Diamonds, Duds and Divorce

Okay, today's Thursday, but since a four-day On Balance holiday weekend starts tomorrow, let's pretend it's Friday.

Here is our topic for today, shamelessly stolen from the May 26 issue of People Magazine:

Diamonds are forever. Relationships, not so much. These two entrepreneurs help women sell the jewelry their ex-boyfriends and husbands leave behind.

This is female entrepreneurship at its most unbalanced. A woman and her stepmother (who says they're all evil?) teamed up to start a Web site where women can sell the jewelry from their exes. They get to tell their stories of revenge and reinvention in the process. The site doesn't charge for the postings, making money instead from advertisements. And I have to say, the jewelry is gorgeous -- and a real bargain.

Before you dismiss this topic as frivolous, I have to hand it to these women for providing a useful service. Sad but true: when you are splitting up or getting divorced, often your number one need is money. You may need to rent a new apartment, hire a lawyer, find a new job, or move to another part of the country to start over. And jewelry, which plays such a symbolic role in the hopes of a new relationship, can play a practical role in your new beginning as a single woman.

Nearly 20 years ago, my posting would have read like this: "I'm selling the engagement ring in order to pay a lawyer to get out of an abusive relationship." But there was no back then. In fact there was barely an Internet back then. But I sold the ring and used the money to get back on my feet. A happy ending.

What's yours? Have you ever sold jewelry or something else to get your life back after a bad breakup?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 22, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  You Go Girl!
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I had to go check out this site. Curiosity was killing me.

I always thought etiquette meant you were supposed to return the engagement ring if the engagement ended?

Maybe I could sell my old engagement/wedding ring set here. I always wondered what to do about it.

Posted by: Billie_R | May 22, 2008 7:43 AM

I see this site as a scammer's paradise.

How many CZs are being sold as diamonds??

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 7:50 AM

From the site:

"(you're mother's right about this one - sorry)"

Posted by: Oh, the grammer | May 22, 2008 7:54 AM

I would have to sell my diamond so that I could afford to take off for a 4 day weekend!

Posted by: Gotta Work | May 22, 2008 8:02 AM

I'm with Billie on this one, and I think also the law in at least a couple states -- you're supposed to give the ring back, at least in the case of a broken engagement. However, I can see why some women might think they're entitled to pawn what they have. Doesn't mean it's legal, though. There are other ways to get back at a person. My husband's ex was very good at running up about $20K in credit card debt in his name in a very short period of time just before they split. Live and learn.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2008 8:24 AM

What about non-engagement jewelry? I don't think you have any obligation to give back that stuff.

Posted by: Leslie | May 22, 2008 8:26 AM

it depends, I believe that the woman has to return the ring is she does the breaking up but gets to keep it if he does the breaking up. But once you say 'i do' then all bets are off - you get to keep it all.

And for the rest? Well, we talk about whether it's the right thing to do to quit your job and have the spouse work while you don't - well, then part of what you do get is the jewelry - to pawn if things go sour and the 'working' spouse treats you poorly. Just a sort of insurance policy...

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2008 8:33 AM

I think you can keep non-engagement jewelry, counts as a gift. I always did, anyway. In fact, for my stepdaughter's graduation gift, I gave her a pair of earrings I had designed using two of the emeralds out of a ring an ex had given me. (Not an engagement ring, though.) Phoenix from the flames . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2008 8:37 AM

The lawyers on this blog can tell me if this is right or not: An engagement ring is given in contemplation of marriage, meaning that the gift is conditioned upon the marriage actually taking place. If the marriage takes place, the condition is satisfied, and the woman is permitted to keep the ring. Conversely, if the marriage does not occur, the would-be-bride must return the ring. It doesn't matter who breaks the engagement.

I think this is the law in many states?

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2008 8:40 AM

Phoenix from the flames is a good way to put it, WMX.

And I'm tempted by this site. Some of the jewelry is beautiful. Too bad Mother's Day is over...

Law or no law, I think it's smart to give back the ring if you didn't get married. Good riddance. But it's a different story if you made significant sacrifices, like moving to be with your bethrothed, or giving up your apartment.

Posted by: Leslie | May 22, 2008 8:45 AM

Give me a freaking break. You are absolutely right I lifted it. I wasn't aware that copyright applies to a blog post.

Leslie, feel free to remove my post

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2008 8:53 AM

Actually, Leslie - I don't think that anyone should judge how or why or whatever anyone sacrificeD - everyone is entitled to the same thing, regardless of 'significant sacrifices' - I mean, who's to judge, really.

But, yeah, if you didn't get married, you should return the ring.

I do have a friend who married someone from another city, so they got married and she moved to his city - quitting a job she loved etc. It didn't even make it two months (certain things he never told her, certain things she chose to ignore) - he gave her some money, but insisted that she return the ring (he was a lawyer - she couldn't afford one). They hadn't been together long, so all she had was the engagement ring and the wedding band.

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2008 8:53 AM

Wow - so someone out there is just spending their time looking at other people's posts in order to see if they've copied and pasted? Don't you have anything else to do>?

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2008 8:56 AM

It depends. Don't confuse the law with etiquette, though.

State law governs who owns the ring, and the laws are all over the place. Subject to correction from someone who practices in this area every day, here's my understanding of the legal landscape. There are three approaches, and several states follow each approach.

1. If the marriage doesn't occur, the ring belongs to the person who purchased it. North Carolina follows this rule.

2. The person who broke the engagement loses the battle over the ring. California follows this rule.

3. A gift is a gift. Once you give it, you have no property rights. Montana follows this rule.

4. Even in states that follow approach 1 or 2, a majority of courts have held that, if you get an engagement ring on your birthday, Christmas or Valentine's (or other holiday), the ring becomes a gift and not a promise to marry, e.g., it belongs to the recipient.

If the ring is a big friggin' deal to one of you, you might want to check with a family law practitioner before you sell what might not belong to you.

On the other hand, Leslie's point is well taken that, unless you have plenty of cash in the bank, think before you throw a ring at a creepy ex in anger because: (a) it might belong to you under applicable state law and (b) you might need to convert it quickly into cash for a deposit on a new apartment.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 9:04 AM

I had a roommate who sold his dead mother's silverware to pay the rent one time.

Since I've never pooled my income with anybody and have my own savings I don't think it'll be an issue for me.

