Sunday, March 06, 2011

The objects #24 Other peoples' rings

I don't own what you'd call "fine jewelry" which is fine with me. I prefer silver over gold and I like quirky, interesting jewelry. It would make me nervous to have something really valuable to be responsible for, even if I could afford it! My own wedding ring will no longer fit on my finger, so it is in my jewelry box and I am trying to decide what to do about that. But I have a small, but interesting, collection of "other peoples' rings" that I enjoy wearing. Here are four of them.

Starting on the left, the small gold band with the engraved design was among my mother-in-law's possessions. It was not the wedding band that she wore. Perhaps it was from her first marriage. Her first husband was killed in France in WWII. It is a very pretty little ring, quite old-fashioned. Perhaps it was her mother's ring. I like it because it was hers. She was a dear person.

The ring with all the little pearls and garnets (there are some teeny, tiny little diamonds in there too) was found in a parking lot when I was in college. It had been run over, possibly a few times and was pretty mishapen and missing a couple of pearls. It really didn't look like much. I stuck it in my pocket and didn't think much about it. Weeks later I found it in my pocket and when I examined it I realized it was probably an antique and precious to someone. I put a "found" ad in the newspaper, saying where I had found it, but no one ever responded. I took it to a jeweler who replaced the missing pearls and straightened it all out. He confirmed that it is quite old. The photo doesn't do it justice. It is very intricate and, I think, quite lovely. Since I have had it for more than 40 years I suppose it is truly mine, but I still think of it as someone else's ring.

On our 25th anniversary Ray and I went up to Vancouver, B.C. for a long weekend. We had never been there and were enchanted with the misty, watery landscape. One morning we were walking in Stanley Park, among the marvelous totem poles. It had rained overnight and everything was sparkling and clean and green. A beautiful morning. I looked down just in time to avoid stepping into a puddle on the pathway and there in the puddle was the plain gold band you see on my ring finger. I looked around. No one was in sight. I picked it up and slipped onto my finger where it fit perfectly. As we met people on the paths that morning I asked if anyone had lost a ring. No one had. I wondered if it had been flung into the mud in anger, but decided it was more likely that someone simply pulled it off removing a glove and didn't realize it was gone. I have worn it ever since and still feel a little guilty that I didn't do more to find its owner.

The last is a plain gold band set with five small diamonds. It was a gift to my mother from my father on their 50th anniversary. A diamond for every 10 years of marriage. My mother loved it and the romantic gesture by my Dad. I have worn it since she died. It makes me think of both of them.

13 comments:

  1. How pretty they are! And much better that they should be worn and loved than trodden into the mud and tarmac. The diamond band is very like my engagement ring, which (the jeweller anxiously told us, I suppose in case we thought it might be bad luck) was also second-hand - I've often wondered what the story was. But we've been together nearly 40 years, so it can't have been jinxed!

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  2. What lovely stories. I especially like that you wear your mother's ring. I often wear one that my father wore as a pinky ring. When he died, we had it made MUCH smaller so it fit my middle finger. Now I can look down at it and remember holding my father's hand, a memory that is still precious. When my mother died, I chose her favorite tourmaline ring, and occasionally wear it with the feeling that I am seeing her hands, not mine, if I glance down.

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  3. What wonderful rings and great stories besides. I would love wearing any of those rings. I am especially fond of the ring with the pearls. I wear two rings, one of which my deceased husband gave me many years ago and a ring my wonderful sister-in-law gave me. I have many other rings that I look at occassionally but rarely wear.

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  4. What touching stories. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I think you're a ring magnet. These rings are lucky to have found a very good home! (smile)

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  6. Your collection of "other people's " rings reminds me of my daughter. She wears the wedding bands of her departed paternal grandparents and my father's wedding band and she wears my original wide gold band. Sam never takes the rings off and is so afraid of losing them.

    My wedding bands sit in a small dish next to my toothbrush. My hands get so dirty at work that it is difficult to keep the diamond bands clean so I have just stopped wearing them.

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  7. Like you, I prefer silve to gold. The only ring I wear now is my wedding ring as Bill had remade for our 25th anniversary. I still have the original ring(s) but they look pretty bare with the main stone out.

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  8. What wonderful memories. I have a little pearl (and tiny diamond) ring very similar to the one you have. I'll have to take a photo of it !

    Also- I was provided with a copy of Twelve X Twelve to review and I want to say 'congratulations!'. It's a great book! I'll let you know when the review is done. You all rock!

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  9. You ARE a ring magnet - in 72 years I have never found a ring on the ground anywhere. It is sad that you cannot wear your own wedding band. Perhaps you could have an extender put on it - I did on mine and have sent you some pictures to demonstrate. It works great. Del

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  10. I too wear my mother's 50th wedding anniversary ring with 5 diamonds. It looks very similar to yours. I think of my mom every time I look at my hand.

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  11. Anonymous8:32 PM

    I, too, have very special rings that have been passed down several generations to me. Alas I cannot wear them as my knuckles have gotten too swollen from arthritis.
    :-( Beth

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  12. Hey, I wear other people's rings too! I wear two rings. The first is my engagement ring, a square cut diamond with a baguette on either side that belonged to my husband's paternal grandmother. It's not her engagement or wedding ring, but when I mentioned to my MIL what my fantasy ring was, she had it already! The other ring is my wedding band -- a simple white gold band with a classic edge. My husband has a matching one. We bought them at a pawn shop, hoping that they carried no bad mojo. We engraved them with our initials and wedding date on the inside to start fresh and so far, so good.

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  13. I have similar feelings about jewelry. I am glad I don't own anything of great value because then I would worry about losing it or having it stolen. When we became engaged, I asked for a ring set with an aquamarine instead of the traditional diamond. I've never regretted my choice.

    I love the stories of the two rings that found you!

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