They are my cherished treasures
Rings Of Love
When I graduated from grade school in June of 1946, my parents gifted me with a lovely birthstone ring. It came as a wonderful surprise, partly because it was my first ring. It was 14 Karat gold with a large round center stone of emerald green for the month of May. It had a small diamond on each side. I cherished that ring and wore it often.
Years later when I married and had three sons, I left it behind in my jewelry box one summer day. My husband and I took the children on an outing. Later on, we stopped at my sister’s house. She had invited us to cool off in her pool. When we returned home just after dark, we discovered that our house was burglarized and the birthstone ring was taken along with other items from the master bedroom.
Evidence showed that the intruders entered our home by breaking the lock on the ground floor sliding glass doors at the back of the house. They stripped the pillows off our bed upstairs, and filled them with their loot. They probably did the same thing with my 27-inch leather suitcase, which contained my wedding gown and veil. I found them strewn across the bed.
Apparently, the burglars were still in the house as we pulled up to the driveway of our high ranch home. They escaped from the upstairs glass doors and jumped off the back porch. In their haste, they broke that lock, too. Some personal items were left behind in the backyard as they fled the scene of their crime. We reported the incident to the authorities, and even though we were called into police headquarters at a later date to identify some recovered stolen goods, our personal items were not among them.
I was so thankful that I was wearing my engagement ring and wedding band at the time. I rarely ever took them off, except for the times when I had to go to the hospital to give birth to my children or had surgery.
There’s a story behind my engagement ring and wedding band. Before we were married, my husband bought the diamond first, and presented it to me one lovely romantic evening. That’s when he proposed to me. Together we picked out the setting for the diamond stone. It was one point short of a karat. We had it mounted into a platinum setting with four single cut 3-point diamonds, two on each side of the center stone. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t wait to show off my ring to family, friends, and the girls at work. The stone wasn’t that big, but its sparkle outshined any other diamond I had encountered.
That’s going back 52 years ago. In 1953 my engagement ring was appraised for $975.00. The diamond, itself, was described as brilliant, white, and flawless. We purchased our wedding bands at the Diamond Exchange a couple months before my fiancé and I were married. He picked out a diamond cut gold wedding band, and I selected a platinum band with 7 full cut, 9-point diamonds. It was a perfect match for my engagement ring.
My wedding rings were my cherished treasures, and I hardly ever took them off other than to clean them. Even after my husband passed away, I still wore them up until I went on a cruise to Bermuda with a friend. I feared that I might lose them in beach water, or due to a mugging. I decided to leave them at home, and stashed them somewhere in the house before I left to go on that cruise.
When I returned from my vacation, I still had some time off from work. I did some deep cleaning in the house, and worked on the china closet and its drawers. I wasn’t thinking about my rings at the time. I assumed I knew where they were hidden. What I didn’t realize was that I had separated them; the engagement ring somewhere in the kitchen and the wedding band in one of the drawers of the china closet.
After cleaning out the drawers, I vacuumed the carpeting. It wasn’t unusual to vacuum up tiny buttons, baggy ties, and other little items from the floors. I had two mischievous cats in the house, and they were always snatching small items from anywhere in the house or from outside, and playing soccer with them with their paws. I usually picked up the bigger pieces before vacuuming.
I located my engagement ring with no problem, but I couldn’t find my wedding band. I remembered that I separated the two rings to make it difficult for them to be found should the house be burglarized again.
After a few days of an exhaustive search throughout the house, I realized with horror what had happened. In cleaning out the drawer of the china closet, I reasoned that the wedding band had fallen to the carpeted floor. I deduced that I had stored the band among the weights and pulls of a cuckoo clock stored in the right hand drawer, and the wedding band had slipped to the floor unbeknownst to me. The clanking noise as I was vacuuming the carpeting was the wedding band being sucked up along with the cats’ tiny toys. Too late, I had cleaned out the vacuum and tossed the contents into the kitchen waste bin. My beautiful wedding band was somewhere buried or atop a garbage disposal heap.
I pined and moaned over my loss for the longest time. Luckily, the rings were insured, and I put in a claim to the insurance company for the wedding band. When I received the check a few weeks later, I was still feeling guilty about my stupidity. I knew I couldn’t just spend the money on something trivial and I didn’t want to deposit it into the bank. I decided I would invest the money into something worthwhile. I purchased a ranch line mink jacket. I had to add some extra money toward the purchase, but I reasoned that my husband would have been pleased with my choice. I had watched too many old movies that illustrated the significance of a fur coat. I bought that jacket seventeen years ago. I still have the mink jacket, but rarely do I wear it. My feelings have since changed and I agree with the animal activists. I feel awful that minks are bred just to make a fashion statement with a fur coat, an item that we do not need to sustain us in our society.
All I had now was my engagement ring, and wearing it everyday for all those years had worn out the platinum. The inside of the band thinned out and the prongs holding the diamond were flattened, too. I thought about giving my precious diamond a new home in a necklace or in a completely new setting, but I never acted upon it.
Then over two years ago, my daughter in-law and I went Christmas shopping at a Mall. We stopped into a jewelry store to have her wedding rings cleaned professionally. As we waited, I browsed the counters, and noticed the lovely mountings for rings. I picked out a setting, and decided to have my engagement ring done over. Did I mention that I was impulsive, too? It so happened the jeweler was in the store, and I was fortunate to have it done right then as I watched. I chose a simple yellow gold setting for my diamond. I still have the old setting, devoid of its center stone, but with the four smaller diamonds intact.
The new setting was beautiful. The diamond was shown at its best, and I received admiring glances wherever I went with it. I wore it everyday, and never took it off when I retired for the night. I realized, though, that I paid a price for changing the setting. After a few months of everyday wear, the diamond loosened from its gold setting. I wouldn’t wear it for fear of losing the stone. I brought it back to the jewelry store and the jeweler tightened it. I enjoyed wearing it again, but the same thing happened. The diamond loosened so much that I could make it spin around with my fingernail. Something had to be done again. Now, I regret ever taking it out of its original setting.
In the early years of our marriage, my husband bought me a wide diamond cut wedding band. Perhaps, he meant it to match his own wedding band. Although, it was lovely, I didn’t wear it much. I disliked removing my diamond wedding rings to accommodate the gold band, and I wasn’t comfortable wearing it on a finger of my right hand. Anyway, time and arthritis have made that gold band too tight on any finger, other than loosely fitting on my pinky.
Presently, I have thoughts of utilizing that gold band and use it as a mounting for my sparkling diamond, but in such a way that it will be safe and secure. It’s an idea that may very well work to my satisfaction this time. I’ll have my precious diamond back on my finger again.
On the index finger of my right hand, I’m wearing a fancy ladies ring as it is called. It’s also gold with a pointy oval shape at the top that holds a row of 3 small emerald green stones surrounded by a cluster of smaller diamonds; all encased into the oval design. The gold on the sides are domed and etched in sloping lines with steps building up to the precious stones and forming the shape of the ring. My husband presented this ring to me in June on our 29th wedding anniversary. When I mentioned that he was being extravagant, he said the ring was really for our 30th Wedding Anniversary, but he wanted to give it to me ahead of time. I was happy to have the ring, and I didn’t make an issue out of his reasoning. My dearest husband passed away two months later from his long-term illness.
In recent years, I have purchased many rings, but none of them come close to the value and significance that I hold dear to my heart for my rings of love.