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My Unfortunate Wedding Ring

by J. Money on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

wedding bands on roses

Something interesting happened the other day when I walked into our jewelry store. My wedding ring had been getting a bit funky again, so as always I went in where I bought it 4+ years ago and once again tried to get it replaced altogether. But like the previous 4 trips of me talking with a manager (I get a different one each time), the answer was a solid “No,” and instead I was left with the only option that’s ever available to me each time: Get a brand new version of the same ring.

Now, it could certainly be worse in that I’d have to PAY for this new ring every 2 years to get it replaced (I was smart enough to purchase a lifetime warranty that allows for replacements any time it’s deemed necessary – which is ALWAYS in my case), but it still sucks knowing I have to go back over and over again just to have something I thought was pretty secure from the start: A *solid* wedding band made of beautiful white gold. Is it too much to ask for something like that to remain in tact for years and years to come? Or at least THREE??

I can never go back in time and pick out a different one, but one day I hope to be able to at least SWITCH it out and convince them that it makes sense for *every* party involved. How could a company be okay with giving out a brand new ring every 2 years to someone rather than just allowing them to swap in a DIFFERENT one of equal size and value? That’s gotta be expensive, right? It makes no sense to me at all – financially OR customer service-y. I wouldn’t think a business wants their customers complaining about how a product of theirs falls apart all the time, or they get so frustrated they went out and BLOGGED about it, right? ;) That can’t be good…

It’s not like I’m asking for something crazy here. And I can guarantee I’m not the only person with this same problem too – especially considering I RARELY even wear the ring much anyways (I don’t like having them on my fingers when I type, so I only slip it on when we go out and about outside the home). If that thing can break being worn a few hours (if that) every other day or so, others’ are breaking too. And probably at a much faster pace. It’s bad enough I already lost my original ring that was blessed by a good priest friend of ours who no longer lives in the area :( These rings are special!

Maybe I’ll try writing a nice old fashioned letter to the president or something? I love the company (Helzberg Jewelers), but man, I’m just in awe… Have any of YOUR wedding bands or rings broke? I know it’s handwoven and all, but jeez – I’ve never heard of such a thing…

OH! And get this. Not to get totally off topic here (which is pretty funny cuz THIS was what I was originally planning to write about in this post! Haha…), but when I went to go look at rings that were of similar value, I saw that my ring now goes for over $1,500!! When I purchased it 4 years ago it was only around $500! How crazy is that? Because of the value of gold over the years though, the ring has more than TRIPLED in price even though it’s still the EXACT same thing! Haha…. if only I picked up my gold coin back in the day too ;)

Y’all should see how much YOUR rings are worth now :) Especially if they’re made of gold. I’m sure those who picked ‘em up a looooooong time ago are wearing some pretty expensive metal around your fingers now! I can’t even imagine how low it all was even 10 or 20 years ago?

Anyways though, back to my letter writing campaign idea – I think I’m gonna try it. Other than them finding this blog post or maybe getting lucky one day, I don’t see how I’ll ever be able to resolve this situation 100% to my liking.

What would you do if YOUR ring kept falling apart every few years? I know it’s just a piece of metal and not the REAL love my wife and I share together, but it’s still a symbol of it, ya know? I’d prefer not to have another 35 more rings over the course of my lifetime if possible – I don’t think that’s too much to ask ;)

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UPDATE: I tweeted back and forth with Helzberg (@Helzberg) and they’ve promised to have a rep call me soon to see what we can do :) FINGERS CROSSED!!

UPDATE #2: We chatted and they’re working on a solution! I really REALLY hope it works out, and will blog about the outcome soon! Thanks for all your support, everyone :)


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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lance@MoneyLife&More June 27, 2012 at 7:16 am

I don’t know what I’d do. That is a pretty rough situation. I do, however, now know not to get one at Helzberg Jewelers. If they won’t work with you that is just bad customer service.

