Vicky Jo wanted Robin to wear a wedding band which had some "character" as well. She tried to woo him with a Caribbean blue stone, and win him with a Mackintosh ornament.
She tried to enchant him with a Celtic pattern, charm him with a Frank Lloyd Wright design, sway him with an Arts & Crafts composition.
Here are some contenders she proposed:
But Robin truculently declared that all he wanted was a plain band.
"Nothing fancy for me!" he proclaimed.
Vicky Jo was nonplussed. "You're right. I don't much care for men wearing gaudy rings either. But here's a crazy idea. I don't know if you'd like it..."
"Okay, but don't hate this idea, please. It just seems so right for you."
"What is it?"
"Okay, I have this catalog at home and I'll show it to you. But they sell these really great stones..."
Vicky Jo played her ace. "They're meteorites."
The wheels were turning. The gears were grinding.
"And you've worked on satellites a few times yourself."
"But best of all..." Vicky Jo began laughing uncontrollably.
"What's so funny?"
Between gusts of laughter, VJ gasped: "It's a pun! Due to your Australian citizenship, the INS classifies you as an 'alien'!"
That did it. Robin couldn't resist auditioning the prospect.
Vicky Jo found the catalog buried in the haystack at home and showed it to Robin. It was ridiculously out of date. Robin called several of the listed numbers, which were disconnected, but got through at last to Bethany Sciences. This company specializes in supplying meteorite fragments to collectors. They agreed to send Robin a new catalog of their latest offerings, but made a point of telling Robin about one of their special Universe Collection items. They had in their possession a Mars meteorite, which they were selling pieces of.
Wow. Robin was all over that. He's a sucker for stuff related to Mars. He waited until the catalog arrived before making up his mind, but you could see he was in -- hook, line, and sinker!
While waiting for the catalog to arrive, Vicky Jo turned her attention to settings. She produced a Signals catalog and showed Robin a "Star Trek" ring.
She suggested Robin inlay the meteorite in a plain platinum band (like what he originally wanted), and Robin went for the idea, with slight modification -- as you will see.
We decided to ask John Anderson to make up the ring, along with VJ's, again to give John the business and to take advantage of that great exchange rate. Moreover, we expected to get a price break by one jeweler making all three rings, plus exert better control and feel some quality assurance about the process.
The Bethany Sciences catalog arrived, and Robin ordered himself a piece of very rare shergottite Martian meteorite found in Zagami, Nigeria. (VJ wishes he could have found a meteorite that fell in Australia, but you can't have everything I suppose. Besides, part of the Zagami stone is on its way back to Mars now, which is cool.)
Ironically, Robin's stone cost nearly as much as VJ's. Oh well -- this is a relationship of equals, right?
To get some idea of its size, it's about one-third of an inch long. While it doesn't look like much in its raw state, inlaid and polished with the ring, it has a certain unearthly presence!