Friday 24 July 2015

31 Things: Rings

I wear necklaces, bracelets and brooches if the occasion demands it; but I never go out without I wear a pair of earrings, two crosses - worn on a very long chain beneath my blouse - and one of two wrist watches; and three rings: two on my right hand and one on my left. 

The only ring I can remember my mother wearing was a chunky plastic one – which may be doing her an injustice.  But, I don’t think she cared that much for traditional jewellery. The woman who did wear some jewellery in our family was my maternal grandmother. However, the only ring my grandmother wore was her wedding ring, which she couldn’t remove, because her hands were crippled with arthritis. 

For many years I wouldn’t have dreamt of wearing silver and gold jewellery together; it was a fashion rule. This was a very convenient – if expensive – rule to follow because I didn’t like silver or even own anything silver. I say expensive, because I have never liked anything imitation and gold was no exception. It had to be the real thing or nothing. 

I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point I decided that “I prefer silver now, and not gold.” Maybe it coincided with a mid-life crisis; or maybe at some point I decided that silver, or platinum was classier.  Whatever; I could now afford to own any number of earrings (which I was forever losing) and bracelets – even rings if I wanted to - simply because they were so much cheaper than their gold counterparts,

But this was the moment that that rule about mixing metals went out of the window: silver bracelets and bangles looked good on me, but silver rings did not. No matter how much I wanted to go for an all-silver look, it wasn’t to be. Fantasy hit reality when even the salesgirl, who was desperate to sell me a heavy silver ring, had to concede that silver didn’t suit me.

So, when I married again it was going to have to be a couple of gold rings, and that being the case I knew I wanted an engagement ring set with a red garnet. But, once again, the colour of my skin let me down – a garnet didn’t look right on me. Instead we chose an amethyst in an unusual filigree setting together with a wedding ring in the shape of a wishbone; the contours were a match made in heaven. 

Emma Lee

And despite my dream of having an engagement ring to die for, my fiancé only had to hand over a mere £40 (it was on special offer!) 

Emma Roberts

After a civil ceremony these rings, which I wore on my left hand, told the secular world that I was a married woman. 

Sophia Roberts

The plain gold 18 carat band, with which I was married in church, six weeks later, I wear on my right hand (I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian). 

Wedding of Anthony and Sophia Roberts

I had all three rings blessed. 

This was the arrangement until we went to Wales for the first time, six years later. We were so delighted with Wales that T bought me a ring that had been designed and made in the heart of Wales. I chose a moonstone (no amethyst available), because a diamond would have made what we intended to be merely a holiday souvenir prohibitively expensive. However, after we came home, I considered that my engagement ring had become perilously thin, so I took the opportunity to replace it - and the secular wedding ring - with my new Welsh ring.

On my right hand, just above my wedding ring is another Welsh ring - an eternity ring. We bought this on our next trip to Wales, the following September.  As our wedding anniversary wasn’t until July I knew I had a wait on my hands (!) But, my very romantic husband took my hand, in the early hours of a May morning, just as the first light of Easter emerged from the sanctuary, and slipped the eternity ring over the fourth finger of my right hand. It may not have been theologically appropriate, but it was a wonderful gesture.

I am grateful to Ali Edwards for this prompt.


  1. Well, what a story of rings! It has given me the taste to do some research on the symbolism of wearing rings. I haven't worn a ring since my wedding band was stolen twenty years ago.
    Nice pictures of you and T. They will also be lovely in a Family Blog to set the ball rolling! I love your fluffy cardi in the third image and you always wear such elegant dresses!

    1. Thank you, Sandra. I made the fluffy cardigan myself (a Sylvia Cosh crochet pattern). I was wearing it over my wedding dress (I was frozen - well, we are talking England, in July!)

      I was going to say I can't imagine what it must have been like to have a wedding ring stolen, but I can. I was burgled and lost several precious items; it was devastating.

      The symbolism of rings (and circles) is fascinating. See I am intrigued to know that in Medieval England the wedding ring was worn on the right hand and not the left. The same is still true in many countries, today.