Some of you might have read a post of mine from a couple of years ago where I mentioned a very slight obsession I have with Laura’s engagement ring. For years I thought I was the only one but something tells me there are others out there harboring a secret desire for a garnet and pearl ring of your very own. You’re in luck! The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove has heard your pleas and commissioned a reproduction garnet and pearl ring based on a 1884 design and Laura’s own description in These Happy Golden Years. I’ve always wondered why none of the homesites have done this before so it’s great to see Walnut Grove taking the initiative.
Of course I wanted this ring the minute I saw it advertised so I called Walnut Grove to get more information. The ring is based on a drawing from a 1884 Montgomery Ward’s catalog that resembles Laura’s written descriptions. 1884 is the year Laura and Almanzo got engaged. Now we don’t know whether Manly got Laura’s ring from a catalog, he could have gone to one of the local jewelry stores in De Smet, but we do know they ordered other things from the Ward’s catalog (such as their first Christmas gift to each other, the glassware set that included the famous oval bread plate) so it’s not a stretch to assume he ordered Laura’s ring from Montgomery Wards as well, especially if he didn’t want gossip spreading all over town that he was buying a ring.
The museum is taking orders for the initial batch of rings for just a few more days, the order will be sent to the jeweler on October 3. Since the rings take 4 weeks to make, this is probably your only chance to get the ring in time for Christmas. The museum will continue taking orders after October 3 but the jeweler needs a minimum of six orders for each production run. The initial prices ($299/10k gold, $199/sterling silver) are good through December 31, 2011.
The museum will be taking prepaid orders at Laurapalooza next year but wouldn’t you rather have your ring by then? I know I would. Luckily I have a birthday coming up in November so the timing couldn’t be better. What’s your excuse reason?
Here’s the ordering information for you one more time – go make that phone call so that you can show me your ring at Laurapalooza 2012!