Mile Stones: Francesca Morfini

Francesca Morfini is a Brand Marketing & PR Consultant and host of Femme Studios, a podcast where she connects with Toronto-based women who are pushing the boundaries of what a traditional career looks like.

What pieces of jewellery carry special meaning for you?

There are two pieces of jewellery that hold a special place in my heart: a tennis bracelet from my paternal grandmother and a cameo medallion from my maternal grandmother. 

What milestones do these pieces of jewellery symbolize?

My paternal grandmother would always go to the same shop to make a purchase, big or small, for every major milestone in her life—including those of her children and grandchildren. She gave me the tennis bracelet to commemorate my first big milestone: my communion. It’s a timeless piece that felt too “grown-up” to wear when I was younger. It even took some time to get used to when I started wearing it a couple of years ago in my mid-20s. But now, it’s something I wear every day; I never take it off. 

Years later when I graduated from university, my maternal grandmother marked the occasion with a cameo medallion that originally belonged to her. I think she bought it at a vintage auction in the 80s. She opened up her jewellery collection and said, “I’m gifting you with one piece. You can choose the one you want.” I was like a kid in a candy shop. It was so hard to choose because all her pieces are so special and timeless. In fact, I asked if I could grab more than one thing. She said I should choose a single piece to mark this specific moment, reminding me I’d always have other milestones to celebrate, and therefore future opportunities to choose other pieces. Something drew me to the medallion, which I wear with a thick gold chain from another necklace I already owned.

Why do these pieces have significance in your life?

There’s something special about marking a specific moment in my life, but the true significance of these pieces is having both of my grandmothers closer to me. We have an ocean that divides us and a seven-hour time difference, so I only get to chat with them on the phone a few times a month and see them about once a year. Living alone with no family in a foreign, far-away country can get lonely. I know they gifted me these pieces with so much love and I get to carry that feeling with me every day. 

I often use my fingers to adjust or play with my bracelet and medallion when I’m anxious or stressed. I am then naturally reminded of them—it’s grounding and makes them feel a little closer.

What does fine jewellery mean to you?

Fine jewellery is about investing in pieces that you or a loved one will have forever. Do you need to buy expensive jewellery to celebrate a milestone? No. Do you need fine jewellery to feel closer to your family? Absolutely not. Both my grandmothers intended to gift me with something I would carry with me forever and use often. 

There aren’t many purchases that you can don daily without wear and tear, stay relevant over several decades, last from generation to generation, and hold their financial value over time. That’s the thing with fine jewellery—it’s expensive but it’s an investment because it’ll never be something you add to a donation bin. Once it’s yours, you’ll want it to be yours forever. And on the off chance that changes, fine jewellery will always hold its value. Besides, it’s pretty special and empowering to wear your milestones, isn’t it?