Monday, March 9, 2009

nice day for a green diamond

I've had "White Wedding" by Billy Idol running through my head for a couple of days -- maybe 'cuz I'm officially engaged as of Saturday night?!

But as my dad reminded me last week, I'm used goods. Mostly he was trying to talk my dowry down to two goats instead of a camel. The fact that he doesn't have either goats or a camel to give, and the fact that Will isn't really expecting a dowry didn't figure into this conversation at any point, but the fact that I've been around the block was apparently relevant.

At any rate, "white wedding" didn't seem like an appropriate title for this blog entry, especially since our plan is to have a green wedding. We're still figuring out exactly what that entails, but it all started last fall when we first talked about getting married...

We went to the jewelry store to look at rings and it was soooo fun and they were soooo pretty. Then I did some research, and realized that those beautiful, sparkly stones hide a really brutal reality. Apparently, things have gotten better in the diamond industry than they used to be, but there still isn't any guarantee that a diamond that is purported to be conflict-free really is. So I decided that maybe the best idea was to get a Canadian diamond. No blood involved, right? Well, sort of. Plus, even Canadian diamonds have to be mined.

I can tell you from experience that it's a bummer to get excited about celebrating your love for someone only to find out that you'll be leaving a trail of blood and tears and ravaged earth behind. But I wasn't willing to give up on the whole diamond thing. Maybe this is one of the few ways that I'm a typical "I've dreamed of this since I was a little girl" shallow, materialistic traditionalist. I know that there are other gems, and that deBeers is like the mafia, and that synthetic diamonds are pretty good these days. But {insert whiny voice here} I didn't WAAAANT another gem, and I didn't WAAAAANT a synthetic diamond.

Then we moved into our new house and life got so hectic that we didn't even have time to think about rings, let alone figure out a solution to the dilemma. In the last month or so, things calmed down a bit, and we started talking about getting engaged again. I decided that the only way I could have the diamond ring I wanted was to get a used diamond (just like the only way I can buy sweatshop clothes is from the ARC).

On a whim, I checked the jewelry section of craigslist, and found what turned out to be the perfect diamond for us. The lady wanted much much more than we had planned to spend, and it had appraised even higher than that, but she liked us and our story and accepted our offer. Because we don't know enough about diamonds to take her word for anything, we shopped around a bit and found a custom jeweler who was willing to meet with us and check out the diamond. He confirmed that everything was on the up-and-up, facilitated the transaction, and set the stone in the ring I wanted (he's also designing my wedding band, using estate diamonds and recycled gold).

Oh, and in case you were worried, it's not a bad karma diamond either -- no acrimonious divorce or dead husband or someone selling her jewels to avoid the poorhouse -- just a simple story of an engagement that didn't work out. He's happily married now, and she's happily single. They are still friends, but she decided it was time to let go of the jewelry from that relationship.

Will was worried that getting engaged would be anti-climactic, since we've talked so much about it and it wasn't a surprise. He's been married before, but I never have, and he wanted to make the proposal special for me. He also knew that I really wanted to be wearing the ring for our housewarming party last weekend.

Far from being anti-climactic, the proposal turned out to be like our lives -- hectic and thrown in with everything else we had to do, but totally perfect and full of love. He did get down on his knees, and we both got tears in our eyes while he talked about how he feels about me, and then he asked me and I said yes and we kissed and hugged, and then we rushed off to separate rooms to finish getting ready for our party (this was at 6:40, the party started at 7:00, we were still not done cleaning the house, and neither one of us had showered yet!)

For more info (probably the most unbiased summary I found) on diamonds and alternatives, click here.


Masasa said...

Glad you've updated your blog Seppie, and most of all, congratulations on your official engagement! Hooray for the two of you! Hooray for love!

You went the exact route we did in terms of the diamond. We don't know the karma of our diamonds, though. For all we know they came from an awful divorce. Hasn't seemed to impact our marriage, however ;-).

Sooooooo...what dates are you looking at? Not sure we can save up to come out, but would certainly love to try.

Finally, congrats on having your house warming. We haven't had ours yet.

Masasa said...

Ugh...dates. Just saw your post on my blog. Posted in reply.

seppie said...

Thanks for the good wishes! I commented back to you...

Masasa said...

Okay, I've got things switched around now for work. The only hitch will be the money factor, but at least there is the potential. I understand that flights are supposed to be really cheap right now, but will soon begin to climb for summer. Ack. Too bad I don't have the money right this instant.

hopalong said...

Your ring (which I missed seeing in person, whoops!) is so pretty! And congratulations, by the way -- I heard Will even went over to formally ask Sarah and Colin's permission, how sweet!

My ring's got the same story as Sierra's pretty much -- formerly owned, but I hope not by a creepy Rebecca de Winter type or something :)