two rings to rule them all

i think we knew from the beginning that we wanted antique rings. the idea of buying brand-new jewelry runs pretty contrary to a lot of our belief systems. i, personally, have some problems with diamonds in particular but i love shiny things. with antique jewelry, pieces have a history, and craftsmanship you don’t really see anymore. a lot of antique pieces are really unique, and tell a story about a specific place and time. we both value age and reuse, so antique jewelery was an easy decision. but styles? cuts? sizes? stores? we were completely clueless. unfortunately, i think we both missed the class on How To Know What Kind of Wedding Ring You Want. a lot of ladies my age can tell you the karat, cut, and kilobytes of their future wedding ring. me? i mostly hoped i wouldn’t lose it.


we had the good fortune to find the perfect jewelers to help us out. it was a snowy day in march, and we were driving down the street in bloomfield (an italian neighborhood of pittsburgh). i think we had just had coffee and some vegan cupcakes, and were feeling pretty good about life and then! i spotted an antique jewelry store, and we had to stop. we swapped some pleasantries with the couple that owns the store, and learned that they have a daughter who married a woman a few years ago in Massachusetts! they were so sweet to us, and showed us pics of their toddler grandson, and gave us advice like, “It’s FOREVER, girls!” i fell in love with a sparkly ring, but i felt like we should shop around more, and so we thanked them and left.

within 10 blocks, i turned around, and we went back and bought the ring. i couldn’t stop thinking about it. sometimes you just know. my ring is really small and thin, with a very very low setting and six tiny diamonds forming the band. the jeweler said it is probably a 1930s or 1940s ring, and held it in his fingers and said it is Such A Nice Piece. if you’re into delicate deco rings, it is quite a nice example. it’s 18K white gold. i am generally not into jewelry, but it makes me so happy every time i see it.

krista’s ring was a little harder. we went to what felt like a million jewelry shops, others in Pittsburgh, as well as some in Olympia and Tacoma. We couldn’t find anything, and we were tired of looking. finally, we went back to the Swetts in Pittsburgh a few months later, and described what krista thought she wanted, and lo and behold, they had the perfect ring! we went through boxes and boxes of their antique jewelry, and then krista found the one — probably a 1920s or 1930s deco ring with a solitary diamond in a very low, square setting. it’s also 18K white gold, so it matches mine, and the diamond is flanked by two tiny, subtle sapphires, her birthstone. they sized both of our rings, and polished them like brand-new.

krista found the most perfect ring boxes to hold our rings until the wedding. superstition says you are not supposed to wear your ring before the wedding, or you will never get married. i confess, i wore my ring a lot in secret, and i still ended up married, so let this be a lesson to you, hexers and jinxsters! levi held the rings for us during the ceremony, although he insisted he did not want to be the ring bearer (too much pressure!)

our minister read, A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It represents wholeness and peace. In the form of a ring it is the accepted token of marriage. By the use of this ring you express in visible form the unbroken circle of your love, in which wherever you go you will always return to your shared life together. she slipped my ring on like a pro, but i was so nervous i almost put krista’s ring on the wrong hand! fortunately, she saved me from certain embarrassment and doom.

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