She needn't look up to know he'd entered the room.
Discretely, she glanced his way, not wishing to appear forward. After all, they'd only recently been properly introduced.
Tall and gallant, he was by far the handsomest man she'd ever met. And an accomplished officer of impeccable repute!
But wait, what was this?!?? He bowed to his hostess and abruptly left the room.
Her heart sank. Thoughts of never seeing him again were unbearable. Waves of dizziness overcame her, rendering her faint. Not wishing to alarm, she found a chair in the back of the room and picked up a book. "Calm yourself, calm yourself", she willed.
~The Following Day~
There was a slight rapping on her bedroom door. "For you, miss." A little brown leather box sat in the middle of a silver tray.
What was this, and from whom? Dare she hope!
Inside lay a sweet band of multicolored stones in a rosy gold setting - diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire, topaz. "Dearest" it spelled. She slipped it on her finger and clasped her hands over her heart. "Yes, dearest", she thought, "I am yours."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oh those Victorians! Restrained everything (even their clothing).
But how romantic. Clandestine meetings beneath the staircase. Late night tip toeing back and forth. Messages of love discretely sent, and flowers and jewelry with secret meanings.
"Acrostic Jewelry is the spelling of a word by using the first letter of each gemstone."1
First popular in the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Acrostic Jewelry is more closely associated with the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Even when confined by a strict code of behavior, the human spirit prevails. Expressions of love need a language, even when it can't be spoken.
Sometimes I'm puzzled by an odd assortment of stones in a piece. Do they represent birthstones? Possibly. But if it's old, the stones might just hold a very special message of love, Victorian style.
1) www.4cs.gia.edu, "Secret Messages in Jewelry"