My Sunday Photo – My jewel from a forgotten time

aquamarine ring

I didn’t really know my grandmother. She was old the first time I met her and we didn’t meet often. She wasn’t my real grandma because, like many during the Great War, families made the best of the situations they found themselves in. I think she was actually my mother’s aunt but no matter – she was Grandma Ison to me and my brothers.

Life in Egypt

My grandma wasn’t like other grandmothers. She owned a large hotel in the centre of Cairo at the turn of the twentieth century. My mother was used to having servants waiting on her and in later years, my brothers would know the excitement of living in a very grand place. They were at boarding school so only got to visit occasionally in the holidays.


My heritage

Very little survives from this time and I have huge gaps in the story but I do have a wonderful jewel. It is an aquamarine ring set in Egyptian gold. When I was a teenager, I loved to wear it because, having quite large fingers, rings often didn’t fit. Grandma Ison had big hands so it was an ideal treasure for her to leave me.

One of the shoulders recently snapped and so it went to the ring hospital. 


aquamarine ring


I am delighted that it has been repaired with no sign of the damage. It was lovely to see the assistants in the jewellers so excited by it too.

aquamarine ring



Do you have a family treasure that has a real tale to tell?



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  • It’s a beautiful ring. Are your brothers much older than you then? I love these family stories from a different age – it all sounds so much more romantic than now but the reality was probably a lot of hardship as well. I think one reason it was more romantic was that people had servants and bigger houses – the world population was a third of what it is today so no shortage of space – the Empire was spread across the world and family guests stayed for weeks, months or years because the journey to and fro could take six weeks or more. This is all just my opinion of course. Interesting though.

  • What a treasure. A magnificent stone. 🙂

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