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Practice ring for first time jewelry wearer?

quaddio

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 13, 2011
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Leaving the land of lurker at last!

I never wear jewelry - my few heirloom pieces are gathering dust in the safe. I've never bought jewelry for myself and have a wonderful collection of scarves and hats that I use to accessorize.

My boyfriend has been encouraging me to think about the kind of e-ring I'd like. We tried a few e-rings at local stores and he clearly prefers large/expensive pieces that I find a little intimidating. Since he'd be disappointed if I said I didn't want a ring at all I suggested we could try a 'practice ring' / commitment ring. My boyfriend is uncompromising about wanting platinum metal even for the 'practice'. I prefer emerald cuts with large facets rather than the 'splintery' style brilliants. He prefers round shapes so maybe a GOG European?

After reading the helpful responses in the post about jewelry ambivalence I thought I'd ask the experts here for ideas. Do you think a practice ring is a good idea and if so any suggestions on a beginners ring?
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I have suggested "practice" rings for others who werent really sure what shape they liked but to me a practice ring is sterling
silver or not even that. You can buy a few different stones/settings that you think you might like and wear them around the
house to see which shape you prefer. I would not go out and spend big bucks on a pratice ring.

The other option is to buy with a vendor who will upgrade (given you full value). Most vendors will only upgrade on rounds
(or maybe princess) stones. It might be hard to find someone who will do an upgrade on an emerald cut so you might want
to go with a round stone first then upgrade to an emerald if you dont like the round.

Good luck...please post any ring you do get!
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
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It sounds like you might want a "practice" ring for reasons other than the practical, a little: a commitment ring is a very nice precursor to a more binding commitment. And that, more than any necessary "practice" in wearing a ring, is what makes me say "Go for it!"

If you just wanted to get into the habit and/or make sure a certain style was comfortable, like TyTy says, a silver ring would do the job. And if you wanted to be engaged already, you could certainly buy from a vendor with an upgrade policy and just agree in advance that you'll be open to trading up before the wedding ... or for your fifth anniversary ... or your tenth ... or whatever.

But if what you want is a little time to be sure both a ring and all it signifies fits, and have something with a beautiful sentiment behind it that you'll keep forever? Well, since it sounds like you guys can afford it, why not?

I think an AVR sounds like a great compromise: alternately, why don't you take a look at the Octavia? They're asscher-based octagonal cuts with a tremendous amount of brilliance that sound like they might be a happy medium between your tastes ....
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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I'm glad your boyfriend is interested in finding a ring that appeals to you. And since you have a collection of hats and scarves, you obviously enjoy accessorizing -- if I were you, I might try to pin down why you don't wear rings -- do they interfere with your lifestyle or your hobbies? do you not like the weight or the feel on your finger? Do you intend this ring to be worn daily during most activities? Maybe you'd like a ring with a low-profile bezel setting. Or, maybe instead of the heavy-weight platinum you'd prefer the lighter weight of palladium (still in the platinum family). Maybe visit a few jewelry stores by yourself and try on all kinds of rings, and then when you have a short list of styles you find wearable and pleasing to you, visit the stores again with your BF to get his opinion. Maybe you have some rings in your possession already you could pull out and wear for a few hours a day, just to see how they feel and look to you. I hope you and your boyfriend have fun with this project - finding something meaningful and wearable should be a wonderful experience!
 

centralsquare

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Eternity Diamonds has a "try it before you buy it" program...they send you replicas of rings for you to try out for 10 days. There aren't real diamonds so it won't probably help you hone in on stone shape as much as setting type. Here is more info: http://www.eternitydiamonds.com/test_drive_info.php
 

quaddio

Brilliant_Rock
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I'm truly touched by your replies - thanks for taking an interest. The idea of a silver 'mock' setting makes sense - Centralsquare. If it were only me involved in the decision I'd either buy nothing or get the least expensive silver option available. I do however want to please my man and he'd be proud to see me with a fine/expensive ring - which means silver or even 14k gold is not an option. My boyfriend loves platinum (possibly inspired by his car's spark plugs?) and definitely wants to buy platinum even for a practice, which is why this ring would fall in the 'practice' category rather than 'mock' e-ring.

The upgrade route is something I hadn't even thought of Tyty! The pros of this option would mainly be on overall cost saving and flexibility but on the downside I can't see myself parting with a ring that would have so much sentimental value. Even if I don't end up wearing a ring at all I'd probably hold onto it (keeping my other heirlooms company in the safe!). Looking at the gog website there's a terrific program for lifetime value - very little apparent downside unless they are trading at a price premium?

Circe - you are very astute at picking up a little commitment phobia. Actually it's more like wedding phobia I guess - we already live together and share everything, but I just can't see myself being 'bridal' or enjoying being the center of attention. For family reasons eloping wouldn't be an option for us. The ring itself will be exactly as you say - a symbol of our commitment and a way to ease into the whole potential wedding-saga gamut. The Octavia is a stunning suggestion! I've never seen anything like it. My first thoughts whenever I see a beautiful piece of jewelry are always this would look great on my mum/friend/insert-name-here.

Mary, I don't have any rings at the moment, only gold necklaces and bracelets (22 and 24 karat gold pieces from last century). I recently weighed them and nearly fell on the floor with shock at their value even just taking the spot price of gold. All pieces have never been worn by me and although I once owned a ring in high school I gave it away long ago. When my BF and I look at rings in the shops he prefers >2carat round brilliant solitaires while I choose simple bands or modest 3-stone types. There was a ring that caught my eye in the mall at Helzberg: 1.5ct emerald cut 3-stone in a heavy 14k yellow gold setting. BF ruled it out due to the metal, small size and uneven prongs/poor metalsmithing. I took some photos (without permission mwahahah) and will check the rules to see whether I'm allowed to post them.

