If one is a jewelry enthusiast like I am, you may have had the experience of cruising the internet for something that captures your attention — something that you have never seen before. One day, back in 2001, I was on such a search and found this piece:
To this day, I have never seen anything like it. It wasn’t expensive as the stones are glass and there isn’t much weight to it. But, it is an antique from the 1800s with white and yellow gold and the stones are nicely flush-set. I wear it more days than not and, for as long as I have had it, I still find myself puzzling over it’s design. It’s sort of in the shape of a signet ring but not really. If the stones were arranged vertically, that would be more expected — but, no, not here. It’s small, delicate and light but the bold, unusual design makes it seem bigger somehow.
Beyond the enjoyment that this ring has given me over the years, the experience of buying it, also gave me one of my favorite places on the internet to drool over gorgeous antique gems — Adin. The real brick-and-mortar Adin is in Belgium and I dream of going there someday. But, in the meantime, I can entertain myself for hours with the stunning website that has hundreds of antique pieces that, for my eye, appear to be fairly priced. There is also an incredible range in price in their merchandise. This piece, at least, also came with a certificate of authenticity.
While I am talking up Adin, allow me to share a nice story that happened to occur in the worst of circumstances and that has given this ring meaning beyond a frivolous internet purchase. I purchased my ring online a few days before that fateful day in September 2001. I had been communicating back and forth with a customer service representative about the re-sizing of the ring due to the different sizing scales between America and Europe. Then, the world changed. I was no where near harm’s way but the Adin customer service rep was thoughtful enough to send me a brief email to say that she hoped that my loved ones and I were all safe. I was really struck by the kindness of that — especially, since everything seemed so unhinged.
I don’t know if Adin sent out such an email to all their American customers or if it was simply a personal message from a kind person. But, it doesn’t matter to me either way. When I look at this ring, it reminds me of connections among strangers and how the world is so small, really, and how much small kindnesses can mean and how they endure. It reminds to behave accordingly.