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2 Kylie Ofiu June 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

I’m lucky because my sister in law is a jeweller, so would never be an issue. I can tell you she would have let you swap it, as would her dad and his father who were also jewellers (family business since the 1930′s). That is crazy they keep replacing it and I would expect something like a ring to last longer than yours has.

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3 Bridget June 27, 2012 at 8:38 am

If I were you, I’d melt that sucker down and have it reformed into a new ring. Because every two years is BS. In the future, stay away from chain jewelry stores!

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4 Mrs. Money Mustache June 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

That is extremely bizarre. I’ve never heard of a ring that falls apart. What happens? It just breaks in half or something?

I have a titanium ring and I’ve never had any issues with it.

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5 Brian June 27, 2012 at 8:46 am

If my rings falls apart I have a problem and a solution. I have a vvery plain ring made of titanium. So if the titanium fails, then the world has probably ended. I have thought about ditching the ring and just gettting a tattoo in place of it, then the only way I could lose my ring is if I lose my finger!

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6 Jennifer June 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

wow! I can’t believe the horrible customer service that they provide. And it’s insane that your ring didn’t even last you 4 years! I know that the ring has sentimental value but I would consider taking your business elsewhere. You tried numerous times and they give you the same answer. You should check out Smyth’s in Baltimore. They have great customer service and quality products. They also buy gold from there. So maybe you can sell your old ring and use the money to buy another one.

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7 Travis @Debtchronicles June 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’d definitely go on an email campaign. Somewhere in that company has to be someone that will look beyond “following the policy,” and do the right thing because 1.) they know that word of mouth is a powerful thing 2.) They’re not helping their reputation and image one bit by just following policy in this case 3.) this is not cost effective for them.

You may also mention you happen to live in the social media world and that your readers love to hear new installments of this story…..

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8 David Hunter June 27, 2012 at 9:41 am

Never heard of gold rings falling apart. My ring is two-tone and I’ve never had any problens.

Do you have pictures?? I’m with Mrs. Money Mustache, how does it break?

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9 Michelle June 27, 2012 at 9:41 am

That’s tough! I agree with you though, it’s your love that matters.

Maybe buy a bag of 100 rings (like in Zombieland when she was hustling the gas station attendant). That way you always have the same one!

Haha completely joking of course.

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10 David Hunter June 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

Idea! Go to a local jewelry store and tell them your horror story and see if they can swap your ring or help you. I bet if they do, you’ll be a customer for life and refer people to them which makes it worth it for them!

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11 Erin June 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

I also want to know how it breaks! I have an engagement ring and wedding band with small diamonds in each band. One of the stones in my wedding band fell out and was lost, although after getting it replaced and having all of the stones tightened, it’s been okay for over a year now (I’ve been married for two). But I literally can’t wear my engagement ring for more than two weeks without one of the stones loosening again. I’ve stopped wearing it because I’m so tired of taking it back to the jeweler constantly. I feel your pain on this one, big time.

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12 Shane @ Beating Broke June 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

Dude! I think we have the same ring. I’d have to ask my wife where she bought mine, but the pattern/design is exactly the same. I’ve never had any issues with mine though. What happens to yours?

I’d give the email/letter campaign a try and see what happens. Sometimes the managers aren’t able to make the switch, but someone higher up might be able to.

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13 DebtsnTaxes June 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

I’ve never seen a ring fall apart before. Once in awhile the settings on the wifes ring that holds the diamond will get a little bent or loose but they always fix it for free. I have a titanium ring and the thing is pretty much unbreakable. I would definitely try to get ahold of somebody higher up and see what they can do.

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14 Nicole June 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

Why don’t you pawn it (since its worth so much more now) and buy the replacement you want?

