We pawned my platinum wedding ring many times over the past 10 years. It was an $8000 ring but we’d only get about $500 for it every time it was pawned. We then made payments to get it out of hock a few months later at a large mark-up. Rinse and Repeat.
My ring cost $4500 to make as we had a jeweler for a family friend. We had the homie hook-up and made payments but it’s appraised value was $8000. That doesn’t seem to mean much to pawn shops though. Especially during a recession.
Those were pretty dark years for us financially. I’d lost my legal recruiting business in 2008 with the recession. We went from 100k plus a year with just my income to $30k with Shawn’s.
Our power and gas were turned off more times than I can count. Our car was repossessed in early 2009 leaving us one car – which was less than ideal.
We had tax field agents making house calls to us.
The bill collectors we’re a nightmare to deal with and our ringing phones, and even hearing our doorbell ring, gave us stomach aches.
I was going to the food bank line every Monday at one point.
It was a very depressing time and I’d find myself angry that I couldn’t even wear my wedding ring nor could I sell it for some amount that would actually help us pay more than a single small bill.
Something to wear on my ring finger
Instead, I was wearing this ring that Shawn bought me on our first Scentsy Incentive trip we’d earned to Hawaii back in 2010. It was from Maui Divers Jewelry on the big island for $50. It was a luxury purchase at the time (we were quite poor at that time still) but Shawn wanted me to have something to wear on my finger since my ring was still in hock. I’ve been wearing it for almost 10 years now. Also, it’s in excellent shape. I cant believe how well it’s held up.
Shawn lost his original wedding ring within the first year of marriage. He took it off each time he washed his hands. If you know Shawn, he loses everything so…of course he lost it.
A couple of years later we splurged on a $200 wedding band for Shawn. At the time it fit his finger but then he lost some weight and it would only fit on his middle finger. He still has the ring but it’s never felt like a wedding ring since it’s not been on the correct finger and he stopped wearing it last year.
Back to my ring
Anyway, we finally had to let my ring go. We just couldn’t afford the monthly payments after hocking it for the umpteenth time.
By then, the ring was no longer important to me. It was a symbol of negativity. I hated the thing. I’m not sure that I’ve ever disliked anything I owned more than I did this ring by the time I said goodbye to it.
I let it go and was glad to be done with the pawning cycle.
I felt like such a fool to have spent so much money on it and then a bigger fool to have gotten ourselves into a situation where we had to pawn it.
For years we’ve talked about getting new rings. Maybe even ring tattoos.
In the beginning
Back when we got our wedding rings we thought that we needed, and even wanted, the expensive custom made rings.
I had the diamonds of my favorite ring, passed down from my grandmother, added to my wedding ring. My wedding ring was symmetrical (I’m OCD about that), meaningful and so pretty. I loved looking at it.
I tried to find a photo of our rings but I don’t have one. I took a ton of photos of my ring trying to sell it but I recall deleting them all after pawning it for the last time. Even our wedding photos don’t have a shot of our rings. Interesting huh?
We’ve grown up together
Over the years we learned that we are not materialistic people. We are quite simple, minimalistic and don’t hold a high value on possessions. This is something our nomad lifestyle has really helped us to embrace and understand. We are so much happier with less.
The other day we were at a Mall in Toshima “Sunshine” City here in Japan. Shawn was looking for a stainless steel necklace. I happened to find some cute hoop earrings.
I lost these cool skull dangling earrings my mom bought me. One got caught on my Ugg hat and that was that. Those were the only earrings I owned that I loved and wore regularly.
Getting down on one knee
Anywho, after we each found our items for under $20, we noticed that there were wedding band type sets in Stainless Steel.
Shawn and I started playing around to see which ones we liked and what sizes fit us. We decided then and there that we would no longer talk about “one day” getting new wedding rings. Today would be that day.
We tried on a bunch and finally settled on our favorites.
They were a whopping $55 in total and stainless steel.
Shawn actually got down on one knee (in the mall) and asked me to marry him all over again while sliding the new ring on my finger.
He’s so sweet and sentimental and was teary-eyed.
I then put his ring on his finger. ❤
It was a very memorable moment and one we won’t forget.
I don’t need a diamond or anything fancy. Our marriage is not, nor has it ever been, defined by our rings.
These new rings aren’t here to remind us of all the shit we’ve been through together; of our love and commitment; the hard times; the amazing times; the two children we’ve raised and the little guy we are raising at present.
They aren’t blingy. They aren’t gold or platinum. They aren’t expensive. There are no diamonds. They can’t be pawned.
They hold no real value other than what we place on them.
What they are though are symbols of happiness. Our rings make us happy when we see them on our hands. They also match and we picked them out together.
We can smile knowing that we were in Japan, living life on our own terms, having a really good day out and about when we chose, on a whim, to get new rings.