Posted on May 10th, 2011 by Diane.
There is no doubt that buying rings can be stressful. So I give you the five stages of buying rings.
Stage 1: Sticker shock.
So there’s this completely arbitrary rule floating out in the universe that you should spend three months salary on a woman’s engagement ring. Now setting aside the question of whether or not that means before or after taxes, that’s a lot of flippin’ money to spend on a ring! I don’t mean to belittle people who spend that kind of money or who want a large size stone, but when you’re talking about spending three months of salary on a ring twice it can give you ulcers. Just to really paint the picture for you that would have been almost ten grand for just my ring, and then you have to wear it! Everyday! I would be walking around town with almost 10 K on my finger! I couldn’t do it, and Jen couldn’t do it.
We also found a three stone design for a ring that we really loved for a wedding band. The very nature of this ring would curse it to be a more expensive ring. We talked about it and decided that we really liked spending the money and effort on the wedding ring. The engagement ring was important to us, but the wedding ring is the ring that represents the promise of a life built and shared. It made much more sense to us to put our money into those rings. (Again let me say that this is what was right for us, not a mandate for what everyone should do)
Stage 2: Blood diamond guilt.
For those of you who don’t know about blood diamonds (also called conflict diamonds) they are stones where the proceeds go to fund war operations in various countries (mostly in Africa). Thus the name blood diamonds. I’d never given much thought to blood diamonds, but as I was preparing to have jewelry that I would wear everyday it started poping up in my mind. How was I going to know if I was looking at blood diamonds? It’s not like they show up at the store with a big sign that says “hey I helped kill a poor old farmer and his family”. I found a couple of things helpful in educating myself. There is a thing called the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The KPCS was set up in 2003 to help prevent conflict diamonds from entering into the international diamond trade. How well it works is (like most things) up for debate. If you assume that it works you can visit the site Diamond Facts. They have a list of countries that participate in the KPCS and give you some information about what to ask jewelers when buying diamonds. Any jeweler that is operating within the KPCS should have documentation for every stone in their store that they can show you. Also major jewelers should have their conflict diamond policy on their website.
Posted on February 14th, 2011 by Mandy.
I have a weird relationship with my wedding rings. Actually, my weirdness is just with one of them (there are two total). I have struggled, as many others have, with how my queerness and my queer marriage jives with the elements of traditional marriage like engagement and wedding rings.
Leaving City Hall after we got hitched - showing off that I am indeed a married woman! That's supposed to be my sassy "What?!" face...
We didn’t have an engagement, really. We decide to get married and then just did it nine days later. In those nine days, we bought rings for us to exchange at the wedding – two simple bands that didn’t match each other but that we picked because they suited us individually. We did have a conversation beforehand about whether or not we wanted rings, and decided that we did because it was a cultural symbol that we liked and we felt comfortable with what we knew to be the origins of the tradition – something about the circle being an unending thing, and the vein in the ring finger being a straight line to the heart (whether or not this is correct I can’t be 100% sure, but we like the idea). So we got wedding bands.
Posted on January 25th, 2011 by Erica C.
Let me preface the photos with a little background info:
I had been preparing to propose to Christina for months- and I mean months- I had purchased the first engagement ring in December 2008 when I was home for the holidays in Connecticut. During a trip to the mall, I noticed a jewelry store was going out of business and everything in the store was 90% off. (Note about me: I am a SUCKER for deals- if there is a deal to be had, I will find it.) So this was a clear omen. I walked by the store, crowded with women oogling over diamonds. I slipped in between a mother and a daughter to have a look at the goods. Immediately I knew this trip could potentially lead to spending some serious money.
I phoned my best friend Alex (my best woman) to talk some sense in to me. Alas, no sense was to be had. She told me to go with my heart. Lame. She is the rational one. I’m the emotional one. Here I was, about to make an impulsive decision. When I got off the phone, I hailed the employee over and asked to take a look at the ring- 3/8 carat princess cut diamond in a platinum solitaire setting. It was all I could afford. $350 later- I was the proud owner of a diamond. [Insert <freak-out moment>]
The 1st Engagement Ring I bought for Christina (it looks a lot bigger than it actually was)
Posted on January 25th, 2011 by Wasabi.
This week I’m sharing some of my favorite eco-friendly wedding ring designers. Each of these rings is made from recycled metals and conflict free gemstones. Happy shopping!