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Engagement Rings | Manolo for the Brides - Part 5
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Consulting dad, for better or for worse

Geez, I hope the dad said yes

I stumbled upon an old article in the Boston Globe that talked about the revival of the old “man basking the bride’s dad’s consent” tradition, and it made me think of The Beard’s proposal. He did in fact call my dad to ask his blessing, mostly because I’d told him a number of times that my dad would really like that. My dad, as you might guess, is an old fashioned dude. For the record, I would have married The Beard even if my father had told him to buzz off–he was asking for my dad’s blessing, not his permission.

What interested me more than the article itself was the range of responses I found in the comments section.

If a young man wanted to come talk to me about marrying my daughter BEFORE he had talked to her, I would have serious reservations about the man. I think it would show a lack of respect for the woman he wanted to marry. This is something I would expect my daughters to figure out on their own (like grown women) and then come tell me once they had decided. For most of us women, it is a reminder of a time when we were excluded from a lot of the decision making about our lives. Completely creepy.

If you’re going to discuss getting married as a couple, then why even propose or ask?! What’s the point if you’ve already discussed the subject? Sorry but with how important my family is to me, I would want my parents consent before a guy asked me to marry him. Maybe I’m old fashioned or maybe I am lucky to have a supportive family that knows who I am.

For sometimes richer and sometimes poorer

You know what makes you feel rich and poor at the same time? Buying a house. Suddenly, you have all this money in your bank account, and you’re writing these rather large checks. Probably the largest you’ll ever write, in all honesty. The Beard and I have recently been writing many such checks, and every time I’m manipulating another X-thousands of dollars, my first thought is “BLING BLING!”

I didn’t get the big bling when I got engaged… mainly because I didn’t want it! But that doesn’t mean I don’t like looking at (and joking about) ice that is NOT the kind you use to cool a cocktail. On that note, here are some engagement rings that are mainly for those who will be enjoying a lot more ‘for richer’ days than ‘for poorer’ ones.

2 3/4ctw Diamond Comfort Fit Engagement Ring3 ctw Brilliant-Cut Three-Stone Ring in Yellow Gold
1ctw Ultra Canadian SolitaireCush Cut Tanzanite and Princess Diamond Ring

Or maybe not. Go ahead and click on the pics above, but consider that dropping a cool eight thou on a ring for your sweetie likely only makes you feel really rich until you have a gander at your bank statement. Which leads me to contemplate an interesting question: What’s the ice on your finger worth if you can’t even afford to ice up your drink?

Monday Miscellany

As the Manolo might say, here are some links that may amuse:

No one will know we were bridesmaids…

I ain’t know a diamond from extremely great salt.

You: Mod Girl. Smart, sexy, saucy, sophisticated. And now engaged.

They were slapping their foreheads saying, “Why didn’t we think of that?”

A hundred thousand dollars, according to my extremely rough calculations, is how much a family of four spends on weddings, baby and bridal showers, graduations, baptisms and communions and brit milot and b’nai mitzvot and sweet sixteens and engagement parties and fiftieth-birthday shebangs and retirement parties and golden wedding anniversaries.

Mother Nature’s navel?

Ever wonder where the diamonds in your engagement ring came from? There is a chance they came from this ginormous open pit diamond mine (the world’s largest) near Mirny, Russia, East Siberia:

Mother Nature\'s belly button?

According to the U.S. Mine Rescue Association, the mine is 525 meters deep and a whopping 1200 meters in diameter. The air space over the mine is closed to helicopters due to a few accidents in which choppers were sucked into the pit by downward air flow!


And notice that tiny red arrow in the photo above. That arrow is pointing to a full size, 2o-foot-tall BELAZ 220-pound payload truck! Wild, no?

A buffet-style post

Ack! Jury selection strikes and I have still not gotten my bookmarks back, which means that I have to try to cobble a post together on a Sunday night. Cross your fingers and pray that I am not selected for some sort of awful grand jury type case. I don’t mind doing my civic duty, but being a freelance means that if I don’t work, I don’t get paid!

