23 August 2007

Ring Frustration

The rings for our wedding are a huge deal for me. Actually his ring is. I have a ring already and would be fine without a band (it would be a nice luxury but is not a necessity) but he doesn't even have a wedding symbol yet. The ring and officiant/lawyer are my top wedding priorities. Everything else is part of a big party to me. Unfortunately I am having some ring frustrations these days and am thinking of my plan B, plan C, etc.

I am buying my fiance's ring and he is buying my ring. We obtained some diamond chips from one of my grandmother's rings and my father even donated a couple from some work pins he said he will never wear. For my fiance's ring I want to do a plain 5 mm wide platinum comfort fit band with a single diamond inserted flush on the inside with an engraving. It is a custom order and I have been having a hard time communicating with the jeweler I thought I was going to go with. I think they may be really busy if they are really popular now. I sent an e-mail in June, one in early August, and even called. Those three attempts resulted in no responses. I found two other jewelers that are also considered eco-friendly, but their prices are higher than what I had budgeted for. The original jeweler even raised their prices recently but I am fine with that.

Question #1 is WHY PLATINUM? You need to go back to the story of my engagement ring. I never wanted an expensive ring. I didn't want diamonds (blood diamonds), I didn't want an expensive metal (the more expensive it is, the more waste that is usually created to mine the ore). However my fiance navigated those obstacles and bought me a ring from an estate sale. It is dated to the 1920's and is considered eco-friendly since it not the result of any new resource extraction because it already exists, it existed before I was born. Since my engagement ring is platinum I need a platinum wedding band. If the wedding band was made of a weaker metal it would get damaged when I would wear it with my stronger engagement ring.

We had planned on getting him a platinum wedding band because we ideally would like matching bands. It is also a nice luxury that I think he would enjoy. However I would prefer to go through an eco-friendly jeweler that recycles platinum that has already been mined. Apparently to get one ounce of platinum 10 TONS of ore need to be mined. That is not good. When this stuff is removed from the earth it is washed and the run-off is not healthy to ecosystems and neither is the sudden near 10 TONS of matter that is now left on the earth's surface.

This is what getting my ring has done to the earth. Now just think that in 1992 alone 8.3 million ounces of platinum was harvested (source). Current mining practices are exponentially more destructive than mining from the the beginning of the 20th century. There is not only this environmental cost, think of what conditions must be like for workers in that mine... there is a human cost as well. I don't want to pay to contribute to these type of mining practices.

So here here is the plan B at this point. I'll do what he did and find a ring already made. A friend that deals with vintage jewelry suggested pawn shops. All I can think of is a sad circumstance that may have landed that ring in the pawn shop (think of the movie "The Crow"). I am consistently checking eBay. I need to go back to the jeweler that he bought my engagement ring from and ask them to keep an eye out for me. Then I'll need to find jeweler to flush mount the diamond and engrave it.

Here is the plan C. Get some platinum and have the ring casted. I'm not holding my breath but I found a not so ideal ring on eBay that I am considering buying if I can get it for a good price. I need to find someone who will make the ring though. Apparently melting and casting with platinum is more complicated than doing it with gold. Anyone know anybody that does this?

Question #2... WHY PUT YOURSELF THROUGH ALL THIS TROUBLE? This goes back to the ring being important to me. The ring is only a symbol but I want that symbol to be as earth-friendly as possible since that is one of the principles we share and are building our marriage on. We have been pretty good about expressing intention with this wedding, thus marriage. I want that intention definitely expressed in the marriage symbol my soon-to-be husband will be wearing.


Terry said...

The place I got your engagement ring. :) http://carrollsjewelers.com

I called Anna today, and got a quote for the bands. They will create whatever we need. The quote is extremely reasonable. All we have to do is take them a small pile of metal and the stones.

I already emailed you all this, of course, but I thought a comment everyone else could see would be nice.

And to anyone who is interested, and in the Miami area, Anna Brines is an amazing person to work with. I can't recommend her highly enough.

P.S. Love you, Bunny. ;)

anonymous said...

You do realize that it is highly more likely that your vintage stone is a blood diamond than any currently mined diamond. In the current market only 6% of the diamonds are "blood" diamonds in origin, because the practice has been outed and the market will no longer (knowingly) buy them. This was not the case decades ago.

Kia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bunnybride said...

anonymous, can you leave a source for the information you posted?

I am not going to eye my ring with any sort of questioning or disdain, but my fiance nor I are jewelry experts and would like to be better informed. We are just two people trying to do the best that we can.

It could also be useful information for any other viewer.


Tom said...

Simply Shallow.

Why does love'marriage need anything to dignify it, especially a rock.
Can't it just stand alone.

Americans are addicted to more than just oil and many finance more corporations than just big oil.

bunnybride said...

Thanks for your comment Tom.

It does come off a bit snarky but it is a valid comment. We would be lying to ourselves if we didn't admit we were shallow. Not all the resources we consume are for pure survival and my fiance's ring for the wedding is one example of that extravagance.

All a legal wedding needs is a recognized ceremony and two consenting adults. We are definitely going beyond that.

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