Special Features — 05 February 2016
Why these jewelry pieces are important to me

Some pieces of jewelry we measure in carat weight, cut or clarity. And some are beyond all measure.

As told to Emily J. Minor, City & Shore Magazine

Lois Pope, Palm Beach philanthropist

Favorite piece: Jean Michel Schlumberger Tiffany hummingbird brooch

When I first bought a house in [Snowmass] Colorado, I was sitting in the breakfast room one morning and I saw these little tiny things. They looked like bees, but they were hummingbirds. I was born in the city of Philadelphia, so I’m a city girl. Now I’ve just fallen in love with hummingbirds. They are absolutely fascinating. I guess it’s been about 12 years since I got this piece. I only bought it because I fell in love with hummingbirds. I watched [the mother bird] make a nest, and it was so beautifully done. She used parts of her feathers, whatever she could find. She made it so downy and soft. She made it so wonderful. That nest was so small, and I watched every day. I only wear this piece on special occasions, to things that really mean a lot to me. You’d never wear other jewelry around it. It’s surrounded by rubies and sapphires and diamonds. It’s just magnificent. This piece makes me feel like a hummingbird. I hop a bit when I’m wearing this piece.

David Samson, President, Miami Marlins

Favorite piece: 2003 World Series Championship ring

Any piece of jewelry is only as valuable as the memory it represents. You can get a rock diamond out of a mine, and that’s merely the same as a share of stock. There’s no emotional value. But when I look at this World Series ring, it brings back every moment of what it took – from the first day of spring training to the last moment of the World Series. It floods back every single time. When I wear it, it feels heavy in weight. It feels large in scope. I wear it to events or on occasions where I think people like me – when I was 12 – will be there. When I was 12, all I would want was to see a World Series ring up close, and I never got the chance. So I wear it when I think someone like me will be there. The 12-year-old me.  And I let people try it on. Everyone wants to try it on, and I let them.

Mira Hightower, founder, Heather Hightower Footwear, Miramar

Favorite piece: Diamond ring and sapphire earrings 

It was my birthday. I had just turned 12 years old and [my dad] was having a hard time with me growing up. I was his baby girl. My dad was a college professor and he always sat at the dining room table, grading papers. He called me downstairs. There was this little gift bag. He said, ‘This is your first diamond. I’m going to tell you something: Don’t ever be with a man who can’t buy you diamonds.’ And that was it. That was his rule for life. I wore it every day. It was small. It wasn’t flashy. It was age appropriate. [After he died in 1997], it just became more special. I do feel different on the days I wear it out of the house. I do feel more like he’s with me. Sometimes, this will sound weird, but sometimes I can smell him, and then I will go put the ring on. The earrings are different. My dad had bought my mom the earrings, and shortly after I moved to South Florida, she gave them to me. She wanted me to have them. She wanted to enjoy watching me wear them. When I wear them, and I do wear them, I feel like my mom is with me. She is such a strong woman and she’s made me a strong woman. They’re like my Big Girl earrings

Joey Epstein, CFO JetSmarter, Fort Lauderdale

Favorite piece: Hublot Classic Fusion 45 mm Chronograph, Limited Edition

The first nice watch I had, my parents gave me when I got out of college. It probably cost about $3,000 and it gave me this feeling of, ‘Wow. I’m going out into the working world now.’ Then when I got married in 1988, we did our honeymoon in Paris. We walked into Cartier and actually used a chunk of our wedding money to buy our first nice watches. And it went from there. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. I just love watches. I like the feel. This watch, it’s a Hublot. My wife [marketing guru Kip Hunter] and I were walking on Worth Avenue and we saw this watch. It’s a $15,000 watch; it’s a Limited Edition. And we were like, ‘That’s a really cool watch.’ My wife called our jeweler [Ed Dikes at Weston Jewelers] and he was able to find it for me. The younger generation [today]? They just look at the time on their phone or their iPad. That’s kind of sad.

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