A few of you sent me links to the first legal Hello Kitty Dream Wedding in MTR Station in Hong Kong.

The Hello Kitty Dream Wedding...and it\'s legal!

MTR passengers can indulge in a special romantic moment at the MTR Hello Kitty Love Garden, launched from today to 14 March 2007. The Love Garden is a prelude to the first-ever legalised MTR Hello Kitty Dream Wedding in Hong Kong. Specially designed by Sanrio, Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel will appear in the MTR Hello Kitty Love Garden in wedding dress to celebrate the joy of love with MTR passengers.

Nadine wrote to ask me to recap the ins and outs of guestwear. Specifically, she wanted to know what would be most appropriate for an April wedding with a ceremony starting at 2 p.m. and a reception starting at 5 p.m. I suggested a simple cocktail length frock with a fabulous scarf or chunky jewelry…something like this, perhaps:

Navy Draped Sleeve Dresses by Tracy Reese

And finally, the wonderful Kelly used Photoshop to make a mock-up of my ring based on my description and did a fabulous job! Take a look:

I couldn\'t have done it better!

My rings! My rings!

Last night, my engagement rings came in the mail. Have you ever tried to take a picture of something as small as a ring with a older model digital camera and no photographic skills? You end up with a flash of light with a hint of gold in it as opposed to anything that might resemble jewelry. Or, at least, that’s what I ended up with.

So instead of showing you a photo of my actual topaz ring, I will now show you a ring that sort of resembles it…if you picture it in your mind and make some slight modifications.

Emerald and Princess Cut Blue Topaz, 14Kt. Yellow Gold. Swiss Blue Topaz Fancy Ring

Start withswiss blue topaz and yellow gold ring. Then take away all of the smaller gems. Finally, turn the large topaz 90 degrees. There, that’s my ring!

Now I’m thinking of buying some simple earrings to match…how about these?

14K Yellow Gold Genuine Emerald-cut Blue Topaz Earrings

A little bit about labradorescence

First off, thanks so much for all of your well wishes! It means so much to me to have you all following my progress as I shop around. How many other brides-to-be can say they have as many fabulous peeps as I do? Not many, I’d wager 😉

Now let’s get down to business. At lease one of yesterday’s commenters expressed interest in my labradorite ring…which, of course, did not come with today’s mail like I was hoping it would. Labradorite is really such an interesting stone. At first glance, it will look gray, mossy, or deep green, but if you wiggle it around in the light you’ll start to see all sorts of wonderful fiery blue, pink, yellow, and orange lamellar intergrowths. In this sense, it can be almost opalescent, though the correct term is actually “labradorescence.” The sparkle is subtle, however, and so labradorite’s charms are easily overlooked.

You can see the diffuse blue lamellar intergrowths in this sphere:

See the sparkle?

What are lamellar intergrowths, you ask? I was just getting to that. Mineral Galleries says:

These intergrowths result from compatible chemistries at high temperatures becoming incompatible at lower temperatures and thus a separating and layering of these two phases. The resulting color effect is caused by a ray of light entering a layer and being refracted back and forth by deeper layers. This refracted ray is slowed by the extra travel through the layers and mixes with other rays to produce a light ray coming out that has a different wavelength than when it went in. The wavelength could correspond to the wavelength of a particular color, such as blue. The effect depends on the thickness and orientation of the layers. If the layers are too thick or too thin no color shiller is seen. Also if the viewer does not observe from the precise angle or if light is not supplied from the proper angle then no color shiller is seen. The labradorescence is truely a one of a kind mineralogical experience and must be observed in person in order to truely appreciate its beauty.

Anyhow, the labradorite in my ring looks more like this:

See the rainbow?

Fun fact: A more intensely color stone of the same feldspar family is known as Spectrolite.

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