My ring

IMG_0701Have I shown you my wedding ring? I haven’t? Well, here it is. It’s been on my hand all these years and I guess we’ve never talked about it.

I designed it. In 1992 when Patrick and I decided to get married, I didn’t want a standard out of the jewelry store ring. Something as important as marriage to me, needed something symbolic and unique. I was motivated by a good friend who also had a designed ring. Her’s was sterling silver with an opal; a real piece of art.

Similarly I decided that an opal fit the bill. A natural yet somewhat fragile stone with tremendous color variation and color selection. Not a diamond, certainly. Diamond is our birthstone and I’ve never found it very interesting. At the jewelers (then the Jewelers Workshop on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, now sadly replaced with a clothing shop or pizza parlor but still thriving on North Sherman Ave.) they asked what color of opal I wanted (blue), then pulled out a small rectangular flat box with about 2 dozen to pick from. I chose the one with a natural fault of blue and green side by side rather than all blue.

More significantly was the design of the band. I asked the designer for something that evoked movement, and balance – the 2014-09-27 19.19.57complement of strength and weakness. I drew him a picture of what I was thinking, myself always drawn to settings that allow each side to cover the top or the bottom of the stone, but never wrapped completely. (I did a quick Google Images search – I guess they call this chamise. I don’t know). One side was wide, the other was narrow. And the tip of the sides on the top of the stone evoked waves, again movement.

My friend’s band was silver (possibly white gold). The jeweler talked me into yellow gold. To go with ‘my skin tone.’ Gold gold. Traditional gold.


I don’t quite remember what was in my fantasies or dreams, but I remember not seeing that ring when they showed it to me. It was close but not quite. (I think it was the gold gold).

But it IS my ring and I’m very happy to wear it. It represents our marriage. The balance of strength and weakness, constant movement, something precious and strong and everlasting (gold) and vulnerable (the opal). Something dreamed of and desired, yet not exactly expected. Something that still fits after so many years. Yet something I’ve taken off from time to time. Something that I don’t get tired of, yet in its imperfection I have grown to appreciate.



~ by Susan Walker on September 27, 2014.

One Response to “My ring”

  1. this is a beautiful ring! I’m actually trying to wish Patrick a happy birthday. Saw it on my calendar. Web surfed and found many economics articles. Then remembered you had a daughter named Alice and found you. Lenny and I used to live with Patrick in Allendale. Don’t know if you’ll see this or not but his birthday is in four days. Alice is a fantastic young woman and you are very brave parents. Your blogs are great!

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