Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding ring mishaps

The Engineer and I had been dating several months and, though we weren't engaged, we were talking about marriage. He took me to northern California to visit his mom and stepdad. (His dad passed away before I met him.)

"I have my mom's old wedding and engagement rings," The Engineer told me. "If you want to, you can see them when we visit. If you like them, we can use them. But don't feel obligated; if you don't like them, I'll buy you something else." I nervously and excitedly agreed.

The big ring reveal came...


...and I immediately loved the ring set. The style--classic yet not old-fashioned, simple yet not boring--suited me wonderfully. The diamond is not huge...but probably quite a bit bigger than my husband-to-be would have been able to afford; he was still paying off college back then. And since I didn't know The Engineer's dad, I have always liked wearing this ring set that connects me to his parents' happy marriage.

We had the rings sized, and I not-so-patiently waited for the big question, which he finally asked. After a four-month engagement, we were married. I still love my rings (though I should have gotten them cleaned before snapping that photo!)

I'm actually lucky to still be enjoying these rings. Four months after our wedding day, I accidentally put them down the garbage disposal! Thankfully the disposal was only turned on for a very short burst. The rings were bent and scratched a little, and the large diamond fell out. Miracle of miracles, I retrieved it, and after an awkward confession to my new husband, we took the rings to a jeweler for repair.

The jeweler suggested that I get all the small diamonds re-set; the prongs were wearing down. My mother-in-law had worn the rings for over 25 years. "Prongs eventually wear down, and you can start losing stones," the jeweler explained. We agreed that the reasonable cost of re-setting diamonds was far preferable to the high cost of replacing diamonds!

I was remembering this whole incident--which took place almost exactly 10 years ago--yesterday. A friend posted on Facebook that the diamond from her engagement ring had fallen out. She hasn't been able to find it, and she is of course quite upset. It just so happened that earlier in the day I'd had to run an errand next door to a local jeweler, and I'd noticed the sign in their window advertising free ring inspection and cleaning.

I'm going to take my rings in soon to get them cleaned and inspected. I'm going to specifically ask the jeweler when the prongs need to be replaced again. In fact, I can tell that some of the tiny prongs on the small diamonds are wearing down.

So if you get one lesson from these ring stories, let it be this: If you have rings with stones in them, get them periodically inspected. (And if you get one more lesson from these stories, let it be this: Don't crunch up rings in a garbage disposal, especially not when you're newly-married, and especially if the rings came from your husband's much-loved mother!)


Call Me Cate said...

I can just imagine the horror you felt when you realized your rings were in that disposal. And the confession to the new husband? Yikes!

When we were first engaged, Joe used my grandmother's engagement ring. The back of the band was worn so thin that before long it broke. We took it to have the band repaired and the jeweler showed us that the stone was ridiculously close to popping out due to wear on the prongs. I was so thankful for a broken band at that point that it relieved the original "omg, my ring broke". We eventually replaced about 3/4 of the band so it would be more durable.

Yes, so much better to spend the small amount to have prongs repaired than a diamond replaced.

Sandra said...

Great minds run in the same channel, Beth! :) I have a post planned for next month on our 45th anniversary about the saga of wedding rings I have had (yes, multiples). But the ring I absolutely love is the one Hubby gave me 6 years ago. The jeweler he bought it from has a guarantee that if you have the ring inspected twice a year, if one of the stones falls out they replace it free. I hope I never have to find out if that works well, but it has made me faithfully have the ring inspected every 6 months for six years. :)

Dani said...

BEAUTIFUL ring! You're right, that diamond is larger than what my husband could afford at least. I like the ring I got, of course, but the diamond is smaller. We went for a smaller diamond in order to get better coloring for the price. I felt that was more important than a larger more flawed one. I never really liked diamonds until I learned more about their coloring and the many levels of clarity they have! They're remarkable! Anyway, I'm glad your ring survived the mishap in the garbage disposal - would have cried hysterically! My ring has been pretty well cared for - but my husband actually almost lost his and it was almost pawned by a friend! But luckily he asked around about it before his friend took it! SO glad. Thanks for the story!

Monica said...

I too have had a stone fall out. Luckily it was in the jewelry cleaner and I found the sliver of baget. I took it in and got the prongs reset, the baget put back in, the engagement and wedding band soldered, and resized since my fingers were skinnier ;). Good as new!

jessjess77 said...

We got a warrentee on my rings that requires I take them in every six months for inspection. They always clean them when we're there too which I love how much they sparkle afterward!

Sasha said...

Beautiful rings, Beth! I love having family stories to go along with wedding rings... here's mine: My grandmother left me a pair of diamond earrings, but I never got my ears pierced so they sat unworn. When Mr. Sasha started talking about looking at rings, I suggested we get those diamonds and use them in the ring. We purchased a stone to use in the middle, and had the jeweler set the stones from the earrings on either side. I love it!

Ricky Rowe said...

It looks stunning! It would be quite unfortunate if it accidentally ended up in the garbage disposal. I hope nothing like that will ever happen again. Anyway, I assume the wedding went perfectly fine? Congratulations! I wish you both all the happiness in your marriage.

Ricky Rowe @ Find A Jewelry Expert