We had known from the start of our marriage that our wedding rings were one-of-a-kind art pieces. They are custom designs in solid gold. They were featured in a bridal magazine and are on the front page of our designer's Torpedo Factory webpage. Ours are done by Cynthia Corio-Poli.
She carefully designed low, simple rings for me because I do so much "hands on" and emergency type work, and I was concerned about the rings getting damaged. She did such a great job.
Recently, I had been noticing several larger scratches on my rings. Martin gave in a few months ago and ordered a tungsten carbide faceted ring. It looks like a little disco ball. He wears it to work, when we go out hiking, and when we do 'hard stuff". He saves his fancy rings for hanging out and going out.
I'm a difficult-to-find size, but I finally found one that I can live with. I struggled mightily, feeling that any replacement ring would just be ugly, being very cheap and not wanting to spend lots of money on a fake ring, and finally feeling that any replacement just wouldn't be THE SAME. In the end, I ordered the tungsten-gold ring to serve as my 'work ring'. Apparently, this is much more common than I had realized. Many of my co-workers and nurses have "fake rings" they wear to work. Plenty of police officers have simple "scratch-and-dent" rings that are totally cheap, so it doesn't matter if it gets scratched, damaged, or cut. There's plenty of us in the hard-scrabble world who seem to choose to preserve our "real rings" for our "off-duty" life.
I wonder what that says about our priorities, our separation of work life and non-work life, and our view of our relationships.
Of course, there's always guys like my brother, who took a file to his wedding ring... the night before his wedding! He got some super-duper strong metal (he's the paramedic/firefighter) and I guess he wanted to be sure it was REALLY strong enough. He ruined the file. Lucky for him, the ring was without a scratch. I don't recommend that for the general public to try, though.
I'll just wait for my "working" ring to come in in a few days, and then I'll be able to send my "real rings" off for a cleaning and polishing. They are just too special to risk damage to. So much for the girl who thought she didn't get emotionally attached to jewelry!