Looking for Sparkles

I like sparkles but especially diamonds. I have expensive tastes but do not indulge myself. When I lost my wedding set (and I don’t want to rehash ancient history but it had one big diamond and 15 smaller ones), I replaced it with a gold band (no stones) that I got at a pawn shop for $65 and then later Sparky bought me an engagement ring (one small diamond) at another pawn shop for a whopping $170. I’ve been wearing them for the last 10 years.

When my mother heard that I’d lost my rings she gifted me with a couple of rings. They were very sparkly, so much so that it was obvious that they were not real (I checked). She loved wearing fancy rings. Although she had lots of costume jewelry, she also had lots of diamonds, emeralds, aquamarines, and even at one time sapphires and opals. It was kind of a thing for my father to take one of us girls with him to help pick out her Christmas gift at the jewelry store. After he died she had to buy her own rings. She liked to go to the pawn shops and check to see what they had for cheap.

After her funeral, my sisters and I went through her jewelry and divided it up among us. There were lots of high quality pieces. We each ended up with 11 rings. Of all the items I got, my favorite was her wedding band from her original set (a long story of cash strapped lovers). It was a very simple band with 3 teeny tiny diamond chips, well it was supposed to have 3 diamonds. One diamond was missing. Even though it is not the most expensive ring (pretty much worth a couple dollars if it were melted down), I decided to get it fixed. The jeweler suggested just junking it. Of course when he registered my look of horror at the suggestion, his tune shifted to “unless it has great sentimental value” then we can replace the diamond and put on new prongs. So I’m wearing that wedding band and it actually matches my engagement ring. I guess in the end I’m not as much into the diamonds as into having a touchstone…

69 thoughts on “Looking for Sparkles

  1. lol – lots of points for reference there Muri, the one that stands out for me right now is: your husband is for keeps, he really is -‘ not that you need me telling you. In the middle of my time as a social worker, some 15 yrs back now, I guess, I got a ring from a pawnshop – two very slim bands overlaying like crossed over with 4 tiny diamond bits (probably the 2$ kind, for my private spiritual commitment. One of the small diamonds fell out once and got lost, and the shop replaced it for free, hence the 2$ guess. 🙂

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    1. The pawn shops have really good deals. I have a couple rings from the pawn broker that new would be thousands of dollars that were purchased for only a pittance (I got one for $35 that was appraised at over $2000). Anyway, lots of quality for not a lot of money…

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    1. And it isn’t probably the ring as much as the memories attached to it… That’s the way I feel about the rings from my mother. I have one that she wore often that I’ll never wear but when I look at it I can see her.

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      1. mmh – that means with my commitment ring I am creating memories from scratch – nay creating a tradition – reminds me of my front page lady… leaving it to others later to ‘get her…

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  2. I wear my Grandma’s wedding ring so it’s pretty old, she has been dead for years. My mother had two sets since she was married twice. I kept the set my Dad bought her and sold the other set. Now that I am older and my daughter does not want the rings I am going to see them and buy my daughter a gold chain. The older I get the less I want to keep things and I don’t want my rings go to the grave with me, keep them or sell them, it matters not to me. You have inspired me to go to the pawn shop though, use to all the time.

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    1. Hi Betty! Thanks for the visit and comment! I think pawn shops are really a good place to buy jewelry but not so much for selling it. We have a place that buys gold and silver but they never pay a very good price since they are only interested in melting things down. I think that with one of the big rings, I’m going to have the stones removed and made into a necklace.

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  3. I have my mother’s diamonds and I don’t even want them. If I would ever remember to take them to a city I might be able to either get something for them (ideally) or trade them for something I would like to have (but there’s nothing I want…) Sigh. They are an albatross around my neck.

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    1. Sorry to hear that they are weighing on you. I suppose I have a much different perspective owing to my relationship with my mother. I’ve said it before but I have lead a charmed life! Too bad you don’t have a niece who would appreciate a few diamonds….

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    1. I don’t think it costs much to have a ring sized – at least the last time I had one of mine done… Some of my mother’s rings were very large so I only wear them on the index or middle finger…

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  4. My sister put one of Mum’s watches in the box for me. Mum had packed up a lot of things with my name on it. It’s the boxes written in her own hand that are so precious rather than the contents.

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    1. Because her eyesight was failing she stopped writing letters and notes in her cards. That you have the boxes is so nice! It was good of your sister to put the watch in for you…

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        1. My mother was mostly organized but when her eyesight started to go she didn’t always put things in the right folder… She had even labeled some storage bins but couldn’t read the signs on the doors so stuff got put here and there…

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    1. I think I’ll turn into her at some point. She liked to wear different rings everyday! Sometimes she’d wear a ring on every finger… But I’m not there yet! I bet your mother would love to go jewelry shopping with you!

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  5. I’ve never been hugely crazed over diamonds. I only wore a diamond ring while I was married and that was a gift from my godmother. I still have it, but obviously no longer wear it. I do love rings, but I tend to stick with costume jewelry in the form of rings, bracelets and earrings. Oh, the earrings…I had been a bit of an earring freak pre-pandemic (the sales rack at Kohl’s), but now I wear them only occasionally so my pierced holes don’t close up. The pandemic and not going out has really dropped the wearing of jewelry…for now. One day, I’ll get back to it.

    I’m so glad that your mother’s ring has become a touchstone of great meaning for you. It will be a constant, loving reminder of mom and your family life.

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    1. Thanks Mary. It does mean so much to me. I used to wear earrings but developed an allergy to the metals in the posts and wires. Even with the shields and wearing only 18karat gold my ears would swell and get really nasty. So I’ve let the holes close up… Hope you can get back to wearing the fancy and fun earrings soon!

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  6. I havd four girls and each of them is already eyeing a piece or two of my jewelry ..lol and i am not dead yet..i guess i am like your mom, i love to collect pieces of jewelry too..

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    1. Ah! Mich that is wonderful that you have 4 daughters! I have only sons and so far no daughter in-laws to pass things to. Perhaps all my stuff will end up with the nieces… Then again perhaps a son will marry and I’ll have grandchildren!

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  7. I have heard a couple of “rings” stories over the years but I really liked yours. There’s something so tender and sweet and selfless about the things you wrote about here. Your mum trying to ease your sadness over the loss of your rings by sending some “sparklies” was one. The way you reached for your mum’s wedding band… these are stories we don’t often hear.

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    1. My parents were married and only death parted them. They were truly one flesh and one heart so that ring is not only a remembrance of my mother but of their love for each other. It has been something I’ve mirrored in my own marriage. I’m glad you liked this little bit of my history…

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  8. I don’t like jewellery much but I’m a sucker for rings.. I have so many random ones! I really want to check out your “collection” someday!

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