I didn’t blog again last Friday for the following reasons: 1. I was sick as a dog (I blame the back order of Immune Support), 2. It was Xmas day, 3. I was away in New York, and 4. Ben proposed. So, I thought I would take the day off.
I knew something was up when he told me on my birthday he was taking us away to New York, his treat. So, despite us both being flu-y and delirious, hopped up on Cold FX, he popped the question in Central Park over hot apple cider (I wouldn’t let him order himself hot cocoa because milk is mucous-forming). The fact he still wanted to propose while my face was full of snot is romantic in its own way… And that he didn’t take it back when I started singing “I guess he liked it because then he put a ring on it!”.
And, like everything in my life, Ayurveda seeped its influence onto our engagement too – in the form of my engagement ring. Ayurveda uses precious metals and gem stones for healing, and Ayurvedic devotees believe that wearing them affects our health. Because we absorb everything we put on our skin, even when we wear gold jewelry, this too makes its way into our bodies, and it is very important only to use pure, high quality metals which correspond to your doshic constitution. Gem stones are known to be healing when they catch light and this light permeates into us; this is why cooling stones such as opal soothe Pitta, while other stimulate Vata and Kapha such as ruby. Also, each of our chakras has a color(s) associated with it, and the color of the gem also enhances that chakra.
According to Dr. Vasant Lad’s writings, the gemstone best for the ring finger are clear diamonds and white sapphires. His book “A Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Home Remedies states that they calm Pitta, and also are “symbolic of the planet Venus…(helping) to create a close bond in relationships and are rightfully associated with marriage. These stones stimulate shukra, the body’s reproductive tissue. Art, music, romance and sex all go together with this stone…”
Now, I have always known I did not want a diamond ring – for the political reasons as well as the opulence of them. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while can probably tell I like nice things, but diamonds aren’t one of them (but you can’t very well propose with a gift card to Whole Foods, right?). So, Ben did his homework and bought a white sapphire – actually, he didn’t know what setting I wanted or my finger size (I don’t wear rings because they get in the way when performing facials), so he proposed with a box with the gem in it. It was from The Natural Sapphire Company in New York City who have been around since 1939 and specialize in untreated sapphires. They even have an Ayurvedic Consultant at their disposal for crunchy granolas like me.
So, for any of you who want to choose white sapphires too for Ayurvedic reasons, here are a few things you need to know:
1. It must be at least one carat. I mentioned this to Ben a couple years ago – he must have thought it was mighty convenient. And actually, all healing gem stones have to be at least one carat, and it is said that ideally they are three to five carats! So if you do go the diamond route – it could be very expensive, especially because the clarity has to perfect too. Lucky for Ben, white sapphires are much more reasonable, and I just said to go over one carat, because a five carat on my finger would be grotesque, and maybe even cut my clients during treatments.
2. There cannot be any cracks or imperfections. Wearing bad quality stones is actually considered potentially harmful/damaging to your health. Again, convenient?
3. The setting must have an open back which allows the stone to touch the skin. This is another reason why Ben proposed with a stone as you will probably need to get the setting done custom.
4. It should go into a gold band. This applies to this case specifically, whereas blue sapphires go best in a silver band worn on the middle finger, and are said to help arthritis and stimulate Pitta. Also, according to Ayurveda, you should not combine blue sapphires with diamonds – uh-oh to Kate Middleton. Now, I don’t like gold rings – I think the yellowness of this metal is ugly, so I am still undecided on what I am going to do. You must use pure metals for healing, and again, quality is imperative.
5. The stone cannot be treated. Untreated stones are more expensive, but also retain their value (though I guess I shouldn’t be showcasing their resale value). Be very vigilant when looking for a natural sapphire as many of them are treated – so be explicit when shopping around.
But whatever you do – have fun, and remember that you are the most precious thing of all with the ability to nurture your relationship and health. You don’t need a stone for that.