Around a year ago, I had to cut the wedding band I’d worn since 1989 in order to get it off of a very swollen finger. A couple of months ago, I decided to have the ring repaired and resized so I could wear it again.
I’d met Lucas Schmidt and his wife Blanche, co-owners of Schmidt’s Jewelers, when I was soliciting sponsorships for the hospital’s annual fundraising event “Landrush.” In the twenty years they’ve been in business, they’ve also been active in the community. Lucas and I were both “contestants” in a recent male pageant to raise money for the Burford Theatre and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. Blanche served as one of the attending escort/assistant/stage handlers. It’s typical of the way they work together to help out.
Since they also do jewelry stuff, I described the ring incident and Lucas invited me to bring it in. “I’ll take a look and let you know what we can do.” I left a sponsorship brochure with him and told him I’d be back.
When I came back the next week, I brought two rings with me: the aforementioned wedding band and a diamond ring Randa had given me around fifteen years ago. I had the severed ring in my pocket and was wearing the diamond ring. I handed Lucas the wedding band. He took it, nodded toward my right hand and commented, “You’re missing a diamond in that ring.”
“Yeah, that’s why I brought it in,” I admitted. “I’m guessing you notice things about jewelry the way a Florsheim salesman notices people’s shoes.” He grinned.
After his inspection of the wedding band, he told me what it would cost to add the extra metal and re-size the ring so it would fit my left index finger. It would be about five times what I’d paid for the ring originally. “Tell you what, let’s just do the repair and I’ll wear it as a pinky ring.” I also asked him to replace the missing diamond in the other ring.
A week or so later, I got a call that both rings were ready. Lucas opened a small manila envelope and took them out.
I was stunned at how much brighter and shinier they were! Both gleamed brilliantly. “Wow!” I exclaimed softly, almost reverently. “Wow!” I stood there, examining both of them, marveling at the repair and the transformation. I fully expected that the wedding band would no longer have its broken gap. I fully expected that the other ring would no longer be missing a diamond. But owing to my own clear lack of experience with gold jewelry repair, the cleaning and polishing took me by complete surprise. “You know,” I commented to Lucas, “I’m not sure these looked this good even when they were brand new.”
Sometimes we are surprised because we have under-estimated someone’s ability. Sometimes because we have under-estimated their desire. Regardless of the reasons, it is always a good thing when we do more good than was expected and do it in a more excellent way.