Or maybe dessert, although there isn’t any icing on this silver cake. I’ve bought myself lovely rings from Tiffany & Co. that I wear on a daily basis (and expect to for quite some time), and the cost per use is dwindling. I keep the boxes, ribbons and bags lined up on my windowsill in my bedroom. Although I don’t do it often, I happened to give a house tour to my guests when they arrived for a game night last month. Later during the Game of Things, “What’s something to be jealous of” prompted a response of “Tiffany’s” and all eyes turned to me. What?! No! Absolutely not me! There’s no need to be jealous!
I’m a huge advocate for quality over quantity. Tiffany & Co. is, too. I can go into any Tiffany store and get my rings cleaned for free, and they always look brand new after. Tiffany & Co. doesn’t require a show of a receipt, so I imagine you could buy the rings used and still have the same perks. I also bought silver polish from Amazon for any touch ups as needed. My jewelry box is basically barren because I’m wearing my rings all the time, and they bring me a lot of joy. It’s not for the name, though. It’s for the story behind each one.
My Rings and Their Stories
I purchased the Tiffany 1837 Narrow Ring in Sterling Silver a couple weeks after starting my first job. It’s a somewhat simple band, but it represents independence as I started blazing a trail into the working world. I earned my own paycheck and I bought it myself.
I will admit that I had a smidge of credit card debt at the time, but I was actively funneling my full paychecks into my remaining school/credit card debts and was living at home with my parents. I paid no interest on it, and the credit card was paid in full by the end of the month. I always recommend conquering your debts first before any luxury purchases. Knowing the purchase would be paid off in full made it far sweeter.
Date of purchase: 12/8/12 (1,857 days ago)
Cost: $159 (including tax)
Cost per use: $0.09
I purchased the Paloma Picasso Olive Leaf Band Ring in Sterling Silver after a very difficult and emotional struggle. I started yoga right around this time. The ring felt appropriate because I felt like I had found inner peace.
Date of purchase: 2/9/15 (1,064 days ago)
Cost: $185.50 (including tax)
Cost per use: $0.17
To Infinity and Beyond
I landed a promotion and was set to sell my first house and move across the country. This was a huge deal to me, and I commemorated it with the Tiffany Infinity Narrow Band Ring in Sterling Silver. (Also, infinity. Math. My new job. It worked!)
Date of purchase: 11/13/15 (787 days ago)
Cost: $212 (including tax)
Cost per use: $0.27
I Know Where I’m Going
I purchased the Atlas Ring in Sterling Silver in honor of my new promotion. It felt appropriate to commemorate the position and all of the struggles it took to get there with a ring that had numbers all over it. (Finance field, math degree, numbers. Lots of numbers. I love numbers.)
Date of purchase: 3/18/17 (296 days ago)
Cost: $214 (including tax)
Cost per use: $0.72
And in an Interesting Twist…
I decided to start a blog in May, officially had a registered domain and a list of ideas 80+ long for posts, and happened to go in for a ring cleaning right as they were discontinuing the Tiffany Twist in Sterling Silver. I had admired it for months, but was waiting for something special since I like that my rings all have stories.
It was probably a bit premature to celebrate the birth of my blog since it took the summer to get the layout done and start writing actual posts, but it felt really important to me as the idea was hatching. I’m sharing my ideas and my world with the entire rest of the internet-connected world, and the world will judge me even if I won’t judge it. It’s a scary leap.
Date of purchase: 5/13/17 (240 days ago)
Cost: $160.50 (including tax)
Cost per use: $0.67
Overall, my cost per use is fractional. The purchases were spread out over 5 years. Since I’d expect to make well over $3 million should I stick with a “normal” 30 year working career, I consider this cost per use and even the total dollar amount to be pretty minimal. I feel proud of the things that my rings represent, and I know the rings themselves will last a long time. I especially appreciate the free cleanings, although I realize it’s an attempt to get me back in the store to spend more.
I have bought some cheaper rings from Amazon throughout the 5 years, but none brought me the same joy. None were part of a special occasion in my life (which is probably why, since experiences and the memory of them bring you joy). In fact, some just turned my fingers green. Not cool. One wasn’t particularly strong, got smooshed in my car door and was a struggle to bend back and wrestle off with pliers. Also not cool. They’ve all been thrown out or given away in my Buy Nothing Group by now. Meanwhile, I know my Tiffany rings will last for years and will remain beautiful as long as I take care of them. Money well spent.
However, it’s still important to note the…
$200 (the average price per ring) would have bought about 30 avocado toasts or 45 lattes at Starbucks.
Had I simply not bought any rings and invested that money instead, assuming an annual 7% return, I could have had an extra $7,000 in 2045 (assuming a traditional 30 year working career).
So was it still worth it to buy the rings? To me, yes. It’s not about the name of the store or the collection of bags on my windowsill. My rings remind me of where I’ve been, where I’m going, and my inner strength as a person. I am reminded of this every single day, and I enjoy wearing them. That’s what spending where your priorities lie is all about. If you are always spending where your priorities lie and focus on gratitude, there is no need to ever be jealous of things anyone else has.