“This necklace reminds me of my mum – it makes me feel so much love”

Passed through generations, Onuma Nonting – or Jen, as she’s known – has a pendant from her great-grandmother that hangs off a chain bought for her by her mother. Now a jeweller herself, she considers the love that every piece of jewellery can give

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In Thailand, it’s traditional to be given a Buddha amulet. Mine was given to me by my great-grandmother when I was just three years old. It was stored in a safe place, away from my curious little hands until I grew up. Then, as a graduation present, my mum bought me a chain on which to wear it and it’s now become my very favourite – and priceless – piece of jewellery.

I’ve been making jewellery for nine years now. I work for PANDORA in Chiang Mai, where I’m responsible for enamelling. It’s a delicate process and one that’s really made me appreciate just how much work goes into making each component of a piece of jewellery. I have always loved necklaces – they’re easy to clean, you can wear them every day and you can easily swap the pendants or charms on them if you fancy a change. But when it comes to my most special necklace from my mum, I could never get tired of it.

Jen, wearing her necklace, with her Mum

I love that when I wear it, it’s close to my heart. I can’t wear it for work as we can’t wear any jewellery for health and safety reasons but this actually makes it even more special. It means that I wear it at weekends, on holiday or on special occasions – times when I’m making some of the best memories. It particularly reminds me of my mum and just makes me feel so much love. If I am lucky enough to have children in the future, I hope to pass it on to them, and then to their children, because I want them to feel the same love that I do when I wear it. To me, that necklace represents the love of my family. It fills me with pride.

Jen's necklace features a Buddha pendant, given to her by her great-grandmother 

Before I started working in the jewellery industry, I only ever received it as a gift and this has really helped me with my craft, as I understand that for so many people, each piece of jewellery is an experience. Everyone is given jewellery for different reasons but it will always mean something special to them, so I try to make everything with love. I think jewellery is something that has the potential to bring a person so much joy and I feel so proud to be able to be a part of that in what I do. My necklace is so much more than a piece of jewellery in many ways. It’s been with me for 30 years and it means as much now as it did on the day I first wore it. That necklace, to me, is love.

Jen's top 5 PANDORA picks 






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