Annie’s Diamond Ring, Part Three

John writes from Chico on June 18, 1867:

And now another thing, the ring. I send it by this steamer. It may be a little too large for you. If so, have it made smaller. It will cost but little. I will pay the expense. I fear you will not like the style of the ring. It is so plain, but fix it to suit you. Herewith I will enclose $10 for any changes you may see proper to make, and if they cost more please let me know.

One thing I would like to have you do. Have your name engraved on the ring somewhere. Then if you ever return it–I hope you never will–it will be to me a more precious memento. You remember the conditions.

The conditions were that the ring was a pledge of friendship, and if circumstances were to ever alter (that is, if she were to marry someone else) then she would return the ring.

Annie received the ring about a month later, and on August 7th she wrote:

Now I must thank you for the beautiful ring which I saw for the first time yesterday. It is a little too large, so I will comply with your request and have it made a little smaller.

Which she did, at a cost of 50 cents.

The setting is perfect I think, and not too plain as you suggest. We sit a great deal on balconies, and by moonlight the diamond is beautiful and reflects credit on American diamonds! Pardon the pun, both for its poverty and boldness.

John must have been highly gratified to know that she was wearing the diamond ring and watching it sparkle in the moonlight. Now if he could just get her to come to California . . . .

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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