My wedding set was filthy. Dirt had worked its way underneath and into the caging, the baguettes were dull and lusterless and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d sent it for a spa day. The jeweler looked at it, and after their pitch to me to get me to buy their cleaner, they smiled and followed with, “You know, you could just make this set into a pendant and get yourself something bigger.” I declined, as I usually do, with a tone giving away my annoyance with this statement. My wedding set wasn’t big, nor flashy, but it has value beyond that of the gold and diamonds: a story.
I spotted my ring in the back of the jewelry case at Montgomery Ward, when Montgomery Ward department stores were still around. Mr. Muse had told me I should “find a ring I liked”, and when I saw this unique ring, it caught my attention. It has a small, round diamond surrounded by a triangular outline of diamond baguettes. There was a sale: 50% off all diamond jewelry. I placed a call to Mr. Muse and he came up the following weekend, when there just so happened to be another sale of 10% off on top of the 50% off – it was a bargain. He said it was a neat ring. We looked at each other and he said, “So… should I buy that one?”
We mulled it over together, doing the math in our heads and aloud, determining that the ring was fitting enough in our pragmatic ways, and it was purchased. It happened to fit my finger without needed adjustment and I put it on, admired its sparkle in the sunlight, and wore it home.
For nearly 20 years I’ve had this ring. Many have commented on it’s different cut and shape and complimented it. I can wear it and put my hand in my pocket without the ring catching on the material. I’m proud of the fact that Mr. Muse didn’t spend “3 months’ salary” on the ring – we were young and didn’t have a lot of money to begin with – why go into debt over a stone?
I realize that jewelry store employees are merely doing their job when they suggest I put my ring onto a chain and “trade up” to a bigger rock, but an expensive ring purchased just because it’s bigger, without meaning or sentiment, is empty of shine. The sparkle would be empty. The value of it wouldn’t be worth the story of the original.