Shop for gems at the South Orange library — both to wear and to read

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — At the South Orange Public Library this weekend, visitors can improve their minds and appearances in one location. 

The Friends of the South Orange Public Library will hold a holiday jewelry sale to benefit the library on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. Friends members will get early-bird admission on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. The sales will take place in the library, 65 Scotland Road, South Orange.

The sale will feature a huge selection of jewelry, including hundreds of pieces of fine jewelry, designer jewelry, sterling silver pieces, brand names, precious stones, vintage pieces, earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pendants, brooches, cuff links, watches and accessories, all priced to sell. The sale will also feature quality costume jewelry in the $1 to $15 range, and books.

All jewelry is donated. Sale proceeds will fund library services for the South Orange community. Cash, credit cards and debit cards will be accepted. Face masks are recommended.

Purchasing jewelry — either for oneself or as gifts for the upcoming holidays — not only puts something shiny in one’s pocket, but supports library resources and programming for the whole community.

“The Friends of the South Orange Public Library raise money to buy new library books — bestsellers for adults, travel guides, manga for adults and teens, books on social issues, fiction for teens, and children’s books and encyclopedias,” Friends secretary-treasurer Pamela Bristah told the News-Record. “We also help pay for the Children’s Summer Reading Program — including a mini freezer for ice cream treats! — and we fully fund museum passes that give South Orange residents free admission to the Newark Museum, Montclair Art Museum, Frick (Collection), Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Cooper Hewitt (Smithsonian Design Museum), Morris Museum and Storm King (Art Center). We have been a major donor to the SOPL Foundation, as they raise money for a renovated, expanded library building. The Friends help the library expand and improve its services to the South Orange community, and we give the community the chance to give back to the library, which gives so much to us.”

For Bristah, supporting her local library is as natural and vital as breathing.

I fell in love with my local public library at age 4 — so many books, and such kind, smart, helpful librarians! — and have never really left,” Bristah said. “I became a music librarian and, upon retirement, moved to South Orange. The SOPL Friends are super friendly and welcomed me in. I love what we do for everyone in the South Orange community, and I love libraries — they are the ultimate democratic institution. Everything is free for everyone. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

With the library providing vital resources for the community — literacy, socialization, technology, job search help and so much more — events such as the Friends’ upcoming jewelry sale make a huge impact for residents.

“The Friends held our first jewelry sale in June 2021. Our holiday sale is our fifth jewelry sale, and each one has been successful and fun,” Bristah said. “We’ve raised about $23,000 so far, and many happy shoppers have gone home with beautiful earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings for themselves and for gifts. All the jewelry is donated by the community, and people donate wonderful things: Tiffany pieces, vintage jewelry, even a diamond tennis bracelet.”

To donate jewelry, visit To volunteer at the sale, visit For more information, visit

Photos Courtesy of Pamela Bristah and Kathie Abrams