VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — A group of Ventura women who went all-in on a $37,000 diamond necklace as part of an experiment reunited recently to talk about their multi-faceted relationship to and with one another.
The women explained they purchased the necklace they named Jewelia after Julia Child 10 years ago. A recent appraisal of the necklace revealed its worth to be $42,000.
Every month, each woman proves that it’s not just diamonds that are a girl’s best friend; each woman takes a turn wearing the necklace and follows a set of rules as part of their mission to create a sisterhood that raises money for charities.
Paul Magers first introduced audiences to the group 10 years ago. It was only fitting he reunite with the group now.
The group told Magers they make it a point to share Jewelia with friends and strangers regularly, and claim that more than 5,000 people have worn it so far; it has even dazzled the necks of celebrities such as Kevin Costner, Dick Van Dyke and Kathy Ireland.
The necklace is taken to a jeweler for cleaning and repairs each month before being passed along to the next person.
Throughout the years, several life events such as the loss of a husband and open-heart surgery has created a stronger bond than the women ever imagined.
“I expected to make friends, but now I have all these sisters and really do operate a lot like a family,” Dale Muegenburg said.
In fact, their story has inspired the lives of other women across Southern California. In Santa Barbara, one woman inherited a necklace and developed a similar group with 12 of her girlfriends.
“We went down a road less traveled each and every one of us,” said Roz McGrath. “I think when opportunity knocks to do something different, don’t be afraid. Go for it.”
In 2008, their story became a book titled “The Necklace,” which was published in 19 countries and is in production to become a movie.
According to the women, Jewelia will be passed down to their future generations to continue raising awareness for local charities.
“The bottom line is sharing and not getting held up on possessions and things and giving back,” said Tina. “Life is short, give back. You give it away, it comes back to you.”
To date, Jewelia has raised over $500,000 for local, national and international nonprofit charities.
For more about the Women of Jewelia, click here.