It’s been a few weeks now since I started wearing my engagement ring.
At first, it felt weird. Really weird. It’s heavier than any ring I’ve ever worn before, and it’s so… SHINY! It seems to catch the light no matter what I do. I almost felt a flicker of embarrassment even wearing it. I felt like I’d grown an extra finger. I kept catching it on the pockets of my jeans and I constantly worried about it falling off, even though it fits me perfectly.
Now I’m used to the weight of it, but I’m still sometimes surprised by its presence. I’m slowly getting used to it. Slowly!
When I started looking at rings, certain things quickly became obvious. Like the fact that certain rings I thought I liked actually made me look like a centenarian on her way to the opera, or the fact that yes, by and large they still all looked the same to me. It was just rows and rows (and rows) of identikit rings with tiny variations. This annoyed me slightly, because I didn’t enjoy the thought of dropping a large amount of money on something that had nothing to distinguish it from thousands of others.
Remember when you were in junior school and everyone in your class had that same plastic Aladdin lunchbox, but you knew which one was yours because nobody else was unlucky enough to have salami sandwiches and a pear inside of theirs?
I guess I wanted the positive, pretty, ring version of that lunch box. I wanted something inside my ring that made me nod and say, “Yep, this one’s mine!”
…Only, you know, with more enthusiasm than I ever showed for salami sandwiches.
In no time at all I sped through a quick game of No-No-No-Yes until I had narrowed down my options. I decided on the following:
- One stone, because my fingers are stumpy and anything more than that made me look like a pirate gnome.
- A plain band, because while I was ALMOST swayed by this gorgeous antique ring (the details! Can I buy that one just to frame it in a shadow box?), I am not nearly stylish enough to be wearing that sort of thing on a daily basis.
- A tiny detail to make it personal.
Scrubs and I made an appointment with Diamant and met with Tom. You really need to have a pretty solid idea of what it is you want before you meet with him, because he doesn’t have three hours and hundreds of rings for you try on. What he does have are certified diamonds. Well, diamonds and contacts and a lot of knowledge. Before you meet him he asks for a budget and what sort of a ring you’re looking for, and then, like a gemstone hunter gatherer, he finds you a number of loose cut diamonds to choose from.
On the day that you meet with him, he sets a few tiny, glittering crystals before you in order of cost, and you decide – in what for me was a slightly surreal and uncomfortable experience* – which one you want. Honestly, unless you have a microscope and a diploma in gemology** you can’t really tell the difference. They all look practically identical. Then your chosen diamond is shipped off to Antwerp, where a gruff but genial goldsmith named Reggie sets it to your specifications.
In the end, I decided I wanted a round cut diamond in a thin, plain band, with compass prongs (four prongs in a north-south-east-west placement instead of the far more common box shape). The one little detail I wanted to mark the ring as mine?
Scrubs’ birthstone on the inside of the band.
A teeny, tiny emerald.
I love it. It’s not blinding. It’s not ornate. It’s exactly what I wanted; simple, and sparkly, and when I twist it around my finger I know that the smallest emerald you ever did see is rubbing against my skin; a reminder of Scrubs and the reason I’m wearing it.
*Nothing to do with Tom or Diamant (who are awesome and even leave you alone for a while to make your decision in private), just my own general awkwardness at the entire idea of choosing between virtually identical sparkly stones.
**This is a thing.