Thursday, September 23, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday – Great Grandma's Ring

It wasn't fancy or flashy. Just a small rose cut dark reddish-purple amethyst solitaire set in a simple rose gold band. My mother would show it to me from time to time when I was little and tell me that when I was older, it would be mine to wear.

The ring had belonged to Mom's maternal grandmother, Olie Lillian (Warner) Dyer of Wampsville, Madison County, and later Carthage, then Watertown, both in Jefferson County, New York. It had been given to Olie (pronounced OH-lee) when she was in her mid teens. No one knows if it was new when she received it or if the ring had been handed down to her from another relative. Amethyst was Olie's birthstone.

Olie had nine children who lived to adulthood, and more grandchildren than I've been able to determine. But she and my mother shared a special bond. You see, my mother was born on Olie's birthday and was named after her. When my mother turned sixteen, Olie pased her amethyst ring on to Mom, who wore it with pride, only eventually replacing it with her own engagement and wedding rings. At that time, Mom put the ring anyway for safekeeping to one day pass to her daughter.

On my 16th birthday, I unwrapped a small gift and there was gr-grandma's ring! It wasn't my birthstone, but I loved that ring and the connection to the past it had for me. I wore it with such pride.

Sadly, the ring is long gone and I don't have a photo to share of it. In high school, I participated in band, and part of our performance uniform was the wearing of white gloves. One day, I had a new pair of white gloves and to my chagrin, I realized at the last moment the gloves would not fit over the ring – the stone sat too high. I slipped off the ring and quietly stashed it inside the mouthpiece compartment of my instrument case. When I returned from the performance, I discovered the ring missing from my case – never to be seen again by me or my family.

Twenty four years later, I still think of that ring and wish I could go back in time to leave the ring at home that evening. 

*insert wistful sigh here*

~ Karen the AnceTree Sprite


  1. So sorry you lost the ring. My mom has her grandma's ring she was given on her 16th birthday...and I have three of my grandmother's rings (one of which I lost a few years ago but miracle found again). One of the rings is my grandmother's wedding band - it is a very thin band my grandfather made. I wore it in my wedding ceremony. I am sure the band isn't worth anything - it made be made of tin or something, but boy it means the world to me!

    I think girls have a special relationship to their grandmother's rings. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Oh - and this picture posted with this comment is my grandmother.