As a jeweller I occasionally get offered the pleasure of trawling through peoples treasure boxes with them. They are usually quite a mess (!), tangled chains and earrings, but full of surprises, rich in stories and memories.
It's not often the most expensive pieces that are the most treasured, but the pieces handed down from Granny, a mother's wedding band, the first gift from a lover, a small jewel presented for some special event, a plastic jewel from a cracker banged open on a Christmas day to remember. Little jewels glued together and presented by a loving small child. Private talismans that speak volumes to to their owner.
Everybody’s collections are a self-portrait, and everyone's collection is uniquely special.
(detail from ‘Penitent Magdalene’ by Caravaggio. Thanks to P.Marcelli.)