Jewelry Wisdom of the Crowd Question

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by smallcoffee, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. smallcoffee, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018

    smallcoffee macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #1
    ok here is what I want to do:

    Buy my so an engagement ring. I am planning on buying a sapphire and then having it placed in a setting, along with pieces of a meteorite by a jeweler.

    What advice can you give me/what do I need to know?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #2
    Make sure that your so actually likes this idea. Discreetly sound her out - or have someone close to her - sound her out, so that you have some idea of her tastes and preferences.

    Does she like sapphires?

    And is she the kind who would like the idea of a sapphire placed in a setting along with pieces of meteorite (which I actually think is a cool idea).
     
  3. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #3
    Yup! She’s already explicitly mentioned a sapphire so I know that’s what she wants. I think she would definitely like the meteorite idea, been together long enough. I have a pretty good idea that this combination is the right one - but how to actually execute is another matter.
     
  4. HobeSoundDarryl, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #4
    Since you are apparently beyond the "will she like this idea?" hurdle, the rest of the way is not complicated. Find a jeweler that can actually make jewelry (this is typically NOT a mall jeweler).

    Pick your base metal: typically 10K-18K gold (yellow or white) or platinum. 10K is stronger (and cheaper) than 14K or 18K but there's increasingly more gold in the latter options (14K is very popular being in the "middle"). Platinum is very strong but she needs to like it's silvery or white-gold-like color. 2-tone for a little of both colors? Does she generally wear white or yellow (probably gold) jewelry now? That may help narrow it down right there.

    Haul her into a professional jewelry to get the ring finger professionally measured. Do not go by what she THINKS her size is, nor what a class ring size is/was. The old "my friend's ring fits perfectly and it's a 6" may be true or the friend may have forgotten the actual size, so both are working with wrong information.

    A professional jeweler will have at least one book of mountings (ring) designs. Online jewelers can show you thousands of fine variations of designs too (far, far, far beyond being a simple loop of metal around a finger). Questions like thicknesses, how the edges are cut/shaped, polished vs. brushed vs. pattern vs (other) finishes, etc abound. Shall it taper? Be thicker where? Some swirl? Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Since this is a (hopefully) forever purchase, you might want to involve her at this stage too (she does- after all- have to wear it). Since she's been thinking about this step too- possibly since she was 10 or 12 years old- she may already have pictures of a favorite ring design(s). If so, use that Apple tech and take some pictures to show the jeweler. If her pics name manufacturers, be sure to capture those names to simplify sourcing a favorite design(s).

    A good jeweler can likely temporarily "borrow" a favored design or two from a manufacturer so that it can be seen in person. Sometimes this is already cast or sometimes it's a wax cast. If they can do this, it's a good option so she can see one in tangible form, maybe even slip it on a finger. A magazine picture vs. the real thing can seem dramatically different.

    Simultaneously, do the research into quality, cuts, color, carats, etc. for the stone and work on picking a stone(s). Know that a sapphire is not a sapphire is not a sapphire. In other words- just like your S.O., every single stone is unique in the world. So just as you did not pick that S.O. at random, put some effort into learning about and then selecting the right stone too. All stones are not the same. Cheapest price does not necessarily mean you won something (it more likely means you got towards the worst quality/cut/color stone available). This is one of the few things you buy that you'll probably keep for many decades (longer than future cars and homes). Choose wisely. Educate yourself before you choose.

    If you buy the sapphire as a loose stone, a good jeweler can hold it over top of where it would go in the ring samples to better visualize a finished ring. While most people think of sapphire as just a single shade of dark blue, there are many variances of shade, so you have decisions to make to hone in on a favorite.

    If you want to keep some of it a surprise- and think you can make some of these moves without her (ill advised IMO)- enlist a sister or friend with about the same hand, same general finger size, same skin tone to become a "hand model" for this stage. It can help you pick the right stone size, etc by having a hand in the backdrop (your's very likely doesn't work).

    As to the meteorite, are these stones already cut? Better haul in what you have and see if the jeweler can actually cut them as you might want them. This may prove to be the most complicated part of your idea- finding someone to take what you have and make it into what you think you want. Is the stone too brittle for this purpose? Is there not enough stone available in the meteor to end up with what you want here? Lots of questions about this part of the idea. You might find that this part of the concept may end up working better as a pendant than in a ring.

    If there is no ring design (of her dreams) and you don't already have a picture of something, break out the bridal mags and similar and start looking at ring designs. You might also go to bridal shows (like flea markets) looking for ring designs. Jewelers and mall jewelers have periodic "remount shows" where they may bring hundreds of empty mountings, which can be a great way to find a favorite.

