San Diego, CA—There are two schools of thought surrounding engagement and wedding rings: some women will never take them off except to clean them quickly and put them right back on, while others will take them off at night before bed or before they go swimming, or do housework, yard work, construction work, et cetera. (We industry folk do recommend the latter, even if it lacks the romantic impact of “I’ll never take it off!”)
Jenna Evans of San Diego, CA, learned the hard way that the jeweler’s advice is best. Evans, who has a history of sleepwalking, dreamt that she and her fiancé, Bobby Howell, were on a high-speed train being chased by bandits. In the dream, Howell suggested she swallow her engagement ring to hide it. Unfortunately, with a sleep disorder dreams and reality can be interchangeable, so when Evans woke up her engagement ring—all 2.4 carats of it—was gone.
She and Howell went to a nearby urgent care center, where an X-ray (above left) quickly proved she did indeed quaff the ring. Those doctors referred her to a gastroenterologist, who performed an upper endoscopy to retrieve the ring and recommended she see a sleep specialist.
The procedure went well, thankfully, and the doctors gave the ring back to Howell, who returned it to Evans after she promised never to swallow it again. She detailed the process in a Facebook post with a shoutout to the jeweler who made the ring, Simone Jewelry Designs of Houston, TX.
“Jewels so lovely you could eat them,” wrote Evans of her jeweler friends. “But please don’t.”
Above top, Jenna Evans about to have an endoscopy to retrieve her swallowed engagement ring. Above center, click to watch a news report detailing the entire incident. Below, the ring, after retrieval, on the hand of fiancé Bobby Howell. And when you're going to eat your carrots, we recommend the kind on the right.
Meanwhile, in other weird engagement ring news, The New York Times recently profiled a new business model: buying engagement rings via vending machine. “When they’re ready to propose, most people typically head to a jewelry store where they can take the time to peruse the various stones and settings. But there are much quicker (not to mention quirkier) options available: vending machines,” says the article.
Over Labor Day weekend, real estate giant Tishman Speyer, the owners of New York’s Rockefeller Center, opened The Vend in the Center’s Concourse, one floor below where the famous annual Christmas tree sits. The Concourse is a network of underground retailers and eateries, with underground passageways connecting every building in Rockefeller Center and extending west to Seventh Avenue.
The Vend contains six well-stocked vending machines, one of which offers a diamond engagement ring. The Times says the ring was made by Fitzgerald Jewelry of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and features a yellow rose-cut diamond surrounded by gray diamonds set in a matte 14k gold band. The Times doesn’t list the size of any of the diamonds, but at $800 (before tax), one can probably assume the stones are either very small and/or very included.
Slot B3 holds a diamond engagement ring, while B5 offers a pair of cufflinks. Image: The New York Times
Jewelry in a vending machine isn’t unheard of: Last year a hotel in London began offering vending machines with engagement rings. And remember the gold vending machine? And designer Marla Aaron attracted both customers and burglars with her jewelry vending machines.
The ring in the Concourse vendateria is nestled in slot B3, among an assortment of colorful merchandise: a practical folding tote bag on one side, and what appears to be a package of tissues on the other. The paper didn’t say whether there was an entire back-stock of rings in row B3, or just the one that’s visible.
The Rockefeller Center ring might be an enticing solution for artistically-minded Millennials who don’t want the typical diamond ring for their engagement, or it could be a placeholder like the ones dispensed in a vending machine in London’s chic Bankside Hotel. Supplied by ROKUS, a London-based jeweler, those rings are gold-plated brass with a cabochon cut Labradorite in a classic six-prong setting. They’re clearly designed to be a spontaneous placeholder until the couple can go shopping for the real deal.
That’s actually not a bad idea, especially for nervous grooms who want the proposal to be a surprise but are afraid of choosing the wrong design for their brides-to-be.
The Rockefeller Center machine also offers a pair of cufflinks two spaces away in slot B5, on the other side of the tissues. Why not? The better to get those sloppy shirtsleeves under control before proposing.