My curious friend Susan asked so many questions about my engagement ring that I decided to answer them here.
You may recall, dear readers, that on December 23rd, 1967 (oh happy day,) Paul and I finally (but not forever,) straightened out our communication issues and agreed that we both liked each other very much indeed and we had better stick together from that day forth.
Susan's questions caused me to dust off my journal again to trace the course of romance from that point on, particularly with regard to the ring.
We set off into the new year of 1968 together and it was on February 16th that Paul astounded me by asking me to get engaged to him on my birthday: June 1st. I wrote that night, "I can't explain why, I just know it was meant to be. There could never be anyone else..."
We decided to have my ring made in the "jewelery quarter" in Birmingham. In Hockley, to be exact, which is where Dad's family lived when he was born. I chose the design of the ring from a photograph in a catalogue. We went to see the man who was going to make it on March 16th and showed him the picture of the ring. He looked at the design; four diamonds in the shape of a cross in the centre, surrounded by ten diamonds; and then showed us the diamonds that he planned to use in it. They had been wrapped up in a black cloth and were estate diamonds--old diamonds that he had purchased. They were cut differently to the modern way of doing so, as I found out when I needed to have one replaced years later.
We went for the fitting of the ring on May 15th and it was polished and ready to take home in its little ivory box lined in black velvet. Although it wasn't official until June 1st, I took it home with me, as I couldn't bear to be parted from it, I loved it so much.
Paul canceled his life insurance policy in order to pay for it. I guess that since he was only 21, it was a gamble he was willing to take!
Thanks for asking Susan, and getting me to dig further. :) I haven't forgotten some other questions that were asked recently. I promise I will answer them soon.