I think situations where the woman is selling jewelry or gifts come around because there is big inequality between partners. Stay away from that -- or get cash upfront.

Jewelry is nice, but how liquid is it, and do you really get the value back out of it? Maybe it worked for Eleen Barkin, but I think that's unusual.

Posted by: RoseG | May 22, 2008 9:08 AM

I think regardless of the state law, if you have a broken engagement then you should return the ring. Just good manners.

But if you were married and you broke up later on, I don't see why you would feel the need to return any jewlery that was given to you.

I am not a big jewlery person. The only pieces that I have of financial value would be from my own family or my husband. In the event we ever got divorced, I would save the pieces to give to our children. I feel it would be up to them to keep the family jewels.

I never liked the idea of selling jewlery because it looses so much value on the secondary market. Unless your desperate for money, I would rather hold on to it and pass it down to someone else.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 22, 2008 9:12 AM

I'm with MN on this one.

A to add a little levity - I went through a wretched break-up almost 5 years ago (he did the breaking up and married 6 months later). I wore a necklace that he gave me about 2 years before the break-up daily, even the first few weeks after he left. The the loop that held the charm to necklace broke -- time to take off (obviously) but also perfect symbolism to me - even the stuff he gave me broke! So as WMX says the Phoenix can rise from the ashes! I wore the earrings that matched one day on a lark and current BF remarked that they didn't look like me... which is true. The ex picked something is his image of me.

PS he's on marriage number 2.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 22, 2008 9:17 AM

foamgnome: usually you are correct about selling jewelry - however with the run-up in gold prices, gold jewelry that holds no sentimental or family value, can yield a decent pay-out (WSJ wrote about this a few months ago).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 22, 2008 9:22 AM

Here's another take: how would you feel about your spouse still having an engagement or wedding ring from a previous relationship?

DW was engaged while in college, years before I met her. Standard stuff - she was an undergrad; he was a grad student; they were going to get married after she graduated; he ordered her a ring out of a catalog. He eventually broke off the engagement - with not much tact, or so I'm told.

Fast forward - DW and I have been married for four years; we're getting ready to move back to MD from CO. I get assigned to help pack her jewelry. There was a lot of stuff I hadn't bought; no biggie - some she had bought herself; several pieces she inherited from her grandmother. I notice a ring I've never seen her wear, and ask if it was from her grandmother. No, she replied - that was the engagement ring from "Joe" which she's kept.

It bothered me, so much so that DW went out and sold it a few weeks later. (For somebody asking about price, DW recalled "Joe" paying about $400 for it and she got $50, about a decade later.) I don't know why since I've always considered anything that happened in her life before I met her to be "irrelevant" but that bothered me.

Out of line? Thoughts?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | May 22, 2008 9:22 AM

I don't know about tangible property law, e.g., engagement rings, but I do know copyright law.

If you life an entire paragraph straight from someone else's blog, giving attribution is not only seemly but avoids copyright infringement claims.

The 8:40 post is lifted lock, stock and barrel from one New York lawyer's blog.

Fair use is a defense, not a good habit.

Posted by: | May 22, 2008 8:51 AM


It's fine, you can absolutely lift a fact, you can lift numerous paragraphs and re-post them. The problem occurs when you're doing that to PROFIT from it--and even then, you can "lift" part of someone else's work (with attribution). The only problem occurs when you lift the "heart" of the work. For instance, if there was a book written about how OJ killed his ex-wife and you reprinted the exact part that reveals all the details of why someone would want to buy the book--then, you're at risk for copyright infringement.

Posted by: Kattoo | May 22, 2008 9:24 AM

WorkingMomX, you are right about how it works in most states; if it's a broken engagement, usually the fiancee will have to give the ring back. If it's a divorce, usually the woman will get to keep the ring.

This is actually a timely topic for me, as I'm going through a divorce (fortunately, a pretty amicable one). I'm keeping the ring - that is in our separation agreement - but holding on to it for our daughter.

Posted by: VA Atty | May 22, 2008 9:36 AM

@ArmyBrat - I think it's okay for it to have bothered you - the ring symbolizes something pretty big, so I think that's why it is bothersome. My fiance was married before and I was surprised that he still had his wedding ring (which his Dad made). He just never thought about what to do with it. After we got engaged, it brought it home, the metal was melted and sold. And for some reason, I am happy about that.

But the random Xmas gifts that his ex gave him (paintings, furniture item, other random things), don't bother me at all b/c they are just "stuff".

But here's another question - old wedding pictures - he has a slew of his old wedding pics (which I have seen) - not sure how I feel about this - on the one hand, who cares they are just a part of his history, on the other, why does he still have them.

Posted by: Betty | May 22, 2008 9:42 AM

ARmy: I can see how it bothers you. My husband still has stuff from his old girl friend and I still have a few things from some of my exs. But nothing that is symbolic of our love for one another. I don't think I would ever wear jewlery from another BF but I might save it to give to my daughter when she was older. But like I said, I don't think I ever received jewlery from another BF. Neither has my husband.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 22, 2008 9:49 AM

Product of a Working Mother - silly man. His loss.

Personally, while I do not fault anyone, for choosing differently, I'm more of the "kick the dust he left behind off my shoes" variety. I've been a part of one awful breakup and wouldn't have given the ex the satisfaction of knowing that I needed or used any part of him, or anything connected with him, to move on. I'd sooner live out of my car. Others have good reasons for choosing differently - this is simply how I feel, for me.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 10:04 AM

The old pictures thing can have implications, especially if there are kids. My brother's ex-wife died of liver cancer last month; we went down for the memorial service. It was very nice; they showed several different slide shows of her and things important in her life - especially the two daughters she and my brother had. She had remarried; she and the second husband had no kids.

The split occurred when the older daughter was 7 and the younger daughter was 1. Shown in the slide show were numerous baby pictures of the younger daughter, but no baby or young child pictures of the older daughter. All of the pictures they showed of her with her mother were taken in the last couple of years.

The reason? Apparently all those baby/young child pictures of the older daughter included my brother and had been disposed of. There were none left.