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15 jesort415 June 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

Sadly I just recently lost my engagement ring. It came home with me on Friday but when I went to put it back on Sunday (I don’t wear my jewelry at home just like I don’t wear my “good” clothes in the house) it was gone. I have my band but not the enegagement ring, which I wear together with the engagement ring on the inside. It is insured for replacement value (which is $600 more now) but it’s just not the same. I have no clue where it went but I am totally bummed that something I thought I would have forever is gone. :-(

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16 Edward Antrobus III June 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Similar to others, my ring is pretty much indistructable. With the kinds of jobs I’ve had, it’s just a must. I don’t think a gold ring would have lasted me even one year! I went with Tungsten instead of Titanium, however. It’s heavier and I like feeling the heft on my finger. I don’t ever take mine off however (except when I’m making meatloaf).
But count me in in wanting to know how yours is breaking. I can’t think of anything short of it breaking apart that isn’t just part of the nature of gold. Dents, scratches, dings, and thinning on one side are just facts of life with a soft metal such as gold.
And I’ll definately try to help spread the word if you decide to put internet pressure on them.

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17 Chris C. June 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Wow, sorry to hear about this. I echo what others have said and urge you to avoid shopping at chain jewelry stores in the future. The local guys have a lot more invested in keeping you a happy customer for life.

I googled “Helzberg customer service” and noticed the copyright at the bottom of the page…©2011 Helzberg Diamonds a Berkshire Hathaway Company. I would assume this gives you more of a “voice” during your email campaign, if needed include some Berk-Hathaway in your blogging rantings and I would hope they listen. Squeaky wheel…gets a new ring!

Good Luck J.

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18 Heather June 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

That’s horrible. You shoudl definitely try the letter writing. My mom teaches a business writing class and her students have had surprisingly good results when they write a complaint letter. One got a Mont Blanc pen replaced. So good old-fashioned letters do still get results.

I also noticed that you can leave a review of the ring on the website. If nothing else, you can warn other customers that it keeps falling apart and the company won’t replace it.

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19 Bryan June 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

If Helzberg has a Twitter account, you might try complaining to them on there. Twice, I’ve complained on Twitter, and the company reached out to me within, like, 30 minutes to try to make it right.

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20 Bonnie June 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I had a lot of problems with my ring too. My ring has four diamonds and a large center sapphire. The prongs holding the diamonds kept lifting up so the diamonds would become loose. I didn’t have a warranty on the ring so we had to pay each time to fix it. After 3 or 4 times, we went to a different jeweler to get it fixed. This time we found a well-known, local jeweler that had been around for decades. They fixed it once and it’s been perfect ever since, 7 or 8 years now. And they did it much cheaper than the chain store I had been going to.

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21 Carl June 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I’ve gone through a similar situation with my ring as well. I’ve been married for 8 years and have had to send it back twice already and am fast approaching a third time. I was probably asking for trouble in the first place because my ring is a gold inner band with a woven gold band around the outside with the outer band welded (or somehow attached) to the inner band. Within a year of buying it, the outer band came loose and was spinning freely around the inner band looking like it would fall off if it got snagged on something. I sent it back and they repaired it at no charge. Within two years after that the same thing happened and I sent it back again. This time they gave me a brand new ring at no charge. Now (5 years after getting the new ring) the outer band is again starting to wiggle and come loose. I’ll probably have to make the trip yet again to see what they can do. Definitely tempted at this point to just ask for a new, one piece ring. But it certainly has been an ongoing pain in the neck!

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22 Carl June 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I just actually looked at the picture at the top of the blog post – That is my ring that I’ve had all my trouble with in the previous post! That inner woven part that you can see is what just keeps coming undone. So yeah, if you’re considering getting one of those cause they look cool, don’t…

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23 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager June 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I don’t have a wedding ring, but I do have a ring that I’ve had for over 10 years and have only once taken it to to get the stone reset (it was getting wiggly) I’m not sure if this is a quality issue or not on their end. They probably just clean it and sell it to the next guy that wants your ring after you’ve stepped out the door.

