cracking of lumber, and immediately knew we had lost the roof.

At the first sign of light, wind still gusting, I ran outside in the clothes I slept in from the day before looking for cell service. I needed confirmation that Dave and our animals were ok...I already knew he was going to tell me the house did not fare well.


*this photo is my favorite, it shows the fortitude of Christine and her mom, Carole, making the best out of the worst, in the aftermath of Maria.

Late that evening I was finally able to take a shower, as I was getting undressed the nickel fell out of my bra! I smiled and picked it up. In the chaos of the past two days, I completely forgot about it and where I had tucked it for safe keeping. I carried that thing in my bra for weeks! When I finally remembered to give it back to my husband he laughed that I had kept it in my bra the whole time, handed it back to me and said “you’ve kept it safe this long, you should take it to Joyia and have her make something pretty with it”.
She took this unassuming nickel and made it as pretty as it is sentimental.

We used 5 blue diamonds to signify the category 5 hurricane that was Maria and I presented the talisman to Christine a year and a half later, through many tears, as we headed off on a girls trip. I am happy to report that it is no longer in her bra and that you can find it hanging proudly around her neck for a lifetime of love and protection.


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