Did that cause some hard feelings after the memorial service? Oh, you betcha. The older daughter is now 21 and the younger one is 15, but the sibling rivalry is intense.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | May 22, 2008 10:05 AM

ArmyBrat, that's awful. We had a similar thing happen with a former boss who had just divorced (amicably) from his wife of 26 years. After the funeral, his new wife of less than a year had a presentation running -- with pictures of him with her. Only two of him with his grown children were shown. Hardly a "This is His Life" show. I was appalled. And now they're in probate as his kids fight her for some of the estate (a sizable one). What a lovely lady. Actually, she has always reminded me of Rudy Giuliani's wife.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2008 10:14 AM

ArmyBrat- I definitely understand how you feel. No previous engagements in our relationship, but things from the boyfriend's ex still bother me. I've put them in a box (I really wanted to toss them or burn them) but I still don't like that they're there. It's not fair of me but I still have things from my exes (at my parent's home, in a box in the basement!) I understand how cathartic it can be to sell off stuff given to you by someone who later hurt you. Brava to the ladies who created the website. They should team up with don' and hit the problem from both ends!

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 22, 2008 10:15 AM

But here's another question - old wedding pictures - he has a slew of his old wedding pics (which I have seen) - not sure how I feel about this - on the one hand, who cares they are just a part of his history, on the other, why does he still have them.

Posted by: Betty | May 22, 2008 9:42 AM

Because they are part of HIS past. His past is his past.

I would be very leery of anyone so insecure as to suggest that the house should be purged of all indicators that there was life before she/he entered. I've drunk the Hax Kool-Aid on this topic and it tastes delicious.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 10:22 AM

I use the engraved pilsner glasses that my husband and his first wife got as wedding gifts. Also a very cool wooden salad bowl set. I would use their other stuff if we had it but she got most of it. They are just things. It's not like they're imbued with the essence of their (failed) relationship. There are also a few photos at my in-laws house showing my husband's ex. Neither of us care. He's moved on, and I never thought much about it to begin with. It's nice for my stepdaughter to see these pictures, I guess.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2008 10:34 AM

FloridaChick - Other stuff from "exes" doesn't bother me; I think it was context or maybe that I didn't know about it or something.

It's funny, because DW's first really serious boyfriend wound up later marrying her best friend and DW is even the godmother of one of their daughters. We see them all the time and yes I get to hear about how he and DW dated for more than 3 years spanning high school and college and his parents sometimes pictured the two of them getting married. But it just doesn't bother me; he's a nice guy who's now been married to DW's best friend for over 25 years and this is just the way it worked out.

Similarly, DW spent a year in college in England and had a boyfriend there. And he figures prominently in the rather large scrapbook that she made of that year. That doesn't bother me either, probably because I understand the context of the relationship.

But the ring? I don't know if it was because it was an engagement ring, or that she still had it after we had been married for four years, or what, but that bothered me.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | May 22, 2008 10:34 AM

But here's another question - old wedding pictures - he has a slew of his old wedding pics (which I have seen) - not sure how I feel about this - on the one hand, who cares they are just a part of his history, on the other, why does he still have them.

Posted by: Betty | May 22, 2008 9:42 AM

Because they are part of HIS past. His past is his past.

I would be very leery of anyone so insecure as to suggest that the house should be purged of all indicators that there was life before she/he entered. I've drunk the Hax Kool-Aid on this topic and it tastes delicious.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 10:22 A

Not insecur at all - I would never want or expect an entire purging (I would be a hypocrite, I have all sorts of random stuff from exes) Just curious to get people's thoughts on these pics is all. There are no kids - they are just the professional pics from the wedding.

Posted by: Betty | May 22, 2008 10:43 AM

ArmyBrat, I understand where you're coming from. Previously, I never cared about exes. One of my exes used to speak to his ex on the phone for hours and even lent her $500! It didn't bother me at all. But with this boyfriend, it gets to me. Since it's in a box, I feel better but for some reason, he used to want me to meet her and that is something I absolutely can not do. I know it's my issue so I deal with it.

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 22, 2008 10:43 AM

And now for something completely different:

A Chinese policewoman is being praised for breast-feeding nine earthquake-stricken babies. See

How does that fit with balance? Would formula be better?

(Hey, all the Canadian hockey teams are out of the playoffs and the Cup final doesn't start until Saturday, eh? Gotta liven up the discussion somehow - this topic is boring!)

Posted by: m2j5c2 | May 22, 2008 10:46 AM

Betty - FYI, I wasn't targeting you in my comment. The practice of new girlfriends/boyfriends/significant others pushing someone to discard old photos and mementos does grate on my last nerve, but I'm not commenting in response to anyone's post today. ArmyBrat's concern about the old engagement ring is a separate issue as well - to me.

Asking someone to merely put away photos that include exes is, IMHO, entirely appropriate. It's your living space, too. Photos including exes belong in an album or in a drawer or box, right next to your high school yearbook, your senior class ring, and your paperweights from every lawfirm retreat you have attended.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 10:49 AM

Yeah, there's the friend of mine who's fiancee wouldn't allow his best friend to attend their wedding cause the best friend mentioned once that friend had been married before (not a secret, but apparently not allowed to be spoken about) - well, ya know, they are divorced now.

I do have a friend who doesn't want to speak about her husband's first marriage - cause she thinks that all divorces mean that someone made a mistake, and there are NO mistakes in her house. So it was actually very difficult for her (still is - after THREE kids) - and she WOULD NOT move into the house he was living in - so they both sold their places to move into another house (her place was too small for two, realistically). It seemed a little strange to me.

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2008 10:53 AM

and your paperweights from every law firm retreat you have attended.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 10:49 AM

They can't at least give something useful?!? They have already taken time you will never get back and unless there is some magical way to make it billable hours that will have to be made up.

But I'll add to the list - every logo'ed company polo shirt you have.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 22, 2008 10:57 AM

As someone whose fiance was killed I ask, what about those who were widowed? Is it less threatening to wear/have jewelry given to you by someone who's now dead? What about pictures? It doesn't bother my husband in the slightest, though I have very little jewelry since we were young and broke, and the letters and photos are not displayed.

Posted by: atb | May 22, 2008 10:57 AM

I guess I am in the camp of - things from his old relationships don't bother me. I couldn't care less that he has pictures of his ex or any other relationship.