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24 Machelle Smith June 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

OMG, we have the same problem with my husband’s glasses! A year and a half ago we bought him a new pair of prescription eyeglasses. Every couple of months, he will be driving down the road (usually this happens while he is hauling cattle, yikes) and his frames will break at the bow and just fall off his face! The first time it happened we thought it was just a single bad pair. It’s now happened 7 times and the frames always fall apart in the same place. The company always replaces them (after I make another 25 mile trip to town to pick them up), but the new frames always break too. We’ve also tried other frame colors in the same style, but they are no better! You would think the company would admit there was a problem with this style!? I wonder how many other people are going through the same frustrating experience. I feel your frustration with your wedding ring!

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25 J. Money June 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Some of you have asked how, *exactly*, my ring’s been breaking, so I’m stealing what Carl said in the comments as he has the EXACT same ring as I do and is also experiencing the same problems – yikes! Maybe I should include him in my letter writing? ;)

“… my ring is a gold inner band with a woven gold band around the outside with the outer band welded (or somehow attached) to the inner band. Within a year of buying it, the outer band came loose and was spinning freely around the inner band looking like it would fall off if it got snagged on something. I sent it back and they repaired it at no charge…. Now (5 years after getting the new ring) the outer band is again starting to wiggle and come loose.”

I’ll let you all know what happens when I send that letter!

@Lance@MoneyLife&More – I feel bad cuz they DO work with me and others on it, just not in the way we feel is best :( It would be MUCH worse if they just kept fixing our same ring over and over again and not even swapping it for a NEW one. So they are doing about 75% of the goodness.
@Kylie Ofiu – Awww, their shop sounds wonderful! It’s because mine is a chain that I’m sure we’re getting stuck here :(
@Bridget – HAH! How would I even know how to do that?? :)
@Mrs. Money Mustache – See above :) It’s those dang ribbons around the main ring that’s doing it…
@Brian – Hahahah…. now THAT is something to consider ;) I like that. A LOT.
@Jennifer – Yeah, that’s a possibility for sure – selling it and then using the money to get a new one, but the only problem now is that gold is SOOOO much more expensive so I’d probably have to pony up more money too just to make a switch of equal value :(
@Travis @Debtchronicles – Haha… It has crossed my mind, that’s for sure ;)
@David Hunter – That picture above was actually my first ring. Check out what I said at the top of this comment strand for a more detailed explanation.
@Michelle – I loved that movie!! Totally suprised me cuz I thought I’d hate it! :)
@David Hunter – Hmmmm, that may be worth a shot? Perhaps if I hint that I had an online community? ;)
@Erin – Oh no! That stinks as well – I’m sorry to hear :( Maybe you should write a letter too and we’ll see who gets luckier! :)
@Shane @ Beating Broke – Oh yeah??? That would be cool! It probably is too cuz it DOES come in two toned too!
@DebtsnTaxes – Yup, I’m thinking that’s my only hope at this point unfortunately :(
@Nicole – Oh man, I’d love to but then I’d just have to pay more again if I wanted to keep the ring in white gold still :( Cuz even though it’s worth 3x of value now, it also means the OTHER rings are also that high too! Same problem we have with real estate, haha… you cash out of your nice home you sold for profit, only to then have to buy ANOTHER at a much higher price ;)
@jesort415 – Oh nooo!!!! That is MUCH worse than my inconvenience, I’m so sorry :( Gonna send over some good prayers that you find it too – keep looking! It’s gotta be somewhere? I’d be devestated :(
@Edward Antrobus III – Thanks man, I like it that y’all have my back!
@Chris C. – WOAHHH REALLY??? Berkshire owns them?? I have their stock!! hahahaa… oh man, how funny is that… good researching my friend, you totally made my day :)
@Heather – Yeah, that’s true! Cuz even if *I* get my ring replaced, it still doesn’t help any others :( I’m gonna make a note to do that later – after I sit down to do the letter.
@Bryan – Oh yeah! D’uh! I totally forgot about that… maybe I’ll send them this blog post and not have to go through the whole process of letter-writing? Thanks for the reminder :)
@Bonnie – AWESOME!! That’s gotta feel good! :)
@Carl – Dude, if I get to the bottom of it I’m totally helping you out too! You explained it perfectly actually, so hope you don’t mind I stole your description of the mess and put it up above ;) It’s so frustrating, right? I’ll keep you posted on what happens – we’ll get it cleared up.
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – I don’t think they re-sell the ones we trade in cuz they look SO GOOD when brand spankin’ new, but there’s def. something wrong w/ the band, that’s for sure… rings just aren’t supposed to break like that.
@Machelle Smith – Ouch! Yeah, pretty much same thing happening there eh? I don’t get it why they’re OK with losing so much money all the time, it’s so strange? No luck in trying to get a different pair yet? I’ll keep you guys updated on what happens with my situation, but either way I hope yours gets better quicker! :)

