There is a saying I love which is, “Why is the grass greener over there?” Because there’s a big pile of shit.”
I use the metaphor of shit in my own life a lot and teach that metaphor to my therapy clients and student interns. If we can learn to sit in the shit long enough, and self soothe through the experience of it, eventually the grass will grow. And the greater the manure is, the greener the grass will be.
I was disappointed that my ring wasn’t going to have some “shitty” symbolism in it. But then the thought popped into my head, “You’ve had a lot of shit in your life. It’s time for a little sunshine.”
I grinned from ear to ear and dropped the disappointment. I couldn’t wait to see my yellow ring. As I learned more and more about it, I fell more and more in love. With the whole process.
I learned that the bruting machine, an invention that made it possible to cut diamonds into a truly round shape, wasn’t invented until the late 1800’s. It turns out that the older a cut diamond is, the more asymmetrical it usually is.
A lopsided old mine cut diamond isn’t necessisarly a reflection of a poor cut, so much as it is an indiciation that it is a very old diamond, shaped before people got good at shaping them.
I ended up on the phone with a gemologist and appraiser in New York, who talked with me for free for half an hour about the fact that this type of diamond is incredibly rare. Old mine cut diamonds with a W,X,Y or Z rating that are over a carat in size are almost always recut to maximize the color.
Old mine cuts de-accentuate color. They cut the bottom tip of the diamond off, leaving what looks like a hole in the middle when you look at it from the top. All the color leaks out of this hole rather than reflecting back out through the top of the diamond.
When cut to accentuate color, the stone can be graded as a “fancy”diamond, making it worth almost four times as much as they are otherwise. He said he hadn’t seen an old mine cut like this in years.
I then asked our jeweler where he had gotten the stone and why he hadn’t recut it and sold it for more. He responded that he had bought it at an estate sale and that, “It’s too special a stone, and has way too much character to be recut and ruined with modern lazer technology.”
My brother came over one night and I was sharing these details with him. He made fun of my excitement, responding with, “My precious.” I giggled and started called the ring “my precious” too.
I finally got an email that the ring was complete.
I loved it! And told them so, and they immediately shipped it out.
I was so excited to put in on when it came. It exceeded all expectations.
I was surprised at how colorless it looked in indoor lighting.
My favorite thing about it, however, was the light yellow color that shone through in natural light.
ALL THAT IS GOLD DOES NOT GLITTER
That “W” color that had lowered its cost, reminded me of all the sunshine I had in my life. That even on bad days, there’s a sun shining behind those clouds.
In The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien writes,
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Things aren’t always as they seem. On paper, this ring may seem cheap and low quality. But to me it is precious. It is precious because of all that it represents. It is precious because of how it came into my life, and how the creating of it has impacted me and my marriage for good.
It has grown my gratitude, strengthened my faith, and made me feel special…unique and one of a kind…a little bit of perfect wrapped up inside all my human imperfections.
It’s worth cannot be found in the sum of money that we paid for it.
In The Lord of the Rings, Gollum cries, “Curse us and splash us! My precious is lost! Curse it and crush it! We hates it forever!”
If I were to lose my ring, “My Precious” would not be lost. The physical symbol may no longer be visible, but all that sunshine would still be shining down on me.
A diamond is….whatever.
Whatever meaning you happen to place upon it.
You can ride your faith wherever it is you need to go.
It will help you find what needs to be found.
My husband and I decided we’re going to fly to Chicago for our 20th anniversary and take a picture with our ring making team. Since the ring is technically my 20th wedding anniversary gift, I figured I wouldn’t be getting anything else. My husband and I have tried to follow the set anniversary gifts each year, and I decided to look up on line what it was I wouldn’t be getting this year.
I was filled with happiness when I found that the 20th year just happens to be platinum (the metal we chose to use for the ring) and a “yellow or golden diamond.”
How amazing is that?