If there’s anything I’ve learned about living in New York, it’s that for practically any situation you find yourself in, there’s a Sex and the City episode to reference. And, if there’s another thing I’ve learned about living in New York, it’s that each reference-worthy episode of SATC takes on a whole new meaning, once you cross over into your 30s. What seemed distant and perhaps un-relatable when I first enjoyed the series in my 20s, has taken on a slightly different meaning as I knock on the door of 32—an age where I could arguably be cast in a reprise of the series itself (A girl can dream, right?). Oddly enough, what used to be just comforting background noise while I work, now frequently has me saying out loud, “Wait, this is my life right now.”
The most recent déjà vu episode? Where Carrie confronts her friend about her stolen Manolos by creating a wedding registry in her name, in celebration of her pending nuptials with…herself. You know the one. She decries the fact that women all too often celebrate the milestones of marriage and pregnancy (both wonderful occasions, don’t get me wrong), with parties and gifts and diamond rings, but what about the other milestones? What about professional milestones? What about the ‘congrats, you didn’t choose the wrong guy, milestones? What about self-love milestones? What about the ‘you’re a badass and you know it’ milestones? What about the ‘you’re fabulously single’ milestones?
All fair game if you ask me. And all milestones, I think we can agree, that represent the full spectrum of things worthy of celebrating, today more than ever. So when my good friend and amazing jewelry designer, Jillian Abboud, asked me if I would ever be in the market for a diamond ring for myself, I thought of this exact episode. No, I don’t have any pending wedding announcement to share here. Or a fiancé to introduce. I’m dating a very special person, yes, but why is it that a diamond ring, a timeless piece of jewelry, has to be so tied to my relationship status with someone else? Why couldn’t it be a celebration of my relationship with me; a gift for ME, from ME?
The truth is, as I’m sure you can already imagine, women—both single and married—are buying themselves more jewelry than ever, more often than not, outside the context of wedding vows. And that’s a behavior yours truly (and perhaps you, too?) can relate to. After all, if diamonds are a girl’s best friend, why should we wait around for someone else to gift them to us when we can already afford them?
In all fairness, this isn’t to make light of purchasing a diamond and the economic ability to do so—it’s a purchase that takes consideration and gravitas. But it’s an innately personal one that, at the right time and the right celebratory moment, can feel so rewarding and well-deserved: a timeless piece of jewelry to hold on to, as a testament of your hard work.
Just the other week, as you might have spied on Instagram, I attended the “Brilliance Revealed: The Artistry Behind Diamond Design” event to learn more about the “Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond” campaign at an intimate diamond design demonstration held at William Goldberg Diamonds. As someone who loves seeing how things are made, it was a real honor to be invited to William Goldberg, a company with such rich history, to better understand how a rough diamond is transformed into a finished piece of jewelry, a process that can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to finish. There we met William Lopez, Master Diamond cutter for William Goldberg with more than 46 years of experience. He studies, examines and eventually architects some of the company’s most notable diamonds, including the 48.2 ct ASHOKA cut ring you see me wearing here in several of the photos.
In short: it was humbling. The meticulous attention to detail and the craft were similar to that of an artist’s studio, where the painter allows the canvas and oils to lead the way. Here too, the master diamond cutters examine all angles and imperfections to allow for the most brilliant faceted design to shine through.
Admittedly, I’ve never been in a diamond design studio before, so it was like a peek behind a very heavy curtain for me, and one that I think only added to the weight of the idea of purchasing a diamond for myself, from myself, in celebration of, well, myself. Diamonds are precious, rare and billions of years old before they’re even brought to the light of day to be witnessed and worn by you and I. There’s a proud finality to them—they’re intrinsically unique and one-of-a-kind, hand crafted by both nature and talented experts likely William Lopez. And I think for those reasons alone, it’s easy to see how diamonds have the ability to single-handedly play huge roles in not just one, but many pivotal moments in our lives as women (whether we’re the ones buying them or not), from marriage to children, from promotions to declarations of self-love, to name only a few.
As you might have guessed by now, this empowering notion is largely why the “Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond” campaign struck such a chord with me. If and when I make this purchase (granted, I won’t be scooping up the ASHOKA diamond ring you see here anytime soon — but hey, perhaps someday I will!), it will be a gift from me to me, in celebration of things I’ve accomplished and how hard I’ve worked for them. Unlike Carrie, I won’t be creating a wedding registry for my own nuptials with myself (unless my Manolos suddenly go missing!). Instead I’m excited to be working with Jillian over the coming weeks to design a custom-made diamond swivel ring and I’m even more excited to share her work with you all along the way!
In the meantime, I’d love to know, what are some recent milestones you’ve celebrated? And how did you celebrate them for yourself?
This post originally appeared on This Time Tomorrow.