Kristie and I had been talking about getting married for ages and ages before we actually got engaged. I ordered a matching set of simple sterling silver bands from Etsy – wider for her, more narrow for me – for like maybe $40. And then one Sunday morning while we were drinking coffee and watching TV in our bathrobes, I brought out the rings and asked her to marry me. (And we know how that ended :)
Because I am extremely skilled at all things clumsy, my ring soon snapped. It wasn't that well made to begin with, and I think I got it caught on a door handle. So I started wearing a simple gold band I'd found in my grandmother's jewelry box after she died. That's the ring Kristie put on my finger during our wedding ceremony.
For a long time, that band by itself was perfect. But my tastes started to change, and I thought I might like a ring with a diamond, or at least a lookalike stone. I'd given a lot of thought to the history and culture and (some might say) possessive misogyny of wedding and engagement rings, and what it meant to me to have that symbol visible on my body. (And, of course, the sad reality that many modern diamonds have a source of horror.) When all was said and done and not funding a warlord in a developing country, ultimately I decided I think they're pretty. I like looking at the ring I have now and thinking about our wedding day, about how much I like being married to Kristie. I like that I can wear a wedding ring, that my marriage is legal. It even feels a tiny bit subversive to be participating in (what was formerly) such a heteronormative tradition.
Kristie spotted my ring a year ago in a messy box of jewelry when we were at the Brimfield Flea Market. It was $20 and fit my teeny-tiny ring finger perfectly (I'm a size 5!). The width is even complementary to my grandmother's ring, which I wear as a wedding band now. It's from the 1920s apparently, and while the stone is cubic zirconia and the band is permanently tarnished, I adore it. But wearing it every day is starting to take its toll on the poor thing. You (really) can't look too closely at it without seeing the obvious and increasing tarnishing, and sometimes it leaves a green line on my finger. I try to remember to take it off when I shower or do dishes, but I think that's stemming the ring's aging only a little bit. Plus now the stone is loose. I think it's probably time for an upgrade.
So...what do I want?
Gold, to match my wedding band.
I would love it if the ring were vintage, and gold-filled so it will hopefully last longer.
Size 5. And that's not that easy to find when it comes to vintage. So maybe if it were handmade by a cool artisan somewhere?
Which leads me to...budget. Like $100 or under I think. Which crosses off a lot of options, I know.
A classic, simple or one-of-a-kind style. Nothing too gaudy.
I look around at every estate sale, every flea market, and on Etsy occasionally too. It's nice not to have the pressure of an impending wedding as a deadline for finding the right ring, but at the same time, I wish I were prioritizing it more. I'm worried about the days my current ring has left (you can see it here). But I waited for the right person...I think I can wait for the right ring too :)