I was only 19 when Michael gave me my first engagement ring and a young 19 at that. It was an oval cut, full carat solitaire, which seemed gigantic and indulgent back in that day and age. It cost $800. At the time, I think I was making about $100 a week. No lie.
It looked just like this, only it was yellow gold.
When he dumped me…(I love saying that) I put the ring away. What should I do with it? I wondered. I knew I didn’t want the traditional “divorcee pendant” that all the other divorced women were wearing. You know, the solitaire in a gold setting of some sort hung on a chain around their neck. Nope. Didn’t want that. So the ring sat in my drawer until he returned. That took 27 years. Which meant that his $800 purchase had appreciated considerably.
And then he gave me a much bigger ring, which of course, I deserved for waiting all those years and missing out on some of the best years of our youth.
Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. I didn’t miss much.
It’s not that I hadn’t remarried a time or two. I just hadn’t gotten another engagement ring. I hadn’t wanted one. But this time around, I was thrilled with the rock.
Michael was surprised I still had the original ring. “Why don’t you do something with it?” he kept asking me these past seven years. “Why let it sit around in your drawer?”
Another ring? No. And CERTAINLY not a pendant.
I knew what I wanted to do with it. Something that would be in keeping with my more casual, retired lifestyle. Something I could wear every day. Something no one else had. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted. But I am a procrastinator.
Finally, last month, I showed the original ring to a manufacturing jeweler used by all the got-rocks women in this cute little town a few miles south of me and explained what I wanted. He didn’t know how to do it. Didn’t even want to try. I think that was the big thing. It wasn’t standard and he wasn’t interested in figuring it out. (He won’t get our business in the future.) But he did buy some of the gold jewelry I no longer wanted–I got a nice check– and he took an estate ring I’d inherited on consignment. I loved that he had carefully picked out all the tiny diamonds and other gems from my rings and bracelets and returned them to me in a tiny ziplock.
I knew what I wanted to do with them, too.
But who would make me what I wanted?
On a lark I dropped in at a big fancy jeweler a couple miles from me. I’d never been in their shiny big building. A really nice jeweler greeted me. I explained what I wanted and with a big grin, he said “Sure, we can do that!” Loved him immediately. He began to sketch it out. It took a few weeks to get everything together, and then a delay when the materials didn’t work exactly as the craftsman wanted. Because he’d never made anything like it before. But when I picked it up, I was thrilled. Here it is:
Yes. It’s a black leather bracelet. The diamond is set in a white gold bezel. I’ve never seen anything like it. Original and unique. Lots of sentimental value. And best of all, I can wear it every day. Even though we had to insure it separately because that one carat had certainly become valuable. And, I found me a jeweler I like. So who knows what could happen.
Oh, and all those tiny little diamonds that came out of my own old jewelry and some of my mother’s? He took 10 of them out and made me a tiny wedding band I can wear to travel. The rock gets a lot of attention so I never wear it on trips. It’s insured, but I don’t want to be knocked out or worse because some do-badder wants it. Now, I have a delicate little band with tiny diamonds that have true sentimental value. And it actually looks good with the rock so I can double up at home if I want to.
Actually, I wanted a tiny little band like this. My mother had one, but my sister ended up with it.
But now I have a ring I like with some of my mother’s tiny diamonds. And even though they’re tiny, they sure do sparkle. Like she did.
Ah, closure. It feels good.