Wednesday, June 3, 2015

With This Ring

Twenty five years ago my DH gave me a lovely ring for Christmas. It was a simple band with alternating diamonds and sapphires. I wore it on my left hand ring finger, with my my wedding band between that ring and my engagement ring. After years of wear I lost a sapphire and had it replaced, then a year later a diamond came out.

The ring was made of 18K gold which is soft and the wear of constant rubbing against my wedding band was taking its toll on the prongs. I soon realized I was fighting a losing battle. I had three choices: wear the ring until all the stones fell out, put the ring away, or move it to another finger. the first choice was prohibitively expensive, the second made no sense - why have a piece of jewelry you cannot wear wear (well except that diamond tiara we all keep for those occasions we dine with the Queen), and the ring just did not look right on another finger by itself.

I had inherited my Grandmother's diamond engagement ring and when Mama died, I also had her engagement ring. So I gathered my rings and the two older engagement rings and went to my jeweler. Needless to say he was very familiar with the ring having replaced the stones in it so many times. I asked his advice on how I could best use all the stones.

He looked at the jumble of jewelry before him and decided the three diamonds were all of similar size and could be set together. Pulling out a sheet of paper and a pen, he quickly sketched out some suggested designs. A modern one I rejected immediately. Two others did not suit. Finally it came down to three that I was interested in. I left all the rings with him to come up with final designs and estimates of the cost.

So  after 32 years I had no wedding band or engagement ring on my left hand, which  felt as if I were walking out in public with no clothes on. Oh, I have a nice citrine ring my DH gave me for some occasion which I could wear on my ring finger so it would not be bare. And for several years I had been wearing a gold ring in the design of an Egyptian knot on my left hand, so I wasn't totally empty handed so to speak. But my DH never noticed or if he did, he never commented. (I found this odd for a man who never failed to notice a new piece of clothing I had recently bought from across a dimly lit room.) But if you know him - I knew he did not notice my lack of rings because it is rare for him to notice anything and not comment on it.

Several weeks later the jeweler called saying he had the final designs and estimates. I went to his shop to see what he had in mind. One design used all three diamonds in a row, suggesting that it be worn on my right hand with my sapphire ring repaired and soldered to my wedding band (to prevent further rubbing and wear) to be worn on my left hand.

A second idea combined the sapphires from the ring with all 3 diamonds with the suggestion that the remaining smaller diamonds be kept for another piece for my daughters perhaps. A third and fourth were different combinations of large diamonds and sapphire stones.

I was totally perplexed about what to do. So may choices. And I was going to have to live with this for a long time. resetting rings was not something I had the luxury of doing every year or so.

First off the 3 stones with the sapphires was just too large for my finger so that choice was out. I pondered the others. Finally the jeweler suggested I just take my time and call him back. "It is only November," he said. "As long as you call me by the first of December I can get it to you for the holiday season. I know you will want it for all the parties."

I told him that would be nice as if my social calendar was packed. I was embarrassed to say I had no plans for any holiday parties. December came and went and I did not call him. I could not decide on what I wanted. Soon it was April and I still was undecided. My biggest  fear being what if I could not find my receipt for the rings? What if they had misplaced my rings? What if they had a 90 day policy and after that were free to sell the stones? My imagination ran wild until I reigned it in. this was our hometown jeweler we had dealt with for years. I had my receipt and no where on it did it mention anything about a time limit. Still I was undecided.

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