He on the other hand didn't want me to have anything that had anything to do with an ex that he felt wronged him (ok... he did do something inappropriate). All that was thrown out because of how he felt. He did complain about having pics and things of other prior relationships. When he suggested that I throw them out, I suggested that he throw out his old pictures and things of prior relationships. Even if I didn't care about those pictures - fair was fair. That was the end of that conversation and it hasn't been brought up since. I don't look through the stuff often and if I did, I wouldn't be so crass as to do it in front of him.

Posted by: Billie_R | May 22, 2008 10:58 AM

And on a somewhat related follow-up, my husband gave me an orchid for Valentine's day this year. It reminded me that the deceased fiance had given me an orchid, which I kept until my now husband and I moved out of state a few years ago. I had that orchid for 6 years, but it never spiked flowers again. I still feel guilt about pitching that plant, maybe because it was alive and associated with him. If it had died, I don't think I would have cared.

Posted by: atb | May 22, 2008 11:06 AM

Oh, and I've invited my husband to read the letters, should he feel curious, but after getting about 2 sentences into one, he just couldn't do it. That made him feel a bit threatened, because deceased fiance was a clever writer. I have to keep those letters. When someone dies, there is so little of them left. The plant is one thing, the letters are something else.

Posted by: atb | May 22, 2008 11:10 AM

I remember a guy who was selling his ex- wife's wedding dress on ebay. His ad was so funny that it got him a spot on the Today Show. He did not have a model to wear the dress, so he put it on himself and posted the picture. It was not pretty, but it was very funny. Then he added a description of how his ex and her family had wronged him, which was also hilarious. Apparently, because his ad was so funny, the dress went for a whole lot more than it was actually worth.

After my first marriage split up, I gave my wedding dress away to someone I knew. It was a beautiful dress, and giving it away was my way of letting go of that marriage in as graceful a way as possible. My ex was not abusive, but he was exceptionally clueless about the nuance of human interaction. I did not feel a need to seek revenge, and we ended it without any legal wrangling, we just talked, agreed to the terms, and got a lawyer to write it up for us, so really, there was no need to pawn jewelry. I still have my wedding ring, and I am not sure what, if anything, I will ever do with it.

Posted by: Emily | May 22, 2008 11:16 AM

"I'm selling the engagement ring in order to pay a lawyer to get out of an abusive relationship." The implication is that the guy is the abuser. That isn't always the case.

I got out of an abusive relationship (she was the abuser), and she kept the jewelery. Not exactly the 'win win' you wanted to cheer about.

Posted by: jjs | May 22, 2008 11:18 AM

atlmom - Wow. I understand not wanting to live in a house he'd shared with someone else, but, the idea that a divorce represents a mistake someone made? She must be a delight as a spouse.

PWM - I have a slew of ill-fitting logoed polo shirts, too. The beauty of the paperweights is that, as you know, most large firms are as paperless as can be. For what purpose is the resin paperweight, LOL? A memento of some great free drinks and a lousy round of golf?

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 11:20 AM

Re: what if your fiance dies?

I have a friend whose fiance was killed in a car accident (he was driving; she was the passenger).

She eventually married and had kids. Their first child was named after her fiance. I always had a lot of respect for her husband for honoring her "past" life. A sign that he respected her and didn't need her to hide any feelings from him.

Posted by: Leslie | May 22, 2008 11:29 AM

"But here's another question - old wedding pictures - he has a slew of his old wedding pics (which I have seen) - not sure how I feel about this - on the one hand, who cares they are just a part of his history, on the other, why does he still have them."

I have my old wedding pictures. I actually took them with me, because at the time, they meant something to me (they still do, I guess, since they are part of my history). They are stored away. My husband also has pictures of his first wedding in some albums. I see these things as simply records of our respective lives, and while I don't see a need to flaunt them, I also see no need to hide them. My son has seen the pictures and knows that his dad and I both had histories prior to knowing and marrying each other. My ex actually keeps in touch with his ex and her family -- they exchange greeting cards and phone calls on Christmas. They called on 9-11 to make sure we were okay and to express their shock and sadness at the attack, and they call or email occasionally, when their is news to share, such as the birth of a child or some other big event. It's kind of nice, actually.

Posted by: Emily | May 22, 2008 11:30 AM

MN - paperweights are hilarious; I've been to engineering conferences where the "souvenir" is a polished rock with the sponsor's name chiseled in. I would think lawyers would hang out at conferences like that, because a few rounds of alcohol have gotta lead to some interesting uses for those rocks.

The "best" in one sense was a conference that used to be held at the Masonic Temple in San Francisco, on top of Nob Hill. They gave away 'blinky balls' - clear polymer balls with a diode that blinked upon impact, printed with the sponsor's name.

Hmm, evening social events, lots of free flowing alcohol, a straight shot down California Street from the top of Nob Hill to the financial district below, and several thousand super-bouncy blinky balls. What could possibly result from this combination? Gee, and the dot-com bust came as a shock? (And I'll never acknowledge whether any of the several hundred balls found in the Financial District the next morning had my fingerprints on them. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | May 22, 2008 11:40 AM

Kattoo stated,
"It's fine, you can absolutely lift a fact, you can lift numerous paragraphs and re-post them. The problem occurs when you're doing that to PROFIT from it--and even then, you can "lift" part of someone else's work (with attribution). The only problem occurs when you lift the "heart" of the work. For instance, if there was a book written about how OJ killed his ex-wife and you reprinted the exact part that reveals all the details of why someone would want to buy the book--then, you're at risk for copyright infringement."

Actually, no. The intent to profit or not profit has nothing to do with intellectual property or fair use.

You can almost always draw quotes from another source, so long as they're attributed, whether for profit or no. But reposting without attribution is always infringement of copyright.

The doctrine of "fair use" is, I think, what you're getting at with the statements about "the heart" of a work--but it doesn't work quite the way you state. It's usually based on how much of the work is quoted or cited. When it's a substantial portion of the original work, it passes beyond "fair use" and into the realm of infringement.

However, it's perfectly OK in certain cases to quote even from the essential thesis or "heart" of a work--so yes, you could quote the argument in the case above so long as it were for research/educational purposes (again, often misunderstood as "not for profit")and as long as it's attributed correctly. Technically, someone reviewing the book could also do likewise (again, for educational/research purposes) but in practice that rarely happens.