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26 Sense June 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Wow! I have a ring I bought in Thailand in 2003 for about $20USD that I wear every single day and it looks almost the same as the day I bought it. Something is wrong with that ring (and company!) for sure. What a PAIN!! I’d be pissed, too.

At this point, it may be smarter just to keep a pristine one in a safe for fancy occasions and get a cheaper Target replacement (sterling silver this time?) that will last for every day use. One of the Real Housewives does that with her huge engagement diamond ring. :)

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27 Nicole @ The Penny Frugalista June 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

My husband wanted a $40 titanium ring off Amazon as his wedding ring — he didn’t want gold because he knows it would get dinged up. And if it ever got lost, it wouldn’t break the bank to replace. As for Helzberg, I purchased my everyday earrings from them and never had a problem with them. Sounds like your ring has a bum design!

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28 Crystal June 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

If I were you, I’d sell my ring for cash and then buy something durable to wear for the next 50 years. :-) Good luck!

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29 Tegan June 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I have a 9ct white gold wedding band, about 3mm thick I think (so not very chunky at all). It was cheap, from a chain store down here in Oz. For the last 4 and a bit years it’s held up fine, no issues at all. I think I would cry if it broke.

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30 J. Money June 28, 2012 at 11:09 am

UPDATE: I tweeted back and forth with Helzberg (@Helzberg) and they’ve promised to have a rep call me this afternoon to see what we can do :) FINGERS CROSSED!!

@Sense – Hah, really?? That is an AWESOME IDEA actually!! And is exactly why my wife didn’t want anything bigger than 1 ct – she’d be too afraid to wear it around!
@Nicole @ The Penny Frugalista – Oh yeah, def. a bum design. I’m glad your earrings are good! I think most of their products are really good quality (it’s where we bought my wife’s engagement ring too and it’s AWESOME!) but I must have just been unlucky :(
@Crystal – I hope it doesn’t come down to that! :)
@Tegan – Awww, well I’m sure yours is a lot more sturdier – I hope you have many more years to come! :)

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31 Peter June 29, 2012 at 11:44 am

That’s crazy that a ring would just break or start falling apart like that. I’ve had my wedding ring for 10 years now, and never had an issue. Of course that’s expected I suppose as it’s just a solid white gold band, no embellishments, no woven gold, etc. My wife has had her diamond wedding ring for 10 years now as well, and she has never had any issues. We bought from a local jeweler with 1 location – family run store. They were awesome and we’ve never had any issues with our ring.. Hopefully Helzberg will help you out…. again.

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32 J. Money June 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Well that’s good! Wanna switch? ;) I’ve already started talks with Helzberg and at least now they KNOW of the situation – so we’ll see what the final outcome is. I’m just glad I’m DOING something about it now rather than feeling like “that’s that” as I have been over the years… gotta take things into your own hands sometimes, right?

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33 Miriam July 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

My husband and I haven’t even gotten around to buying wedding rings yet (we’ve been married and broke for 5 years and they’re just an expense we can’t afford!) but I think we’re going to go with tungsten or titanium when the time comes.

