Friday, February 11, 2022

Another Gift to Myself

Ever since I knew I'd soon be taking my first-ever deposition, I couldn't help but start thinking about a gift for myself to commemorate the occasion. That was before even factoring in that this deposition would be in a billable case concerning mid-seven figures, where my opposing counsel would likely be from a top 10 biglaw firms, no less! It may have looked like a bit of a David and Goliath situation because I work somewhere so small and niche  (I'm not sure most other NYC-based litigators have even heard of us.) Quite a set of circumstances for my first bit of "stand-up" litigation experience! 

For more junior litigators in biglaw these days, it's generally not that common to get much "stand-up" experience (whether in court, arbitrations, or depositions), particularly outside of pro-bono work. Many of my closest law school friends are biglaw litigators, and from our collected experience, getting that first piece of stand-up experience outside of one's pro-bono cases by the end of one's fifth year may require a bit of luck. (Though it's also not that uncommon or rare. Once you do get your first one, two, or three instances of stand-up experience in a billable case by around your fifth year, that alone isn't enough to make you a standout associate or particularly special.) 

Things work very differently at my much smaller biglaw-adjacent workplace, so I'm lucky to get my first go now, at the start of my seventh year. It was stressful, but I really enjoyed it and I think I did a reasonably good job thinking on my feet while taking my deposition. 

I seem to really feel an attachment to using jewelry - preferably items I can wear nearly every day, not just on special occasions - to mark important professional milestones and personal accomplishments. My first such piece was a gift from my mom to commemorate my law school graduation: a Tiffany's 0.12 carat Diamonds by the Yard pendant in yellow gold that I've barely taken off since. It wasn't until six years later that I was in the financial position to buy myself my next milestone gift and found another occasion important enough: a sapphire ring from Mociun to represent how I paid off the ~$195,000 in student loans I had when I started working my first full-time attorney job in September 2015. 

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My original idea for my third professional milestone gift, to commemorate my first deposition, was the Chanel Coco Crush necklace in yellow or "beige" gold. (This is somewhat inspired by Alice, who - along with Marie Kondo - also inspired my past purchase of the J.Hannah Duet Earrings.) I find the Chanel Coco Crush necklace design really compelling, it stands out to me and I can't stop thinking about it. It's still on my wishlist for a future milestone.  

Instead, what I actually chose for this milestone gift was this Mociun sapphire necklace, which I snapped up almost as soon as it was posted on their Instagram stories and website. Quite a few months ago, they had several other multi-colored sapphire solitaire necklaces that have long since sold out. I really love bicolor or parti-colored sapphires, and I was so very tempted. But I also knew it wasn't a purchase I could justify at the time. So when this new necklace popped up right when I was officially in the market for my next milestone gift, it felt like it was meant to be. 

Even with my admittedly limited knowledge of gemstones and jewelry, I think I know enough to say I can't enthusiastically recommend this type of necklace from a pure value for money perspective. With my sapphire right-hand ring, there's a lot of Mociun's unique design approach that's quite visible and conspicuous. That's not really true for a simple solitaire necklace, even if I think the blue and yellow bicolor stone - so it looks partially green or pale teal in some lights - is absolutely gorgeous. 

From occasionally browsing listings for loose sapphires, including parti-colored sapphires, my necklace's stone may not be worth that large a percentage of the retail price of the necklace. Of course, one rightfully should pay a premium for an expert jeweler or designer to select a stone with their experienced eye and build a design around it! Though I'm sure there are many more knowledgeable customers out there who could pick their own sapphire and commission a jeweler to make a similar necklace for less. 

Anyway, I love this professional milestone gift I selected for myself and I'm excited to start wearing it out and about! I wear my Tiffany necklace 24/7, including to bed, in the shower, and while working out. (Hopefully that doesn't come across as being impossibly reckless of me or like a jewelry-care sin, but I've never had issues with damage in well over six years.) With this necklace, I'm going to be far more careful since the stone is larger and my other necklace probably could, in theory, scratch the sapphire. I'll take this one off before bed and will absolutely not wear it while working out or in the shower. 

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