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Sometimes all I have left is pontification … Sigh: The ring that wasn’t

My amateur gemologist rating will stay that way: amateurish. Talk about bursting my bubble.

If you go back awhile on this blog, you’ll find something of a dichotomy at work: I give a damn but then again, I don’t give a damn.

My local environment means much to me; that we don’t care for it from a trash and litter perspective is at once a travesty and an abomination. I take that as an affront to the environment as a whole. It’s not just our neighborhoods we soil. It’s our water and air, too. I believe that with all my soul.

Others may be responsible for how our neighborhoods look but my route is my problem. I just can’t let go of trash/litter/debris regardless of what others might think about it. Just this morning came another dose of the all-too-familiar ‘look’ – the incredulous glance or stare by people on foot or in cars who see me pick up trash and wonder ‘what the hell is that guy doing?’


Another day, another full bag of junk. I wish litter would just go away and let me take my walks in peace.

I am long since past giving a damn what others might think. How they view my actions is of absolutely no concern to me. Zero. At issue is what is before me on the ground that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Still, the habitual nature of these daily walks has grown tiresome. I just want to walk for a change without the ever-present presence of junk. Most of you have patiently endured the rants posted here. My hope of hopes is that someday this problem will all go away, that people will put litter in its place, that people will care. But as it stands now, sometimes all I have left is pontification.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Even trash walks have some rewards; coins, the occasional $20 bill, tools, unopened cans of beer, etc.

But a diamond ring? 

So it was last Saturday when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a diamond engagement ring prone on the pavement.

The ring was the mother lode, the zenith of finds. The amateur gemologist in me wondered aloud if it was real. From all appearances, it appeared to be.

The ring was slightly bent after having been run over by a car but the stone was intact. The band was stamped “18K” and the setting looked of the substantial sort deserving of a real diamond. I couldn’t believe my luck. (But did my find symbolize an engagement gone sour? Who would toss aside such a fine stone out of anger?)


All that sparkles isn’t real. My amateur gemologist rating will stay that way: amateurish. Talk about bursting my bubble.

I wasn’t in the door at home five minutes when I texted a photo of this happenstance bonanza to my kids. I proudly offered it to my son if he wanted to commission a pendant for his sweet girlfriend. Or perhaps my daughter would keep it aside for one of my granddaughters when they reached the age of fine jewelry. Oh, the possibilities.

An online search located a jewelry store in nearby SouthPark Mall that would determine the size and – hopefully – the value of the precious stone. My mind raced ahead: how would I spend the cash? (The responsible person in me, however, looked through Craig’s List to see if any remorse-filled ring tosser had come to her senses. But there were no posts to that effect.)

Bright and early Monday, I was off to the mall, the ring tucked safely away in a zippered pants pocket. Into the store I went.

Alas, a nice lady behind the counter said their appraiser was not in the store. But she asked the nature of the jewelry and after my 30 second elevator speech, she offered to test the veracity of the diamond. A real appraisal, she said, could wait.


If it is indeed “CZ” as the jewelry store lady adjudged the rock to be, it might solve the riddle as to why someone would toss it aside.

She whipped out some sort of electronic pen-like gizmo that would shoot the diamond with a beam. If the gem was real, she said, the pen would flash green. If not, a red reading would condemn the stone as ersatz.

And red, red, red it was. “CZ,” she said. CZ as in cubic zirconica.

With my bubble burst and my dreams of a fat payday gone, I delfatedly sulked back to the car. At least there is some value in the gold. But my disappointment raised another question about a prior find: do I dare take in a potential diamond earring found on another walk? I’m not sure I can deal with diamond-related disappointment twice in the same seven day period.


About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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