Posted by: FAC33 | May 22, 2008 11:48 AM

Maybe people need to get over the idea that an engagement ring is necessary. Primarily, women for demanding one and, then somewhat, men for giving into this desire. If both gave each other an engagement ring or whatever, I would not be so bothered. But as it is, an engagement ring only symbolizes subservience and slavery on the part of the female.

Posted by: Another View | May 22, 2008 11:59 AM

Another View: 99% of women do not demand an engagement ring. The 1% who do, and qualify their request with exact carat size, etc. are in an entirely different league with values that don't match mine. Many recently engaged women that I know actually hate the whole ogling the ring thing. A former male coworker who is Danish wore his wedding band on his left-hand during his engagement and his right hand after marriage. It's customary in Denmark.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 22, 2008 12:09 PM

A former male coworker who is Danish wore his wedding band on his left-hand during his engagement and his right hand after marriage. It's customary in Denmark.

Same thing in Germany. Both parties get a ring at engagement, worn on the left. The rings are then moved to the right hand after the wedding.

Why would a woman want a separate engagement ring, especially if the man wears no sign during the engagement period?
I've never understood that.

Posted by: Bracelet | May 22, 2008 12:13 PM

My mom gave me her engagement ring; she said she thought about throwing it out the car window plenty of times, but decided it would make a nice down-payment for my house someday. (I still have it as a "break glass in case of emergency" backup fund.)

She had my father's wedding ring specially designed and made by a famous jeweler - he liked it so much, he used it again. For his next two marriages. Ew.

Nobody's ever given me jewelry, so this is not something I've ever had to worry about. (I bought our wedding rings. I've been trying to convince my husband that we should sell them since platinum's so high right now, and then buy new ones when it falls again, but he's got this whole "sentimentality" thing and won't let me.)

Posted by: kt | May 22, 2008 12:17 PM

99% of women do not demand an engagement ring

Sorry, I do not buy the 99% figure. I see far too many engagement rings in my neck of the woods. And far too many married women "upgrading" a few years after marriage.

Posted by: Another View | May 22, 2008 12:22 PM

99% of women do not demand an engagement ring

Sorry, I do not buy the 99% figure. I see far too many engagement rings in my neck of the woods. And far too many married women "upgrading" a few years after marriage.

Posted by: Another View | May 22, 2008 12:22 PM

Well, late to the party, but AB, I think your reaction was entirely understandable. Put together the symbolism of the ring, the fact that she still had it -- and you didn't know about it -- 4 yrs after your wedding, and the fact that the guy dumped her, painfully, and I think any normal human would wonder whether this meant that she wasn't really over him and that some part of her hoped he'd ride back into her life.

Of course, what it probably really meant was that she was stuck with this thing that reminded her of a painful time, that she didn't want, but that she didn't know how to get rid of, because it's too valuable to toss and she didn't want to traipse down to the pawn shop to get pennies on the dollar. :-)

If you overreacted to Every Little Reminder, then you'd be out of bounds. But that's not you. I think most people in your situation would at least think, hey, what's up with that?

Posted by: Laura | May 22, 2008 12:34 PM

I think the keyword is _demand_. Just because you didn't demand one doesn't mean you don't get one anyways.

I would have liked an engagement ring - mostly because I like rings. Honey wasn't into that - we were broke - ergo, no ring. We got nice wedding bands which neither of us actually wear. I would love to wear mine but I gained weight and it doesn't fit properly. He doesn't because his work prohibits wearing of jewelry.

Posted by: Billie_R | May 22, 2008 12:41 PM

husband has several albums of pictures of him & his ex. i can't say i'm thrilled about them. i'd prefer that he give them to their kids. either shortly before or shortly after we married i sent a whole stack of pictures to an ex boyfriend. since he had gotten married i didn't send any of the two of us just the generic pictures of him. i kept the pictures of "us" mostly because i wasn't sure how his wife would react to them and i didn't want him to think i was hinting at anything.

Posted by: quark | May 22, 2008 12:42 PM

Is anybody bothered by sleeping in the same bed formerly occupied by your partner's ex? It's common, but yuck!

Posted by: Matress Salesperson | May 22, 2008 12:43 PM

"When engagements occur, the groom usually gives the bride-to-be a diamond engagement ring. According to the Diamond Information Center (DIC), about 84 percent of all U.S. brides receive a diamond engagement ring. In 2006, the typical diamond engagement ring had an average ticket of $3,200, according to the DIC."


"I think the keyword is _demand_. Just because you didn't demand one doesn't mean you don't get one anyways."

Not all women are as direct as the 1% that working mother cites. There are many subtle and not so subtle pressures brought upon a man (and a woman) to have a display of the engagment.

Posted by: Another View | May 22, 2008 12:48 PM

Thanks Billie - that's what I meant! I only 3rd hand know of an example of someone who specified carat size (> 3 if you can believe it!).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 22, 2008 12:49 PM

I've never really been big on jewelry. My ring wouldn't get me too far - it's a very small diamond with not fantastic quality. My boyfriend had left a religious order the year before and was a student and I was a part time student, part time teacher, so we had no money.

But his mother had gotten a small inheritance and his share was $900 and he decided to put most of that into an engagement ring. That felt very splurgy!

For our wedding bands we were pretty broke. Mine cost $49.99 and his cost $39.99 because he wanted 10k and I had to get 14k to match the engagement ring. Engraving was free. And again, wouldn't change it for the world.

Posted by: Shandra | May 22, 2008 1:06 PM

"Is anybody bothered by sleeping in the same bed formerly occupied by your partner's ex? It's common, but yuck!"

No, not at all - assuming it's been cleaned, the sheets are clean, etc.

My wife asked before we married if it would bother me to sleep in the bed where she and her ex conceived their children. It's an antique bed, hand-made for her great-grandmother, and she didn't want to get rid of it. We compromised by getting a new mattress. (Maybe that wasn't a compromise; maybe it was her plan all along. Who knows?)

But it honestly doesn't bother me, as long as he's not still using the bed now. That would qualify as "yuck".

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 1:26 PM

I haven't read all the posts but I have an answer to whether you can sell an engagement ring after you break-up. I had a friend who was engaged and went to a lawyer to see if she could sell hers.

Per the lawyer, if you get engaged on a date where you would normally receive a gift (Valentine's Day, your birthday, etc.) you don't have to give back the ring since it can be seen as a gift. If you get engaged on a random day, you need to return the ring since the "contract" was broken.

