|wedding band and black diamond heart promise-to-me-from-me ring|
Americans spent almost $7 billion on diamond rings in 2012. This wasn’t the case back in 1938 when diamond sales were at an all-time low. This was partly due to the Great Depression and partly because diamonds were considered a waste of good money that could be used for household goods. Of course, this was also when De Beers, who controlled the world supply of rough diamonds, decided to engage in a little sentimental campaigning. The story continues but our love for diamonds really boils down to good ol’ marketing. I’m not knocking the love of jewelry by any means. In fact, I love jewelry and spend way too much on it too often. But, I am not a lover of diamonds. I don’t think they’re awful; they’re just not my go-to stone.
|3.81 cts. MONTANA PYROPE GARNET|
When I was little, I was very close with my maternal grandmother to the point that she would tell me that when she died her diamond engagement rings and wedding bands would be left to me. Because that isn’t at ALL creepy or weird when you’re a little girl :-/ My grandmother had two sets. The original set is made up of tiny diamonds in an elaborate vintage setting. Years later, my grandfather gave her a larger diamond solitaire (a ¼ carat) in a plain setting. I recall that both of these sets, worth very little monetarily and much more emotionally, were part of heated discussions by my mother’s sisters who each have daughters. For various reasons, my grandmother wanted to leave the rings to me instead of dividing them between my cousins. I could go on a little family commentary about how I believe that based on the character of my cousins and their mothers that the rings and the diamonds would have been hocked over the years but that’s really not the point of this tale. My grandmother’s rings sat in various jewelry boxes for years… and years… and years. When I was in high school, my mother had the older set sized for me to wear on special occasions but because it was yellow gold I never wore it much so again they waited in a box. A few years back, after my second marriage ended and I indeed sold my engagement ring, a ¾ carat Princess cut stone, I took the money along with my grandmother’s second diamond to a jeweler and had the ring reset from a simple yellow gold band to one that I would wear… and twisted setting surrounded by black diamonds. I wear the ring daily and it indeed reminds me of my grandmother whom I’m named after.
|Coffiny ring & grandma's diamond reset|
When my fella and I became engaged last year we did so in an unconventional way just as much of our relationship has been. We were standing in the middle of a jewelry store on Black Friday. We were only at the mall because my fella needed an oil change and the mall was just down the street. Instead of heading home we figured we would kill time and window shop. As I was looking at a gorgeous black sapphire ring with links (like a bracelet so that it wiggled!) and being mesmerized by its beauty, my fella simply said, “I think I’ve found your ring”. He was right. It was a black rhodium diamond ring with marquise shape accents that includes just enough of a vintage appeal for me to fall in love. Our engagement was more of a decision instead of a *Surprise! Will you marry me?* proposal. In the end, I got the perfect ring for me at about ½ of the price of the ring I was ogling in the store.
For over a year I heard the “Where’s the engagement ring?” Many of my friends didn’t even know we were engaged because I didn’t wear one and we didn’t make an official announcement. Again and again, we wanted this to be about our marriage… not a wedding or an engagement. But, I am a girl who is very much like a crow. I love rings and all things that sparkle so when I saw a chunky black diamond heart on Etsy, my own heart nearly melted. Maybe I needed an engagement ring, I wondered.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that I simply wanted the stone because it was cool. I didn’t need a symbol of a commitment… or did I? I’ve noted that this wasn’t my first or second marriage. Each time I’ve somehow lost myself. This time, I promised, would be different. At that moment I realized that I needed a promise ring TO ME FROM ME. Of course, I had already gifted myself with a few rings—my grandmother’s new setting; and, I had found a garnet that was shaped a bit like a cartoony coffin which I had set in a ring with black diamonds. Nevertheless, when you’re going to truly COMMIT to yourself why follow the one ring norm?! I bought that black diamond heart that was set in a cheap (read that as crappy) silver setting with the idea that I would have it reset. I did. Yesterday I picked it up with new little garnet friends dancing down the new ring. Joining the other rings on my fingers, I now have a new setting and a recommitment to myself. I will be who I am; this marriage will allow me to grow, not disappear. And oh my, look at those pretty stones.