Keli Gwyn
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Romance, Rings, and the Lure of Shiny Things

When you’re reading a romance or watching a romantic movie and the fellow pulls out a tiny velvet-covered box that can only contain one thing, does your heart get all fluttery? Mine sure does.

While Gwynly’s proposal wasn’t accompanied by the appearance of such a box, I have fond memories of picking out my engagement ring. We went to one of those wholesale jewelry places popular in the 80s where you got to help design your ring.

The setting was easy. I wanted a solitaire set in white gold.

Broken Wedding Set

Choosing the stone was fun. I had my heart set on a blue sapphire. It’s not my birthstone, but blue has long been my favorite color.

While the saleswoman spread an impressive assortment of stones on her velvet pad, Gwynly wandered off with the two salesmen. Why? My science teacher fiancΓ© wanted to know the index of refraction for a sapphire, or as I like to think of it, the shine factor. For those who are dying to know, it’s 1.76.

I enjoyed wearing my wedding set for just over twenty-five years.

But things have changed. . .

One day this past January as I was working on my story, I stopped to do some of that staring-into-space-waiting-for-just-the-right-word-to-come thing we writers sometimes do. As I often do when I’m thinking, I was spinning my rings on my finger.

I heard a snap and gasped. Right away I knew what had happened, because my ring fit more loosely. As you can see in the picture above, the band had broken away from the setting on one side.

Gwynly and I visited Randolph Jewelers (the oldest jewelry store in the West) to discuss our options. The helpful saleslady told us the ring could be repaired, but my generous guy said it was time for an upgrade.

We picked out a matched wedding set and decided to add a diamond on either side of my sapphire.

New Wedding Set in Box

This time Gwynly stayed by my side as we made our selection. He made no mention of indices of refraction.

I looked up the index of refraction for a diamond afterward, just for fun. It’s 2.41, giving my wedding set a whole lotta shine.

New Wedding Set close up

Randolph Jewelers rushed to have the wedding set ready on Valentine’s Day. They made it, but Gwynly and I were out walking that afternoon when the call came. We didn’t get the message until after the store had closed.

We picked up the rings the next day. As we walked down the street afterward, Gwynly made sure I didn’t run into anyone. That was a good thing, because I was busy staring at my hand and watching those diamonds sparkle.


Questions for Those Who are Married

Did your guy propose with ring in hand, or did you get yours later?

Is there a special story behind your engagement and/or wedding ring?

Question for Those Dreaming of a Proposal

Would you prefer having your fellow give you a ring when he
pops the question or picking out your ring together?

Keli Gwyn


  • Oh Keli!! Your ring is absolutely gorgeous! (both the “before” and “after” versions). πŸ™‚ I’m fond of blue sapphires too–especially since it’s my birthstone (September). ~ My husband and I picked our rings out at a jewelry store in downtown Atlanta, but he’d let me know it would be awhile before the actual proposal. The day we picked up the rings we’d barely gotten back to the parking garage outside the store when he proposed! πŸ˜‰ So, although not the most romantic of places, we’ve laughed about it many times since. ~ Enjoy your beautiful ring!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Patti Jo, I love that your husband was so eager to propose that he made it no further than the parking garage. My proposal took place in a parking lot, so I can relate. πŸ™‚

  • Keli, I don’t fall into either category but as I’ve told you many times before. Yours is a dream relationship and the stuff dreams are made of. Wear your beautiful ring and let that circle of love that surrounds the two of you last for as long as you both shall live πŸ™‚

  • Beth K. Vogt says:

    Once again, Keli, you made me smile and sigh at the same time.

  • That is one beautiful ring! Here is a story for you. My Dad didn’t give my mom an engagement ring. A German-Canadian farmer, right after the war, was too practical for that. He gave her a watch which she wore for 50 years. On their 50th anniversary, Dad took her to a jewelry store and said, “I think its time you picked out a diamond ring.” Mom was delighted. They were married for another 10 years before Dad passed away. She still wears her ring proudly.

  • Julie Nilson says:

    Your sapphire is so pretty!

    My husband (who never paid attention to jewelry before my ring and probably never has since) wanted to have the ring for me when he proposed. So apparently, when I wasn’t paying attention, he looked through my jewelry box and saw that many of the pieces I’d bought for myself had Celtic patterns. So he actually drew an interlocking Celtic pattern and found a jeweler who could carve a custom ring. This also meant numerous trips to the jeweler to approve the mold and all that. He also ran into my cousin’s wife on one of these trips and had to make up an excuse for being on our city’s “Jewelers’ Row,” since our family has a way of spreading news. πŸ™‚ (She knew he was lying but didn’t tell anyone!)

    I love having this ring that he designed completely on his own–it’s different than anyone else’s.