As for my friend, sadly for her she was engaged on a random day so she had to return the ring. Although, it did disgust me that she looked into it since she cheated on her financee with a married man.

Posted by: Thought | May 22, 2008 1:28 PM

AnotherView "an engagement ring only symbolizes subservience and slavery on the part of the female."

Well, that's certainly a different view from mine. I bought DW an engagement ring after she accepted my proposal - we picked it out together and I paid. It's an antique that we actually got at an estate jeweler - it's small and she thinks it's pretty. A sapphire, flanked by two very small diamonds, set in white gold.

She wanted it, not to show "subservience" and "slavery", but for two reasons: she likes rings and this was nice; and, she wanted to be able to wave it at guys and shoo them away. (Yes, that part's true; she was then and is now a hottie.)

We have very simple wedding bands; hers is white gold and mine's yellow gold, with initials and wedding date engraved inside. She mostly just wears her wedding band; only breaks out the engagement ring on special occasions.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | May 22, 2008 1:32 PM

Hi to everyone! Can we go back to talking about the UCMJ or Memorial day? This ring thing does nothing for me!

Of course, We found Frieda's engagement ring in a laundromat. There we were doing laundry at 2 am (this is New Orleans, remember) and Frieda spies this ring in one of those big commercial dryers. So I dug it out of the drum and promptly declared it a piece of glass.

Later that day, just to humor Frieda, we went to a jeweler. The joke was on me when the jeweler said it was a real diamond worth something. (i.e. more money than I had in the bank as a poor, starving college student.)

So I shelled out $25 to have to repaired. And she wore it for a long time until something happened to it.

The diamond is gone but a good story is truly forever!

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2008 1:49 PM

Fred, you should have returned it to the laudromat. Wouldn't you want someone to return it if it was your ring?

I once found a diamond ring in a resturant bathroom. I took it to the hostess and asked her to make an annoucement. Low and behold it was someone's engagement ring. They were very happy for my honesty.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 22, 2008 2:03 PM

I don't have much to say here since I think the girl should keep the ring if he breaks off the engagement and I also think that anyone who thinks a big diamond symbolizes subservience either doesn't want to buy one or doesn't have one. I have to say that the engagment ring/wedding band is the only gift that my husband has given me that I use virtually every day of my life and there isn't a time when I don't pause and thank the universe for him when I look at it.

That said, did anyone else hear the story about the Chinese policewoman who nursed 9 babies that survived the earthquake whose mothers were either missing or dead? That's one amazing lady. One of the more simple and inspiring things I've heard in a long time! I'm off on a moxie vacation with moxiefamily. Have a stellar weekend everyone!

Posted by: moxiemom | May 22, 2008 2:07 PM


1. The ring just was not loose in the dryer. The back was cut and the ring was purposely wedged into one of the holes of the drum. It was not lost by accident!

2. No attendant on duty--total self serve.

3. Unless you have been in a N.O. laundry at night, you just don't know what kind of shady characters hand out there! Everyone there would have claimed it!

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2008 2:19 PM

As someone who will (hopefully) be getting engaged in the next year or two, is anyone superstitious about these things? I think the web site is a good idea if you need economic aid after a break-up, but I would worry about getting a ring with bad karma. Am I being silly?

Posted by: canary28 | May 22, 2008 2:19 PM

"But as it is, an engagement ring only symbolizes subservience and slavery on the part of the female"

always a bridesmaid and never a bride huh? ;0

Posted by: like my ring | May 22, 2008 2:19 PM

"That said, did anyone else hear the story about the Chinese policewoman who nursed 9 babies that survived the earthquake whose mothers were either missing or dead?"

moxie, see my 10:46 post where I tried to stir up a fight about this and failed miserably.

I'm even a failure as a troll. :-)

Posted by: m2j5c2 | May 22, 2008 2:22 PM

Personally I prefer a locked collar or a brand to symbolize subservience and slavery in my relationships, but whatever works for you (and no, I'm not kidding)

I was stupid in my college days and gave away the few significant pieces my ex gave me- really should have kept those.

I know people who simply reset their big pieces so they can still enjoy them without the immediate direct past pain.

My partner kept her engagement ring but returned the wedding ring as it was a family heirloom for him, I thought that was very nice. If/when we ever get married I do not think I will choose to wear it though because of that significance and because it's not at all my personal style.

I did however encourage/insist on him putting up pictures of his wedding and marriage and old friends in our apartment. He looks so good and so happy and it was a great part of his life, why on earth would I suggest he shouldn't have that as part of who we are now?

Posted by: Liz D | May 22, 2008 2:41 PM

"My partner's ex" sorry

Posted by: Liz | May 22, 2008 2:43 PM

Liz, some of read OP too so we know you're not kidding.

Posted by: POWM | May 22, 2008 2:51 PM

My ex gave me a beautiful ring, not at all to my taste, which I traded in for another one. I had it designed after I threw him out, having discovered the existance of Debbie the pharmaceutical rep. It still gives me pleasure. But seeing his idea of my taste (the first ring) should have given me pause. I never consulted the UCMJ for a ruling on who gets the ring. I've always assumed that the guilty party should bear the burden when a marriage splits apart, and that etiquette dictated that the person breaking the engagement should get the ring.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 22, 2008 2:51 PM

"always a bridesmaid and never a bride huh? ;0"
That was pretty cold, "like my ring." I like my rings too, but I like even more that I bought them myself, and that they are exactly my taste.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 22, 2008 2:54 PM

I was engaged once. I tried to give back the ring, but he wouldn't take it. I kept it for two years, and kept feeling like it gave me bad mojo, so I gave it to my mom to hang on to if he ever decided he wanted it. I can't bring myself to sell it. He was a good guy, and worked hard to pay for it, and I wouldn't feel comfortable selling it and keeping the money. On the other hand, the resale value of such items is often so low that I wouldn't feel right selling it and giving him the money--it would be a slap in the face. On top of that, we're not even in contact. I'm at a loss.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2008 2:57 PM

I still have the engagement and wedding rings from my ex. DH still has the wedding ring from his 1st ex. His 2nd ex didn't give him a ring, but if she had, I'm sure he'd still have it. Who cares about the silly rings! Neither of us ever gave much thought to the old things when our relationship was new. I have *him*, and those two ladies don't. He has *me*, and that gentleman from the 80's doesn't.

