My $20 engagement ring

Brian, my boyfriend of five-odd (and I do mean odd) years proposed to me on Tuesday, and I said yes. We’re still in Arizona visiting his folks and had wandered over to nearby Bisbee, a boom-and-bust mountain town now seemingly populated solely by artists and antique dealers.

We had been talking about marriage for a few months, so I’d thought about the kind of wedding I wanted. Most all all I want a fun, sane wedding that reflects who we are, as typified by Meg at A Practical Wedding(one of my very favorite blogs).

I knew I didn’t want a traditional engagement ring for several reasons:

  1. I lose jewelry. My body seems to repel it. Though I will try my darnedest to keep ahold of the engagement ring, it’s just not realistic to pretend that losing it isn’t a possibility.
  2. I’m not an enormous fan of gemstones and the practices used to extract them.
  3. I like reusing old things (in case you hadn’t noticed). We’d already talked about using recycled gold for our weddings bands from a service like greenKarat.

As I’ve said before, we’re on a tight budget this trip, so we decided on Tuesday that if we found a ring we liked for less than $10, we’d buy it. A couple of the different booth-rent antique stores had cases full of antique jewelry and other miniatures, both of which the dealer is clearly obsessed with. We like miniatures, too, so we spend a lot of time studying the merchandise and reading the meticulous tags, some of which were imbued with the dealer’s personality (like the tag on a bakelite purse that implored the potential buyer to carry a “statement” instead of a mass-produced piece of junk).

We didn’t find a $10 ring, but , but I did see a $20 ring I kept thinking about.

Emily and Brian 111

 Yesterday we went back to Bisbee to take a closer look. So okay, it’s not exactly thrifted, as we bought it at an antique shop. But it was reasonable and handmade and Victorian, and the couple pictured is either holding hands or arm wrestling (which strikes me as an apt metaphor for marriage) . I’m wearing it on my pinky in the photo because I do need to have it sized up to fit my ring finger.

We could have charged thousands of dollars to a credit card and purchased something extraordinary, too, but I’m not sure I would be happier with any other ring.

Now to plan a partially thrifted wedding…

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7 Comments

Filed under Emily

7 responses to “My $20 engagement ring

  1. Very nice! What’s that rule of thumb that deBeers tries to push — it should cost two months’ salary? Who the HELL spends two months’ salary on a ring?

  2. kali kerr

    OH. MY. GRACIOUS!!!!! That ring is beautiful! And victorian? are you serious? Seriously? $20!!! It really is so beautiful. It was meant to be. I couldn’t be happier for the two of you.

  3. Congratulations to both of you.

  4. Pingback: A story about a ring that doesn’t involve hobbits

  5. Congratulations from a 30 year veteran! That ring is so sweet.

  6. Congrats on the engagement. The ring is beautiful. You guys are awesome!

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