The Magic Of Precious Things

Gemstone Jewelry Watercolor Illustration

When thinking of a prompt of “Gemstone” today, my mind went back in time to when I was a kid. I was perfectly fascinated with all types of shiny stones. I thought they simply must possess some sort of magic. My cousin and I used to wander alongside the train tracks looking for quartz crystals. It was like finding a bit of gold, or something equally precious. I would even make little silent wishes while holding one of those crystals. Some of them actually came true, but there’s no proof that it was caused by a lump of quartz. Like most wishes in life, the real magic comes from within us. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to believe in something just a bit more theatrical. I remember watching the movie The Dark Crystal, which featured a powerful gem that once provided balance to the universe. So, yeah, maybe that was it, now that I think about it. Yet admittedly, I never found anything quite that incredible on the side of the railroad tracks, but I adored whatever little gem I could find. In truth, anything can become special when our hearts make that decision. But, rarity is the thing that can make something truly precious.

I was born in April so my birthstone is said to be a diamond. When I was in high school, this was problematic when going to purchase a class ring as a white piece of glass just wasn’t that interesting to me. I opted for a blue sapphire instead, or it’s cheaper visual equivalent. And, prior to the 20th century, this was indeed an option for April. I could have followed the tropical zodiac, but this was a bloodstone as I was a born a week too early for a sapphire. But I figured it was close enough and indeed, blue was my favorite color at the time so that won out. Truly, I’ve always found all of those charts to be equal parts confusing and fascinating. As for the ring, it was worn for about a year and then placed in a box. I’ve actually no idea which box it’s in now so that will no doubt be a lovely discovery some day in the future. When something once adored becomes a memory, it only has to be discovered once again to renew that feeling of wonder. Whether or not it will actually feel like a needful thing again is anyone’s guess, but the memory alone is something worth cherishing.

Having never worn jewelry much, I don’t have a lot of experience with gemstones. Except for that time in college when I thought piercing an ear would be cool and left the mall with a fake diamond stud in one. That lasted only 6 months. This had nothing to do with changing trends, but simply my usual lack of patience for adding an additional step before properly starting my day. After forgetting to put the earring back in for several days in a row, I eventually forgot about it entirely. Only the now microscopic indentation on my ear would ever betray the fact that I ever wore one. I did wear cufflinks for a time, as I ended up with several shirts from designers who thought this was trendy. It wasn’t. It was just a pain in the ass, so I stopped that as well. I guess I’ve learned that for an object to be considered truly important, it now comes down to me and me alone. I’m not swayed by what’s “in” as I’m far too old to bother with any of that nonsense now. It’s a great feeling indeed. One much more like my childhood self, when even a rock could become something exceptional with enough imagination. And that’s how I choose to live my life today, always on the lookout for wonder in the world around me and finally understanding the true magic of precious things.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Gemstone Jewelry Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 4 years ago

    Great job, as usual, on your shiny object Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕As you know, I adore painting shiny objects! hehe

  2. Ellen 4 years ago

    Today’s doodlewash is a beautiful watercolor of an impressive gem. Intending no offense to your lovely necklace, but it is the prompt of “Gemstone” and the title of your post “The Magic of Precious Things” that brought a huge smile to my face. The smile only deepened whilst reading the entertaining commentary. You see…my darling Grandson, Benjamin, named me “Gem” at 2 1/2 years of age. I had chosen the word “Grand” as my title but happily discarded it to be known as a gem, albeit a rather unpolished one. There is magic to be found within the words of a child, a precious thing indeed! Thank-you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Ellen! 😃💕 Awww I love you story and Benjamin’s chosen name for you!! I’m sure you ARE a gem indeed! Lovely!

  3. Lisa 4 years ago

    I always loved rocks. Buckets of them came home with me from beach vacations. Lake Superior has the best ones. I inherited my grandfather’s rock polisher. But, I’ve only made one batch of stones. I think it’s because Joe’s not that interested, and I can’t do it without him. He’d much rather tinker with electronic stuff then nature stuff. Therein lies our fundamental difference. Good thing we have other stuff in common. I like to cook, he likes to eat. 😂😂 .

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe… likes to cook and likes to eat sounds just like my relationship! lol 😉 A perfect balance indeed! And yay to lovely rocks! 😃💕

  4. Mireya 4 years ago

    yeah I love the words every little thing. I would have loved to have this necklace. I always had this habit of asking why. Teachers didn’t appreciate that. Just today I realize how important and wonderful it is to have the imagination and curiosity I had as a child I always knew that I was an artist but the world made me repeat over and over again that I am not artist. I can’t paint like Michelangelo. It’s taken me years to autosuggest the truth. I could go on but thanks for reminding me.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mireya! 😃💕Yay to asking “Why?” … yeah, it can drive teachers insane at times, but it’s the very thing that makes us human! And the very thing that lets us connect with our inner child!