Same with our old pictures. He has a history, and I have a history, and some of it was before we were together... but a lot more of our lives have been shared history.

If we'd had a daughter, she'd get whatever old jewelry, to wear or to sell. Since we have sons who aren't big on jewelry, we'll probably sell the stuff at some point, or give it to DIL's when/if we ever have any.

A very close friend always gives girls/young women good jewelry at milestone events (maidenings, graduations, engagements) with a little speech - 'This is for your emergency fund. If life ever gets really tough, you can sell this for quick cash.' I really like that approach, and plan to do the same when my nieces reach these points.

Posted by: Sue | May 22, 2008 2:59 PM

"I did however encourage/insist on him putting up pictures of his wedding and marriage and old friends in our apartment."

Great sentiment, but I am glad my partner does not feel the same way. Although I loved my husband when I was married and still have the pictures (as well as a lot of stuff we had, like the bed we sleep in now) I don't want the wedding pictures up. That was a chapter in my life, but it is a past chapter. The bed is just a bed.

One "sell the ring" aspect that no one seems to have mentioned is what you do with the ring if it was returned to you. My partner has the ring from her ex-fiancee. One of these days we're going to sell it and go on a really nice vacation. :)

Posted by: Remarried widow | May 22, 2008 3:09 PM

My mom kept her first engagement ring (I'm her only child and I came from the 2nd marriage), and she explicitly said that she kept it because it is now just a (decently market-valuable) piece of jewelry, with no more emotional significance. If we/I-after-she's-gone get to the point of pawning/selling jewelry, she's said it's supposed to be the first thing to go, since it has no more sentimental value whatsoever. The stuff from my grandmothers (and great-grandmothers) is significantly lower on the list.

(I won't go into what all mom's ex-husband pulled, but believe me any symbolism it had was long gone even before they got divorced, if even a fraction of what she says happened is even remotely accurate.)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 3:12 PM

I didn't want an engagement ring, and certainly not a diamond, and I told my man that on several occassions. He got one for me anyway. I think for him it was a sort of rite of manliness kind of thing. I know other men who also took pride in finding and buying the ring. I don't think it's all women putting the pressure on. The wedding and diamond industries have done a good job making everyone think that spending lots of money on their products is what makes you a real man/woman/couple.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 3:24 PM


Did you survive finals? Are you happy with your summer plan?

ArmyBrat - the blinkie ball thing. Oh my. I attend marketing industry functions because I'd rather be in a room with drunk prospects than in a room with drunk lawyers. No one parties like those people.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 3:41 PM

fair maidens in dire circumstances! thank goodness they have their jewels to sell off in the absence of a price on a white horse.

Posted by: what year is it? | May 22, 2008 3:42 PM

always a bridesmaid and never a bride huh? ;0

Nope, happily married for over 10 years without rings.

Posted by: Another View | May 22, 2008 3:43 PM

Hey Another View -- I've been happily married for over 10 years with nice rings. She hasn't been subserviant or slavish for even one day.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 22, 2008 3:48 PM

fair maidens in dire circumstances! thank goodness they have their jewels to sell off in the absence of a price on a white horse.

Posted by: what year is it? | May 22, 2008 3:42 PM

i think it's 2008 but then women still don't have the same earning power that men do so i could be wrong. women still take a hit financially when they divorce. if that knight in shining armor turns out to be an abuser then it's nice to have a means to raise some ready cash.

Posted by: quark | May 22, 2008 4:17 PM

Welcome to the 21st century, where we've learned *not* to follow the rules of our parents' generation. They expected my pretty-but-no-genius sister to use that beauty to get a man to support her. The marriage lasted six years.

Even if they'd been right to refuse to put her through college (they were wrong! and she did it on her own), if they'd invested money in jewelry for her, like they did in colleges for their other three kids, she'd have had a much easier time leaving that failed marriage, and might have skipped the period of homelesness that she went through.

With my sister in mind - her daughter, and our brother's two girls, will get jewelry as presents from me.

Posted by: Sue | May 22, 2008 4:47 PM

The rest of that was...

Hopefully, they'll never need to sell anything, and they'll always have beautiful pieces to remind them of "Auntie Sue".

Posted by: Sue | May 22, 2008 4:52 PM

Sue, if financial security is part of the goal, then why not an investment a little more liquid than jewelry?

I'm not a jewelry type, so this will be colored by that perspective. But if I were in dire financial straits I would much rather have CDs or a good stock portfolio than diamonds.

Posted by: I AM the white knight. | May 22, 2008 5:08 PM

Earning Power: According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1979 to 2004, women's earnings--as a percentage of men's--rose from 62 percent to 80 percent (from MSN Encarta I was very glad to be in an in-demand profession when I booted out my ex. But I took a financial hit the first year. If I'd had more jewelry from him (aside from the tacky ring), I'd have sold it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 22, 2008 5:16 PM

@IAM the white knight: stocks are great, but you can't wear them on Friday night. A little platinum along with the portfolio just adds to the pleasure.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 22, 2008 5:18 PM

MN you never cease to crack me up.

babsy1 LOL. A girl needs a little bling. I have 3 rings I stack together (before Tiffany decided to market the concept). One was a gift from BF, one is a family piece and the third I bought myself at 30.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 22, 2008 5:42 PM

"then why not an investment a little more liquid than jewelry?"

Kinda missing the point here. The women have jewelry because it was given to them as sentimental or symbolic gifts; so they're selling it when they're in a pinch, because why not? Nobody's advocating that getting jewelry is a sound replacement for financial planning. I don't think. On the other hand, if you want to ask your hubby to give you stocks for valentines day, mothers day, and all the other days the jewelers try to sell them pendants instead, more power to you!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:56 PM

Jewelry is a good gift for three reasons - first and foremost, it's pretty, and the wearer feels pretty. Second, if a young woman with poor judgment gets herself entangled with someone who's going to steal her wealth, she might have a much harder time proving her ownership of alternatives, but he's not going to have much luck claiming that her gold-and-pearl necklace was his to sell. Third, in case of serious financial crisis, jewelry is easily portable and holds value when paper-based securities can become worthless.

