My parents wedding — October 6, 1979
First up in the Heirloom series is the story of my mother’s ring — a 1997 Cartier Dome Ring.
I was a freshman in high school when my dad got this ring for my mother.
But he didn’t just get her a ring. He had it made.
The story goes, my mom was flipping through a magazine when she saw an ad for the Cartier Dome Ring. Back in 1997 the Internet was mostly email and encyclopedias — there was no online shopping for rings. So unless you were at a store shopping in person, you only saw jewelry through ads in magazines, newspapers, or on TV (which was usually the big stores or local jewelry stores during holiday seasons).
My mom loved the ring, ripped the page out of the magazine, and put it on my dad’s dresser.
My mother’s senior high school photo from 1973.
I asked my dad if she said anything to him about it and he just said that she didn’t really have to. She had her ways, and putting it on his dresser was communication enough.
I talked to both of my parents about the story — mostly to confirm that the version I had in my head was in fact true — but also to see what they remembered from it. Luckily my version of the story was true.
I don’t know why but instead of getting the Cartier ring, my dad went to a local jeweler and had a replica of the ring made. I’m not sure if he couldn’t get one at the time, maybe no where carried Cartier that he knew of? Maybe it was too expensive? Whatever the reason, he had the ring made and gave it to her.
Neither of them remember if he gave it to her for a special occasion, but I do remember they had to take it back to the jeweler to have a little more gold scooped out of the inside because my mom has rheumatoid arthritis and I think she needed more room to wiggle it over her joints.
My mom LOVED that ring. She wore it ALL THE TIME.
I loved it too.
I’m an advocate of wearing your nice jewelry. Don’t always wait for a special occasion to use/wear precious things. Everyday is precious.
My mom knew I loved that ring, so when she was passing her jewelry down to me and my siblings after her and my father divorced about 12 years ago, the ring was given to me. I wear it all the time.
Above: Me and my mom probably 8-10 years ago. Yes I had brown hair for a hot minute. No I’m not pregnant in this photo (just a blousy top). I just think this is a really good photo of my mom and wanted to share it.
I wear it stacked with my wedding band on my left hand, I wear it solo on my left hand, I wear it on my right hand. I wear it all the time. And I always get compliments on it and get asked about it — even on Instagram or Snapchat videos people will message me asking about the ring. And I love it because then I get to tell people the little story.
Being from 1997 the dome rings aren’t super easy to find, but you can sometimes find them on Ebay or 1st Dibs. I’ve found three you can currently purchase: yellow gold size 8; white gold size 6; and white gold size 7.5. Here’s a similar ring available in yellow gold, rose gold, and silver in multiple sizes.
Submit your interesting heirloom story for consideration to hello@with the subject line: Heirloom — Your Name.