      • Mireya 4 years ago

        So true

  5. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    What a beautiful stone and setting. I’ve never been drawn to jewelry or felt that feeling of power – except when I saw the crown jewels in the Tower or London. I didn’t think ‘beautiful’ when I saw the Koh-i-Noor , I thought ‘powerful’. I felt the same way when I visited Stonehenge. I’m glad I was there when you could still wander around the stones. I definitely felt something there.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah… some jewelry is indeed powerful. I almost painted the Hope Diamond… hehe… and a bit jealous you got to wander around Stonehenge. I lost interest when it became a tableau so never visited.

  6. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Wow! Gorgeous painting of gold and gemstone.

  7. Linda 4 years ago

    Yes, you captured that gemstone beautifully! The shadow with the light reflecting, looks so real! Awesome Charlie!

  8. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 4 years ago

    So gorgeous!!! I so love your story of how you wished on quartz stones. I feel the wishes and wonder should always live in us 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yes, I feel the same! The day we stop believing in wishes is a sad day indeed.

  9. Stephanie Louise 4 years ago

    Beautiful painting of a gem stone. It looks iridiscent. 👍

  10. Loan Anh Pham 4 years ago

    What’s a beautiful gemstone!!! And It’s perfect to gold, Charlie, I wish I can paint some sparkle- shiny things like you. Have you ever been surprised like my situation : I thought about sapphire but not be confident or not be enough to show, then still have thought about the passionate color gemstone like your colored one. Then seeing you did it very well hehe . However, you made a shiny one and there is a rough one in my mind ^^. I’m in my dive trip, I’ll be back the next day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕 hehe… I feel like that every day! lol I see what things others paint and think… hmmm… that’s a cool way to do it! And then I get distracted, look at hundreds of other styles and just jump back in and think, okay… this is MY way to DO it! So, yay! I did it!

  11. Jerson Antao 4 years ago

    Nice work Charlie! Very attractive GEM.. 😊

  12. Mike Powell 4 years ago

    The painting is impressive–it’s hard to depict shiny things so well–but your words struck me even more deeply. “In truth, anything can become special when our hearts make that decision.” You repeatedly encourage us, Charlie, to experience the world with our hearts and I think we need that constant reminder. Despite what the world screams at us, it doesn’t really matter what others think. Indeed, anything and anyone can become precious and special to us irrespective of their perceived value by others.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Mike! 😃💕 I’m so happy this post spoke to you! Yes, to that! I truly believe with all of my heart that a person’s heart is the best guide in this crazy world. I need that constant reminder as well, hence, why I always talk about it! 😉

  13. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Beautiful gemstone, Charlie! Love the reflections!!!

  14. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Sparkly! It looks real. Yeah, being a fellow Apriler(new word) we were jibbed! I always wanted a color stone. And don’t get me started on the letter “L”! Another boring thing. Hahahaha. Recently when we were purchased a pandora charm with a stone it in, the sales girl suggested using our wedding anniversary….blue. Makes me happy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, clear stones for artists?? what??? lol Yay to blue for a wedding anniversary! Color is the best!

      • Fanna Turano 4 years ago

        Lori–I’m an “Apriler” too. I chose ruby. But my wedding band was created by my husband and contains tiny diamond bands and sapphire bands. Thick ring. Can only wear it if I’ve not eaten salt the night before. But! “Blue who to yo- hoo” fellow Aries girl!

  15. smzang 4 years ago


    I don’t wear any jewelry either. But
    I hasten to say, given the choice of wearing
    earrings (pierced) of cufflinks, I think I’d
    pick the cufflinks…the initiation is much less

    It is so much fun to discover your challenge of the day
    and your response to it. You never disappoint!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! So true! Cufflinks are fair less painful in the initiation so they definitely win! 😃💕And so thrilled you enjoy these! I always wonder if in my mad dash to show up each day I might get a bit disappointing. Glad to know you still enjoy them!

  16. Fanna Turano 4 years ago

    Charlie, what a lovely, sentimental post. I wish I’d discovered any kind of quartz alongside the railroad tracks in RI, but alas, did not. I do love your sapphire choice. Our class rings were “ruby” and only ruby. So my $78 ring is “fuby” (fake ruby). I’m looking at it right now in my giant, spinning mirrored jewelry armoire. And just like all the art supplies in the world, as an Aries girl, I’ll never have enough jewelry either. Or clothes. Or paints, or or or, etc., I love these posts where you share a bit of your life with all the DW’ers. Fun. At least someone else’s nostalgia is anyway.

    Happy Tuesday, Charlie!


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕hehe.. only ruby? Though I have to admit that a fuby ring sounds even MORE awesome! And yep, we Aries always have the ability to want more and more! Thankfully it applies to non-tangible things as well! 😉

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