    Since you are basically thinking multi-stone ring, don't necessarily limit your ring design search to engagement ring sections in stores. What are called cocktail rings and similar sometimes have designs featuring a bigger main stone and a variety of smaller stones. You might "raid" the cocktail ring case to find a design that can better accommodate a sapphire plus pieces of meteor. Long ago when I worked in retail jewelry, I would raid the cocktail ring section for more creative ring designs, remove & credit a stone(s) already in the ring and drop in what a customer wanted dropped in in their place. That made for some great-looking, relatively unique engagement rings before the general trend away from simple solitaires really got going.

    A multi-stone ring has a fair chance of being what is called "top heavy," meaning it may tend to spin around on her finger, as if the top weighs more than the bottom. Stones getting in between fingers can be unpleasant when fingers press together. A great, but not well-known solution to this problem is to have the jeweler build some sizing beads inside of the bottom section of the ring. Sizing beads are invisible when the ring in on a finger but the beads somewhat grip that little muscle that is on the inside of the ring finger (palm side). Flip your hand over right now and you can pinch that same muscle with 2 fingers. This is basically what sizing beads do too- very gently pinch that muscle such that a top heavy ring won't spin. If you don't ask for sizing beads, the jeweler generally won't proactively put them in. It would be VERY unusual to see any rings for sale in jewelry store cases that already have sizing beads in them (they use extra gold or platinum, and price tends to dominate mainstream jewelry displays).

    If you have the jeweler make this ring for you from scratch, see about getting the mold too. Buying the mold of an original creation significantly increases the chances of keeping it one-of-a-kind. Maybe hang on to that mold just in case the ring is ever lost and you want to clone it using the original mold.

    Consider the little touches too like maybe engraving a short message inside the ring.

    Towards MOST IMPORTANTLY: shop around. This is mostly a crafts-oriented endeavor and craftspeople charge wildly varying prices. If you choose one jeweler, you will get only one price. They may be very competitive or they may be trying to fund their next major cruise in this single transaction. Even getting just a little competition going can yield very different prices. Again, cheapest price is almost never an ideal goal here (there is no real victory in finding the cheapest), but there can be a loss by paying the maximum price to someone that is simply exploiting their customers with max pricing. Related: where applicable, second & third expert opinions are always a good idea vs. trusting the expert who is trying to sell you something to actually be giving you an objective opinion.

    Lastly, if you spend a lot of this ring, you might want insurance. Typical homeowners/renters insurance won't cover expensive rings (at all or in full). So you may need a rider or even a dedicated jewelry policy that is separate from your homeowners or renter's policy. You don't want to find this out when the ring is lost in the ocean or she looks down and the main stone is simply gone. Insurance companies typically want an appraisal, so ask for a "replacement" appraisal instead of a regular (typically inflated price) appraisal. A replacement cost appraisal is based on what it is likely to actually cost to replace the ring, without the significant markup typical of retail jewelry pricing. No need to pay more for insurance for up to forever due to an inflated retail price. Every few years or so, you might want to see if you need a new "replacement" appraisal to keep up with ever-evolving prices of precious metals & stones.

    Good luck!
     
  5. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #5
    Holy **** thank you lol. The meteorite was just an idea to make it extra special. I assumed it has to be feasible in some respect but haven’t done any research. Thanks again.
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    Actually, I like the idea. I just wonder if it will be able to be accommodated. Take the meteor in and see what a few professional jewelers say. Since it's not an everyday thing, they'll at least become interested too.
     
  7. Scepticalscribe, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

    Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #7
    Fantastic, thoughtful and beautifully written post; exceptionally informative, as well.

    While I am sure the OP is delighted with it, I found it fascinating as well.

    @smallcoffee: @HobeSoundDarryl is absolutely right - get the best that you can afford, this is a purchase that will matter, and will outlast many others. You want it to be a timeless classic.

    A few years ago, I spent the best part of two years in central Asia and had a ring made for myself with a star sapphire. The preferred local style was incredibly ornate, which, while I admired the mastery of the craftsmanship, I didn't actually like the style in question - my own taste runs to something very plain and understated.

    Originally, I had wanted the band made from platinum - as the star sapphire is blue, a silver coloured contrast looked better - to my eye - than yellow or rose gold might have in that setting. They couldn't work platinum in that country, - as they lacked the required tools - so I settled for high quality white gold, (which is quite soft) with a little silver as an alloy in order to bestow some strength.

    Anyway, the ring is unique and unusual. And quite beautiful. As it was the first ring I had ever bought for myself (my other rings are all inherited family pieces, I have one that my grandmother gave to my mother, who gave it to me), I was quite specific about what I wanted.
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    I certainly don't think I could add anything beyond what @HobeSoundDarryl put in his informative post.
    I will add that my wife already had a diamond ring her mother gave her, so didn't want another. So we bought a basic gold ring with a very plain stone (can't recall the type).
    But she chose it and loves it. And at the end of the day that's the important thing.
     

Share This Page

7 March 9, 2018