Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 | General
Down the Aisle: Wedding Stories Tales from real-life as this bride reluctantly navigates the wedding industry and heads down the aisle toward perfect bliss… oh, and perfect flowers, the perfect dress, the perfect ceremony…
Ring Shopping: Stage 1. Trying on rings and finding the right style (Part 2)
Continuing the ring shopping adventures from Part 1: A lot learned…
Random acts of desperation:
- Shreve & Co - We stop by the San Francisco store near closing time out of desperation to find something interesting. Shreve & Co has a decent selection of higher end brand name rings for women and men, however many of the rings look alike and do not jump out at me. The service is polite and the rings are pretty nice, but they aren’t quite my style – too classic, if that is possible. (Stopping by Shreve & Co in Palo Alto on a different day, staff there did not offer to help at all and largely ignored us. Wow!)
- Tiffany & Co. - I enter reluctantly, as my impression of Tiffany & Co is that they mostly have sterling silver baubles. Turns out they do have gold and platinum engagement rings, but the Tiffany’s experience leaves an odd taste in my mouth. Theirs is mostly a small selection of large diamonds on thick prongs (boring!), plus, sales staff seems oddly bored and reluctant to help.
Back to Cartier to Try a Ring in my Size!
- Cartier – Definitely less in awe the second time around, I confirm that my ring size is indeed European size “tiny,” but also realize that proportion and size both matter a lot. Proportional sizing can really change a ring remarkably. The Cartier Ballerine band I first looked at and liked (two sizes too large), now seems less attractive when downsized proportionally. Something isn’t right, and it just isn’t the same ring in the tiny size. Disappointing…the Cartier Ballerine band they had shipped out in my size was not extravagantly priced (less than $4,000 for a size 48) and was pretty unique, given all the cookie-cutter diamond rings I’ve seen so far. I sadly cross Cartier off my wedding ring list.
Back to Wilkes Bashford: Comparing Two Rough Diamond Rings Side by Side
- Many jewelers have by this time tried to tell me that the rough diamonds I am interested in are valueless. I say to them, “Great! Then find me one cheap!” ( I’m also hopeful that these simply aren’t the kind of diamonds people seem to fight over, given their lack of “value.”) Knowing then that the majority of the value of the rough diamond rings that I like are not from the rough stone itself, I wonder how well Diamond in the Rough rings are selling at such a high markup. (You can essentially get their rough diamond necklace with at least 30 more rough stones on it for just a little more than the cost of one of their rough diamond rings! Go figure.)
At any rate, my current front-runner ring is still the Diamond in the Rough classic halo ring at Wilkes Bashford, but the problem now is deciding whether I like it better in white gold (with white rough diamond) or yellow gold with (cognac rough diamond)… Mr. Bashford himself even hand-carried one of the rings from store to store so that I could compare the two rings side by side. (Fantastic service from Wilkes Bashford all around!)
Which ring will I choose? Hmmmm. Stay tuned! There’s a surprise twist…
Lessons Learned: Proportion matters. Size matters. Bigger is not better. Also, it took me two or three visits to different ring shops to finally figure out my preferred ring style: a delicate micro-pave band with a halo encircling one center stone. No thick bands or chunky giant-pronged stones for me!
Next up: Ring Shopping – Stage 2. Picking & Purchasing “The Ring”
*Don’t forget to check out Part 1 of this story here if you missed it.
Wedding Stories… from Meilily!
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