My three true 'bling' rings live on my left hand, announcing my marital status to the world. In just a few years, they'll have been there for half a century … imagine that!
My wedding ring is slim with three tiny diamonds set in tiny white gold diamond shapes on the yellow gold band. I had planned a wide, plain gold band, until I began trying some on. No … far too heavy for my long slim fingers. Somehow, this slimmest of wedding bands, with its own bit of 'bling' was the perfect match for my solitaire diamond engagement ring with its simple shoulders set with tiny diamonds each side.
My eternity ring had been my Mother's, that I inherited 34 years after our marriage. Another slim ring set with tiny diamonds that happily nestled right in alongside the 'big brother' (or sister?) Diamond ring – creating a perfect balance – a bright and shiny harmony. I love the thought that a part of my beloved Mother lives my every day with me, sharing victories and tragedies, and all the shades of Life in between.
But this story belongs to the 'show-stopper' diamond engagement ring that featured in a most unexpected way in the first weeks of Summer, here on our retirement farm. Living in the South East of South Australia sees most of us well acclimatised to the cold and wet months – but suffering the heat of Summer temperatures that our Northern cousins would find acceptable as perfect, warm and sunshiny days. Consequently, the cool of the evening and the gentle breeze that creeps across the land from the sea just 15 kms. (9 miles) away, are welcomed and enjoyed most gratefully. On such a night, following drinks and relax time, I had a lengthy romp with our long-haired German Shepherd dog, Benji – both of us enjoying a tumble and roll around on the cool grass until bedtime.
The next morning follows the usual bleary-eyed, gradual waking up routine of – nature call; Wash hands and quick comb through of hair; Make first cup of coffee; Turn on computer; Sip coffee whilst idly checking fingernails. Hmm-mm – that thumbnail needs attention – stretch fingers out, and … my heart stopped for several beats and then began to pound painfully in my chest and unbearably loudly in my ears. I could barely breathe. There was a great black hole where my diamond should have been. It just could not be true. I gently felt the claws of the ring … there was definitely nothing cradled within them.
I checked my desk and keyboard (and upturned the keyboard and look it). I was sure it would just be lying there, innocently twinkling at me. Maybe the floor? I retracted each step back to the bathroom … had it dropped out as I ran my hands? No. I painstakingly studied every square of the tiled floor and then the polished wooden boards of our kitchen and dining area; Around the kettle and the cupboard tops. Nothing.
In our bed? Now there was a possibility. Sometimes caught on the bed linen through the night as I slept? Again, no. As I woke my husband and told him the shocking news, I began to cry. He comforted me and in his usual practical fashion, first checked every inch of our bed and the carpeted floor underneath, and then 'walked' me through every move I made made since I awoke. We swept floors and vacuumed and examined our dusty collections with a magnifying glass. That magnifier quickly became an essential heavy duty tool in our investigations of every nook and cranny; Every knothole and join between floorboards and skirting.
The search went for for hours as the area widened to include the front lawn where I had played with Benji. This area slowly and painfully emerged as the most likely spot, because I had gone directly to bed after, and the diamond could well have been lost then and there. Can you just imagine how many tiny droplets of dew on the grass can glisten in the sunlight – for all the world like a diamond – and how many times hopes and spirited raised up, only to be dashed down, once again? Even Benji himself could not escape a thorough search of his fur – just on the remotest possibility the diamond had become entangled somewhere on him. How I wished!
All searching proved fruitless. The black hole in my engagement ring seemed even larger and emptier each time I looked at it. At last we had to admit defeat and phone our insurance guy – the one who had known us for some 30 years at that point – the one who had never let us down when we were in need.
In short order, he was able to give us our first good news in this nightmarish situation – our insurance would cover a new diamond and its replacement cost. We just needed a written quote from our jeweller to be sent to the Insurance company for approval.
On close examination, the jeweller found a tiny distortion of the claws on one side, which led him to believe the diamond had slipped out of that side. We had only moved here a few weeks before, and now I sadly remembered a couple of knockouts to my hands as we man-handled the endless boxes – but as no harm could be detected by the naked eye, I had relaxed. As a consequence of this unforgettable loss, I now visit my jeweller regularly, for him to take a quick peek with his trusty one-eye magnifier for any early signs of damage or wear. So far, all is good.
Finally, my treasured ring was back where it belonged, sparkling at its customary level of brilliance, as though this drama had never happened. Absolutely nothing about the setting had been changed, which was exactly how I wanted it. I'm just not into the updating and remodeling trend that many women embrace (even to the point of getting a larger diamond as their days become more affluent).
We are convinced the final resting place of my late dear departed diamond is down a small crack or ant-hole maybe, in our front lawn. If we're correct, can you imagine someone, someday, digging to create a new garden bed – and turning over a shovel of dirt to find a diamond?
Will that be rich soil , or what?