I work for a major financial services company. Background, so readers will understand that I'm not making this up off the top of my head. Have you noticed what's happening with the economy lately? Do you remember the dot-com bust in 00-01? Did your parents or grandparents ever talk about "the Great Depression"?

(what follows is pure speculation - not to be taken as prediction!)
For example, if the Fed defaulted on its debts, pretty much everything based on US dollars (CD's, stocks, bonds, etc.) could become worthless. But the fortunate owner of jewelry could put on all her baubles, walk across the border into Canada, and sell it there to start her new life.

My parents give all their grandkids US Savings Bonds, and I think that's a fine idea. But diversifying investments is always recommended, and I prefer to give something else. My siblings can give their children (and mine too, if they want to) whatever they feel is of value, and I have no problem with that, either.

Finally, I *like* jewelry, and my nieces all seem to be turning out to be girly-girls who also like it. If I give them pretty things as presents and they inherit my best stuff, they'll hopefully remember me fondly when I'm no longer living. Jewelry that's loved and worn regularly, and handed on to the next generation, suits my gift-giving goals.

Other folks with different goals are free to choose the gifts that suit. I'm not advocating that anyone else should do what I do, just explaining why I think it's a good choice for me and mine.

And yes, my sons (and nephews) get good stuff that suits them, and also suits my purposes. For example, younger son is the proud owner of the first Martin guitar in our house. DH has a half-dozen or so guitars, but Martins hold value better than most other named brands, and much better than unbranded instruments.

Posted by: Sue | May 22, 2008 6:06 PM

@Sue: I'm with you all the way. You and I were way ahead of Tiffany. My nieces and nephews will get stocks and cash, but I know darn well that it will be the jewelry they'll remember. I've loved buying and wearing it, and they'll all remember me wearing various pieces. Plus, I have pretty good taste - these are all timeless pieces.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 22, 2008 6:23 PM

Yep. My favorite piece is an emerald and diamond ring. It belonged to my MIL. We were both born in May, and both loved our birthstone. When MIL passed, DH and his sister decided together that they wanted me to have it, and I was deeply honored. It was the only thing MIL owned that was valuable, since their family history was pretty awful, so giving me this family treasure was especially touching and meaningful for all of us.

If SIL's son (or either of mine) marries a lady born in May, and would like her to have Grandma's ring, I'll hand it over in a heartbeat. If not, and if the three of them are agreeable, I'll probably pass it on to a niece on my side who was also born in May. The ring has a history and a deep meaning, and should stay in the family.

Posted by: Sue | May 22, 2008 7:00 PM

So cool -- check this out

Posted by: Leslie | May 22, 2008 8:28 PM


If you understand the resale value of Martin guitars, you are an even cooler mom than I had previously thought. Kudos for your thoughtfulness and wisdom.

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2008 9:19 PM

@Sue - I have a ring from my grandmother, very small diamond, little larger than a chip, in an elaborate art deco setting. It's lovely, particularly since the family really had no money, and I have nothing else from her. Each time I wear it, I think of her. She emigrated to America, left school before really learning to read, and scrubbed floors all her life. But all of her children finished high school, and one son went to college. Talk about balance - I'm sure at some points the family could have used the money from that ring. I'm deeply grateful to have it.

Posted by: babsy1 | May 22, 2008 9:22 PM

Yes, I do tell DH that I *need* a diamond wedding band (mom had one made a zillion years ago and lo and behold, sister decided it was hers before anyone had a chance to even look around).

I have a ring from mom that is getting old - i.e., some of the jewels are falling out. So at some point, I will take those diamonds and make a diamond wedding band (we went traditional - so no jewels in the wedding bands, then mine got misplaced, so I have a generic white gold band) - so to me, it would be great to have, especially using mom's jewels, and probably I'll do it around our 10 year anniversary.

I don't know what is wrong with wanting something pretty to wear. I don't have too much jewelry, but my DH likes to buy it and I like to wear it when I do (I wear the necklace he got me for my 30th every day - sweet story, where he asked his grandfather what he should get me and he answered 'a diamond' cause grandpa thought he should marry me - he got me a tiny one in a necklace, but not an engagement ring for a few more months - when grandpa was already gone, but he said he had told grandpa that he was going to marry me).

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2008 10:11 PM

This makes it 100 comments!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 10:29 PM

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!


Posted by: Leslie | May 23, 2008 12:35 PM

Please don't forget to honor our veterans, living and dead on Monday. At 3pm, please stand for a minute of silence and thanks. It's not too much to ask in the midst of your picnics and ballgames, is it?

Posted by: babsy1 | May 23, 2008 1:21 PM

atlmom- I ordered a necklace to wear at my wedding, but it didn't make it in time, so I borrowed a necklace from my MIL. It was a tiny gold heart, and it was the first gift my FIL ever gave my MIL. It was perfect. I hope the same for your necklace!

Posted by: atb | May 23, 2008 1:34 PM

Babsy1, the ring you describe sounds like one my youngest sister inherited from our paternal grandmother. Similar circumstances, too.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my sister enjoys hers!

Altmom, a couple of years ago, I lost one of the emeralds from MIL's ring. I was very upset, of course! But I found a jeweler who did custom work, and they were able to match the remaining stones and replace the lost one.

Now, I wear it *almost* every day, but I'm much more conscientious about taking it off when I'm doing manual work. Anyway, I wanted to suggest the option of replacing a lost stone - only if you really love the piece as it is.

MN, believe me, I've met wa-a-a-ay cooler moms - I understand music equipment and it's resale value mostly because I spend a lot of time around musicians. I learned to run a mixer and soundboard when older son was a baby, so I'd have some excuse to hang around DH's band, and not get left at home all the time.

There's a great video tape of one of their best performances. Older son at five, introducing them; our landlady (at the time) doing a cheerleading routine with pom-poms the band passed out to a song called "Cheerleaders on Drugs"; a bellydancer performing with them on an instrumental piece; and a brief shot of me at the board with younger son, eight months old, in a sling and trying to "help" me with the board!

When it broke up, I missed the band at least as much as DH.

Posted by: Sue | May 23, 2008 2:21 PM

Sue - thanks for the comments, but a jeweler will tell you at some point that the prongs don't work, and that it's just better to build something new. Several stones have been replaced, and at some point, you just start anew.


To all a good night.

Posted by: atlmom | May 23, 2008 10:04 PM

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