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The Ring

Why Sapphire?

It was a really tough choice between a blue sapphire and red ruby. In the end, I decided that blue was a better color for me to wear every day, whereas red was better for occasional appearances.

Based on the puzzled responses that I have received, I suppose the implied question is "why sapphire instead of diamond?" It was a really hard decision to make since I have loved diamonds, my birthstone, for so long.

There were a lot of factors that made me arrive at my decision. It started out with a discussion I read about "blood diamonds" and how so many Africans were killed or mutilated. Fortunately, the Kimberley Process has been implemented "to stem the flow of conflict diamonds – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments." This would have alleviated the guilt associated with wearing diamonds.

What made me decide to get an alternative gemstone was that I learned that "A diamond is forever" is not a truism, but a very effective De Beers marketing slogan that jump-started the "tradition" of diamond engagement rings in the mid-twentieth century. Even the "two month salary rule" was invented by people whose goal was to increase the sale of diamonds by getting men to buy more expensive rings than they might have.

Once I was free of the spell, I opened my mind to other gems, and saw how beautiful sapphires and rubies were. There are other beautiful stones but I wanted something that would be hard enough to wear on a regular basis, and sapphires are second to diamonds on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Although I believed that a sapphire would look great in an engagement ring, I was aware that with the vast majority of rings being diamond rings, it might be difficult for people to recognize my ring as an engagement ring. I still wanted to let people know that I was spoken for. :) The challenge was for Troy to find a setting that would flatter the sapphire without making it look like costume jewelry. Also, with my lifestyle, I didn't want something that would snag or get in the way of me doing things. What we found, and what I got, was that small diamond side stones added sparkle to the ring and complemented the sapphire very well.

I hope I have sufficiently answered the question that some people have had on their minds. I still think diamonds are pretty so I can still admire the diamond engagement rings that people have. 

Of course, I still favor my ring more because Troy found the perfect ring to fit my tastes and personality. :) He even tried to save up money by eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and took a day off work to find and buy the ring before our trip to Colorado. It was because of that secret trip to San Francisco that he was able to pull off the surprise. Although it is not the same shade, the blue sapphire reminds me of Troy's blue eyes. :)

Shock and Aww

A lot of guys understandably want to surprise their bride-to-be with the ring. On the other hand, it seems a lot of women pick out their engagement rings these days. One option to consider is what Troy and I did. Although we discussed my ring preferences and even went ring shopping together, he still managed to surprise me when he actually proposed.

While some may find a conversation about the engagement ring could ruin the surprise of an impending proposal or the romance of the man just knowing on his own what his significant other would like in a ring, I think it is possible to have the best of both worlds.

A discussion of an engagement ring could even feel awkward, and it does require some finesse to bring it up without causing undue stress or pressure on the other person. However, I think people in a serious relationship that is headed toward marriage should be comfortable with talking about potentially awkward topics like finances and children. Talking about an expensive ring that a woman is going to wear practically every day seems like a good thing to do.

I did not know exactly what I wanted so most of the time when we went ring shopping, I would point out what I did not want. There were things that I did not want/like that surprised Troy so I am glad that he got my input. :)

There were some indicators that led me to guess that he might propose to me during our trip to Colorado. However, we had looked at rings the weekend before the trip and the decisions on the ring style and size was still up in the air so I figured that there was not going to be a proposal without a ring.

While we stood on a bridge at Troy's alma mater, he started saying some stuff and before I knew it, he had gotten down on one knee with a ring box in one hand. I was so shocked that I could not come up with anything witty to say, but I managed to come up with "yes" and that was all he wanted to hear.

I did not anticipate a proposal since I did not know he had gotten the ring. It turned out that he had taken a day off work to buy the ring before we flew to Colorado. He kept it a secret until after the proposal.

There you have it. Troy got to surprise me with a proposal, and I got a ring that I love to admire.

Troy's blog post about our dream merger has more details about the proposal and the ring, from his point of view.