In October, I went swimming at my local leisure centre. Before swimming, I religiously take my ring off and put it inside my coin purse as it is slightly loose. Then after the swim, I get changed and pop it back on.
It may be that you’re expecting this ring to be my engagement ring or a family heirloom. It is neither. Instead it is a 18ct gold, second-hand ring I was bought for my 18th birthday. The ring cost about £100, so not very expensive, and the stone is a slightly opaque, dark amethyst that has a slight chip on one side from knocking it. The ring is not the prettiest, not the most expensive but I love it nonetheless. I have worn it everyday since I got it regardless of whether it matches my outfit or other jewellery; I treasure it.
So, in October, I went swimming. I placed the ring in my purse and went swimming. Or so I thought. When I went to replace it, it wasn’t there. I looked on the changing room floor, in the locker, round the drain; I even contemplated getting back in the pool to hunt there. It was no where to be found. I convinced myself that when I got home, it would be next to my bed or in my jewellery box because I’d forgotten to put it on. But it wasn’t. It was lost.
I cried and emailed the leisure centre and cried and rang my mum and cried some more. I knew it was only an object, one that wasn’t worth much and had a bit of an opaque, cloudy stone but it was my ring. My ring bought by my parents when I became an adult. My ring that had been worn through university and teacher training and meeting my boyfriend and getting a job and moving out and it was gone. My finger felt naked and strange.
For three months I longed for it and hoped someone would email me and say they’d found it. Eventually, I realised I’d lost it for good and being so emotionally invested in an object wasn’t reasonable. When talking to my friends about it, they said all the right sympathtic words but it hadn’t meant anything to them. Instead they questioned whether it would mean my boyfriend would buy me an engagement ring to make up for it (no pressure Michael!).
On 18th February, four days after he had bought me a beautiful little silver and diamond necklace, wedged between the drawers of my jewellery box, was my slightly old and battered, amethyst ring. I cried with joy for finding it. The ring, that had occupied my hand for so many years, was reunited with me. And whilst it meant that dream of having the ring replaced with an engagement ring wouldn’t happen, I wasn’t very bothered. The ring that had symbolised my adulthood and maturity was back with me and that was enough for me.
And although essentially it is a still a small, opaque and slightly scratched object, it is my little treasure that I wear everyday.