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Friday, November 12, 2004


Last year, just about exactly a year ago, The Guy and The Girl decided to Make It Official. To whit; they started hunting engagement rings with the avidity of British fox-hunters. They looked high and low, starting with the well-known diamond sites like and But they weren't crazy about the modern styles, so they moved on to antique jewelry websites that had wonderful Victorian engagement rings, Edwardian gems, and oddities occasioned by the Deco movement.

They searched through thousands of rings, and millions of sparkling diamonds. Sapphires too came up, but The Girl was boerd with saphhires, having been exposed to them in every engagement ad for the past five years. She also thought the three-stone ring was a crock; not nearly so much a new and fabulous design as it was an excuse to make people buy more stones than ever before. She joked at the time that she would buy The Guy and ring and put it through his nose, where he could be more easily led.

They both loved the Edwardian rings, with their simple, mine-cut or rose-cut diamonds. But the Edwardians, who loved the appearance of simplicity, actually found more ways to hide twenty-four diamonds on one frail finger than anyone would have thought. The undersides were studded with stones, the center, one-carat diamond was more often than not also surrounded by delicate stones as well, adding to the overall cost. It started to look like getting engaged was much more complicated than the movies made it seem.

But a trip to Halifax turned the search around. A compliment in a jewelry store led The Girl into a fascination with parti-sapphires, bi-colored stones that are golden in one light, blue in another. But they couldn't find the right one, most partis being a little bit murky. But The Girl didn't give up, and at a site called, she founds thousands, billions of gemstones in every color of the rainbow. She chose a mint garnet the color of fresh catnip. It was 3 carats, oval, and lovely apple-green. A jeweler mounted it in a white gold setting decorated with cedar twigs rendered in the silvery metal.

To this day, The Girl smiles when she look at her ring. To this day, The Guy still claims it looks like a shard of a 7-up bottle.

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