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34 J. Money July 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

Awww, well it’ll be a fun “renewal” of the vows when you guys pick them up then ;) Maybe you can do it on your anniversary? That would be cool!

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35 Paulette July 2, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Tungsten. It might take my finger with it, but it will never bend or break. Good luck!

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36 J. Money July 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

Hah! Pretty solid stuff :)

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37 Erin S July 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I love how a blog post can just get the ball rolling and make things happen! :) I hope they get everything figured out, you should never have to replace your wedding band if you don’t have to.
Someone (ok me) had a brilliant idea to get platinum bands when we got married 10 years ago. My daughter found them on my night stand and wanted to wear them. When I found her, she had my diamond ring and earrings on the platform of the bed. When I asked her where the other ring (wedding band) was, she told me it was in the bed (she was about 2). We tore that bed apart and didn’t find it. When I finally gave up on the idea of finding it, we went in to see what a replacement would cost from a chain store because we got it from Robbin’s in the Philly area and we were living in MI at the time. Turns out the cost tripled in the 10 years we’ve been married! I have an extremely small, thin band and it was going to cost more than the two bands and engagement ring costs us all together. Luckily, months and months later when we moved out of the house, my husband found the ring, wedged down between two beams of the bed when he took it apart, and it was right where my daughter said it was all along! Happy ending! :)

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38 J. Money July 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Awww awesome!!! A happy ending indeed :) Crazy about prices though over time, huh? I was SO SHOCKED to see our ring triple in price! And I’ve got some *great* news about it now too, just waiting to write up a post on it soon – stay tuned ;)

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39 Micah July 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Wow you are a bitch. 4 years and you replace your wedding ring? with what? a cabana boy? So you ring got funky after only 4 years. Go get it cleaned. You should be proud of the time that shows on that ring.

Your ring is a symbol of you marriage and if you are getting it replaced every 4 years, what kind of symbolism is that? You don’t like it because with age it started to look funky. I bet you look way more funky with age. Some things in this world aren’t just for decoration or show. Some things in this world have meaning.

As a man if I came home and found out my wife replaced the ring I got her, the ring to the woman I gave up a bachelors life for, The ring to the woman I grew up for, the ring for the woman that changed my life….I’d be pissed. And if I wasn’t upset I guess that would mean that I’m in a “trophy wife” marriage and I dont really care about her anyway.

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40 J. Money July 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I actually didn’t explain it too well in this post, but the ring was physically falling a part. As in, pieces of it would literally fall off my finger and onto the floor. That still might make me a bitch as you’ve keenly observed, but at the end of the day both the wife and I agreed it was the best move to resolve a shitty situation.

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41 Howlindawgs November 23, 2013 at 2:01 am

My husband and I got very pretty, braided tri color gold rings when we got married 7 years ago. A couple years ago my husband started noticing broken strands of the braided gold sticking up and before he knew it a whole segment had fallen out. We chalked it up to his job (firefighter) and being generally rough on jewelry and I replaced it for him with a tungsten carbide ring so it would be virtually indestructible. But not too long after I developed the same problem so I would file down the burrs that were sticking up so they didn’t get snagged on anything. Then one day the whole thing just came off. The braided strands were set into a gold band, very similar to yours, and the braided circle just came off the inner band. Now I’m tearing the house apart trying to find the receipts because I ordered them online. My job involves a lot of hand washing but nothing else particularly grueling, although I did wear it 24/7. I’m bummed and pretty annoyed. I can’t imagine this hasn’t happened to anyone else, but you’re the only other one I’ve found so far with a similar story. WTF?!

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42 J. Money November 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I’m so sorry to hear that :( Since posting this I’ve heard from a handful of others now too experiencing similar problems, so the makers of them have to pay attention sooner than later! Just crazy how they hardly last in the real world… Especially since we’re not doing anything out of normal day-to-day use.

I hope your story turns out well as it did for us. My new ring has some scratches now, but is as solid as can be… no more fancy weaving for us :(

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