No One Told Her to be Careful or Choose Another Ring. After selling her retail shop in downtown Santa Barbara, Mona realized her childhood dream when she and her husband, Jake, bought a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley.
I am a horse loving jeweler. Happily one of my horseback-riding friends in Santa Ynez was a client and gave her my number.
When we met for the first time, Mona had been raising and training horses there for the past six years. And her wedding jewelry wasn't working.
She had quit wearing her ring six months ago. Two side diamonds were missing and the filigree detail on the sides was bent and broken.
It was a pretty design and aesthetically, the ring looked good on her. The problem was that it just wasn’t a very strong ring. It wasn’t made to be worn everyday—especially on a ranch!
Ranch Life and Wedding Jewelry
Mona mucked out stalls, hauled bales of hay, picked out pebbles from horse’s hooves, repaired corrals, and of course, rode horses. Everyday! While wearing her wedding ring! Unfortunately, the ring was created to be worn only occasionally.
It was fine for going out to dinner or to the annual Christmas party. Wearing it daily doing manual labor on a horse ranch, though…? No!
Some Rings are Meant to be Worn Occasionally
I enlightened Mona on the differences between wedding jewelry constructed to be worn everyday versus rings meant to be worn only occasionally. There are four points I look for in a ring made for daily wear.
The Four Pillars of a Daily Wear Ring
1. A wide, strong shank that won’t bend and that will properly support the crown or top portion of the ring.
2. Thick, strong settings: prongs, channels, and bezels. Bezels and channels provide more protection than prongs.
3. Gemstones set in such a way that there edges aren't exposed so they could get chipped. The gem settings should have a strong connection to the ring.
4. Strong, well constructed design features. Finishing features that hide scratches like hammering, engraving or matte finishes.
The Band Aid Repair
I replaced the two missing diamonds, fixed the filigree, and polished the ring so it sparkled. I explained that if she continued wearing the ring daily around the ranch, she could only expect it to need more repairs in the near future. Sadly, I was right.
Six Months Later
Six months later, the shank had cracked at the filigree section and a good chunk of the edge of the center diamond had chipped away.
I would have believed her had she told me she’d accidentally dropped it in the garbage disposal.
After once again, explaining to her that the poor ring just wasn’t made for everyday wear, she threw up her hands and exclaimed, “Talk to my husband!” So I did. I called Jake the next day.
Jake to the Rescue
I described the situation to him, pointing out that Mona’s wedding ring just wouldn’t stand up to the rigors of ranch life. It just wasn’t that kind of ring.
Jake asked me what we should do. I said he should surprise her on their anniversary with a proper, “ranch-strong,” new wedding ring. Without missing a beat, he said, “Let’s do it.” So we did.
Two months later, Jake gave Mona her new wedding ring. The shank was wider and thicker and the low settings holding in the three top diamonds were built to last. The ring was not only beautiful, it was strong and made to wear everyday. Mona was ecstatic and Jake was a hero.
The Moral of the Story
You may have guessed the moral of this story: Some rings like your wedding jewelry, are meant to wear everyday…some, only occasionally. If you’re shopping for wedding rings make sure you can tell the difference or work with a knowledgeable jeweler who will steer you in the right direction. Check for the four pillars of a daily wear ring.
“Pretty” isn’t enough for a wedding ring choice. Lasting is what you really want, just like your marriage!
Wedding Ring Specialist,