Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Brandon is 23 years old, a junior at Utah State University majoring in Public Health emphasizing in Industrial Hygiene and my husband. He grew up in Ogden, Utah and when he left to serve his two year LDS mission in Guatemala, his family moved to Ivins, Utah. He is currently a CNA at skilled nursing facility. He has traveled a few places around the U.S. including Nauvoo, Illinois a couple of times and still an active member of the LDS faith.
My family and I went on a trip to Nauvoo, Illinois over fall break to visit my aunt who lives there. While we were there we went to many of the church sites that are in Nauvoo. One of the places that we went to was the old Nauvoo town blacksmith shop. In the blacksmith shop they were making diamond head nails into rings. Brandon was sitting next to me while we were watching the demonstration of how they were made and leaned over to me to tell me the story. That was the first time that I had heard the story but when we asked the blacksmith making the rings about his thoughts, he said that there are so many different versions of the story and to “pick which is your favorite” which meant to us, his wasn’t the only version of the version. When Brandon re-told me this story, we were at our apartment and he added more detail to this story than when he told me the first time because it was just us and he didn’t have to try to be quiet and not be rude because he was talking when someone else was talking. Brandon first heard the story from his mom when she returned from a trip to Nauvoo and brought him back a diamond head nail ring. This story was told in Nauvoo, Illinois.
I first heard this story from my mom, she went on a trip back east to pick up my brother from basic training, he was in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and they in that time, sped up to Nauvoo to tour some of the church history sights and, I’m not sure what part of the tour it was or where they were but, one of the tour ladies was you know explaining stuff, had all these rings that just looked like a nail bent in a circle and the top of the nail or the head was, you know, a pretty big sized diamond shape. And the lady said to my mom and dad that the story goes that, this young pioneer boy wanted to you know, was gonna you know, in love with this young pioneer girl, and I mean not super young, but the young pioneer boy told the father that he wanted to you know propose to his daughter and he said not unless you get her a diamond ring and so the boy said well that’s easy so he went home and got this big old you know diamond headed nails and bent it in a circle and brought it right back. And apparently that was good enough and they got married and she wore the diamond headed nail for the rest of her life and. That’s the story. My mom had a bunch of them for us when she got home and [smacked his lips together] said that’s what they looked like and that was the story.
I was sitting in our bed when I asked Brandon to come in and tell me the story. He was a little frustrated because he just cleaned the house while I was doing homework. He has told me the story before, this time with a little more detail than the first time because it was just me and him instead of a room full of people. When he first told me the story, he didn’t give the background of why his parents were in Nauvoo or that his mom told him the story because there wasn’t much time. When he first told me the story he told it to me because I hadn’t heard it before, this time he told it with a little less enthusiasm because he knows I already know the story. He just sat on the edge of the bed, playing on his phone a little bit which is why there were so many “ums”, he was a little bit distracted by other things. Brandon said that he doesn’t ever tell the story unless he sees one of the diamond rings and is only going to tell it to someone he thinks doesn’t already know.
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Muse, Courtney, "Diamond Ring" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 217.