This is the personal treasure necklace of Mary Ellen Merrigan of

Three Reasons to Make a Treasure Necklace

If you enjoy creating jewelry, build a treasure necklace, a cherished, over-the-top, drop-dead gorgeous piece of jewelry. It may change your life as it did mine.

Although, a multitude of reasons justify gathering, assembling and presenting your treasures, these three come to mind:

  1. Showcase your story
  2. Celebrate whimsey and fun
  3. Create a one-of-a-kind wearable

My treasure necklace launched a blog, a newsletter and a jewelry business more than five years ago.

This is the personal treasure necklace of Mary Ellen Merrigan of
©2010 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Treasure Necklace 1

Treasure Necklace, Heartful Journey

“Treasure Necklace, Heartfelt Journey,” a post first published in 2011, recognized the essence of my treasure necklace project:

The original necklace measured 96 inches. I remember buying it in Houston and only occasionally, looping it two or three times around my neck, wearing it. I owned it, admired it, kept it but never really fully enjoyed it.

So, in 2009, I chose to cut it up. The decision simmered for some time. I gathered treasures from my old jewelry box that might become “something.”

Jane, my friend and beading mentor, offered a running commentary as I started making 1-3/4″ to 2-1/2″ charms. Twenty-seven charms later, I began to string the necklace. Five strands of beads I totally loved.

It was a slow process reviewing those many memories:

  • Grandma Aggie’s ruby engagement and wedding ring
  • My high school ring
  • A charm from “Pot of Gold,” a musical for which I played piano
  • The face of the watch my Dad picked out for me
  • That little Greek coin we found in St. John, U.S.V.I.
  • An aquamarine ring purchased during a 1986 trip to Hong Kong
  • “Who’s Who” 1972-1973 charm
  • My debate pin
  • Dorothy’s silver locket with “editor” affixed
  • Hearts, foil-lined beads, Robin’s special frog bead from Jane and so much more
  • Always, those many ethnic-themed beads from the original necklace woven in

My treasure necklace now lives on my dresser. I see it everyday and love it all over again and again and yet again. When I wear the treasure, those once-lonely beads inspire others. I understand. Treasure Necklace inspires me too.

My Treasure Necklace started me on a creative journey. And now, “Mary Ellen Beads!”

“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go — purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything… whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” -Tina Turner

Celebrate whimsey, fun with a treasure necklace

Showcase whatever your heart desires with a treasure necklace. From Milagros to charms to vintage jewelry, there are thousands of points of inspiration.

I keep a pretty box for treasures near the workbench and its currently collecting rings. The symbolism of a circle isn’t lost on me, nor is the thought of spirals. A ring celebrates wholeness, completion and represents the cycles of life.

Keep your treasure necklace collection in a pretty box such as the one that houses these rings.
©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Treasure Necklace ring collection collage

When I find interesting rings at estate sales or antique stores, I add them to my stash. Vintage calls to me and I find myself exploring vintage jewelry lots from

Renewing treasures and reusing materials fascinates me. What stories could these rings tell? Who loved them? Where did they originate? Could they tell multiple stories? Does the energy of the ring transfer to a new owner?

The meaning and symbolism of a ring crosses cultures, religions and generations. Precious stone rings conveyed a position in ancient society. A King’s ring could grant pardon. Other rings were religious in nature, some magically oriented.

My treasure necklace of rings is a work in progress, fun for me to assemble and whimsical in nature.

Create a one-of-a-kind treasure necklace wearable

Begin now. Find a pretty box or tray and pile up your goodies. Instead of sorting, stash everything. You can separate and categorize later.

Start immediately. It may be tempt to think about the completed wearable, rather than start the process of assembling. Give yourself a next step.

Here's the start of another vintage Treasure Necklace collection with clip on pansy earrings, pearls, pin and sterling broach.
©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Treasure Necklace pansy, pearls and sterling vintage

My next step sometimes comes in the form of a note or a placement atop my workbench. As I see the object, it stimulates ideas, takes on new dimensions and lures me into new projects. Here’s one such vintage assemblage (in no particular order).

You’ll find dozens of ideas and additional pictures in my treasure necklace e-book. Sign up for Soul Juice, my monthly newsletter to learn more.

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