The weight of a diamond carat is about the weight of a paper clip.
So imagine the weight of a quarter shaving of that diamond in a micro-pave setting, a technique that can make specks of stone in a ring appear bigger.
And more valuable.
Near weightless. Unless it is weighted by meaning.
Like Rachel Pederson’s ring. Mrs. Pederson took to Facebook a couple years ago in a rebuttal—that went viral—upon becoming fed up with consistent pressure from friends and family to upgrade her wedding ring of seemingly weightless diamond bits clustered in a micro-pave setting to better reflect the financial success she and her husband currently had.
“Yes, I know that my wedding ring is small.
Since when did the size of someone’s ring become an indication of success?!
For me, the ring is SO much more.”
Some jewelry is weighted more with meaning. This notion was the point of the viral post that received more than 10 million shares.
I also recently read an article about six women who were photographed (only their hands) wearing their favorite pieces of jewelry, sharing their stories behind these pieces. Some of them—unlike Rachel Pederson’s wedding ring—were highly valuable in dollars. But still it was the emotional value behind the pieces that was worth far more than their weight in gold.
Their stories behind the baubles were the real gems.
I reflected on my own jewelry and about my most treasured pieces.
Never much of a jewelry wearer, I don’t own much of it. My jewelry box holds mostly a small clump of tangled, tarnished and outdated costume ornamental strands that are things I’d willingly leave behind in a fire.
I own a few irreplaceable pieces, however. And like the women in these stories, they hold significant meaning for me that cements this idea of their real value.
My fiancé Scott and I recently celebrated the anniversary of a significant event in our lives together. Scott is a former NASA Astronaut who became the first American to spend nearly an entire year in space.
After spending every holiday in those 340 days except St. Patrick’s Day and his own birthday of his yearlong mission in space, Scott landed savagely—yet safely—in the frigid steppes of Kazakhstan in Central Asia on March 1, 2016.
In less than 24 hours, the following day, he was back home in Houston where I was able to greet him with my arms wrapped tightly around his neck.
Last week marked two years since his return home, so I decided to share a fitting story behind the charms around my neck.
I’m often asked about my necklace. I wear it every day. It’s a fine white gold chain with two nearly identical pendants: one is gold, and the other is silver.
Scott had a set of charms specially designed for his daughters and me that are replicas of his mission patch—circular in shape, representing Earth with a couple rings around it that depict the orbit of the International Space Station around the Earth and Earth’s orbit around the sun, a small ball in the upper corner that signifies our sun 93 million miles away and a bold numeral one in the center engraved with the word ‘year’ in both Russian and English at the base of the number.
Before blasting off, he gave us each a silver pendant to wear while he was away. I wore mine close to my heart every day as I still do today. It somehow helped me feel a little bit closer to him despite the hundreds of miles and eleven-and-a-half months that separated us.
Meanwhile, Scott had another pendant designed for us—a near exact replica of our silver ones with a couple exceptions. They were each gold with a small sapphire stone set in the center. The gold was melted down and reused from a coin he flew in space on his very first mission as the pilot of the Space Shuttle to the Hubble Telescope.
He took the gold pendants with him on his yearlong mission, promising to return home to us with them.
And as the story goes, he did just that.
Just as we were reunited, so were our silver and gold pendants. Mixed metals, they don’t match. But they are a pair that belong together.
As for the sapphire, I’m often asked whether it is his or my birthstone. He is an amethyst , and I am an emerald. Sapphire is a blue gemstone. Blue is simply his favorite color. So a blue stone also now has significant meaning.
Do you have a piece of jewelry that holds meaning for you? Share your sentimental story in the comments. I’d love to hear your stories!