I have no logical reason for not wearing jewelry, I wear a suit for my office job and since I wear a bra and heels every day I can't say I prioritize comfort. I suppose I don't like the feel of metal on my skin, especially my old eyeglasses which were wire rimmed. Since switching to plastic frames a few years ago I feel so much better. A plastic e-ring wouldn't keep a pretty diamond safe.

My self-imposed budget is $3000 for a practice ring. In an ideal scenario I'd love it and convince my BF to repurpose as an e-ring. In the more likely scenario I either don't like wearing a ring and keep it in storage, or get used to wearing it and feel more comfortable about my BF's e-ring pick.

Top choices for styles (changes daily):
1/ 3-stone Emerald cut (1.5-2ct total weight)
2/ AVR in vintage inspired setting with a few small side diamonds (<0.5ct center stone)

http://www.eternitydiamonds.com/eng...-Prong-Set-Engagement-Ring-(.50-ctw.)-189.htm

Thanks again for your wonderful input - I'll keep you in the loop as my story unfolds.
 

quaddio

Brilliant_Rock
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...ps my ring size is 5
I wonder whether my fat knuckles could make the ring spin around too much?
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
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My thought is that for a practice ring you go with a vendor whose policies you like the most and has a good upgrade policy so you you can upgrade the stones to larger sizes if andvqhen you want to. If you think that an AVR or AVC is an option- then it looks like GOG is the vendor to go with.

If you are thinking a 3 stone emerald cut in a platinum as a starter ring- I don't know that 3000 is enough for setting and diamond. For that budget you might be better off with an AVR in a simple sidestone setting. Wear it for a while and then see if you want to switch to an emerald cut.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
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Sizing beads or a horseshoe insert help with the spinning- I can't feel the sizing beads at all.

I hear ya on the not feeling so into the whole bridal industry thing. I'd lived with my now-husband for years with combined accounts etc. before we finally got married- and that was mostly because we were going to be buying commercial property together and wanted to to our taxes together. I went for a very, very simple backyard wedding with a few things that were more upscale- like the ring and the honeymoon. Try to decide what you can both compromise on; it sounds like, also, for you the ring is something you can spend more money on. Don't let yourself be shoehorned into an over-elaborate wedding if that's what you don't want; I really didn't at all, and I totally don't regret going for casual and simple even 10 years later.

I do think an upgradeable AVR is a good idea- sounds like you get the light return you want, and he gets the round look he likes and the brand name aspect. Good luck!
 

quaddio

Brilliant_Rock
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LGK, your backyard wedding sounds delightful. I'm helping my brother plan his backyard/garden wedding next year which will be great fun and low key/child friendly. Since BF and I live in an apartment we would consider a hotel wedding in our building - even though it's an upscale hotel the prices are about the same as everyone else plus we know all the staff and feel they'd look after us. Unfortunately BFs family are intent on a more traditional affair.

I don't mean to be a downer on the bridal industry at all. Weddings bring so much joy and are a wonderful occasion for families to celebrate together. I've been lucky to share some wonderful experiences - all different and special. My personal aversion is to all the pressure and attention plus the imposition on out of town folks to travel just for a one-day event.

It would be too much of a compromise for my BF to buy something smaller than he's really comfortable with. So to separate the whole 'wedding/marriage' connection from bling, I've decided to buy my own RHR and practice on myself! If I end up loving it and wearing it all the time I can be confident I'd wear a ring given to me by my BF. If I don't end up loving it I can give it to my mom or keep it in the safe. I believe it's a more objective 'practice' if there are no emotional ties to the ring.

I'm definitely drawn to the 3 stone Emerald Cut. I've seen a couple on my finger I like - sized 1.5 and 2.0 carats total. I found the Tiff@ny setting unappealing -the thin cathedral just didn't do it for me. The Blue Nile style (2ct) has a band the same thickness as the diamonds which appeals to me.

I have chosen to work with a local jeweler rather than going the online route as I feel more comfortable in person with my first jewelry piece. I chose my jeweler based on location, quality of their pre-made stock and price. As a smaller firm I feel they value my business and I had a good rapport with the staff who are all GIA gemologists. They are bringing in a number of diamonds for me to consider next week!



...stay tuned for further installments

BNEC3stn.jpg
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 18, 2009
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Looking forward to seeing what you get and the hand shots (of course)!
 

quaddio

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 13, 2011
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I'm wondering whether I should move this thread to a new topic since I'm no longer going down the 'practice ring' route. Things are going well with the local jeweler. I saw some beautiful diamonds yesterday but wasn't completely happy with the center stone so will go back to see another one later this week.

The size I'm going for is around 2 carats total. Since I prefer the three stones to be a similar size I'm looking at a 0.8-1.0 carat sized center stone and two 0.6 carat side stones (total 1.2 carats). Assuming the center stone matches I'm very happy with the side stones selected which are 0.62 and 0.64 carats respectively. I'll post stats (and maybe a photo) of the stones when I finalise my choices.

The CAD design process is pretty interesting. Pricescope is a huge help in knowing how to describe what I'm looking for. I've noticed the trend toward thin bands on this website. The Tiffany style EC 3-stone band is a thin, rounded cathedral style.
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
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cant wait to see it! - a ring of that size as a RHR is quite stunning!
 

quaddio

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 13, 2011
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Thanks for taking an interest Amy! I've started a new thread under RockyTalk entitled "Options for 3 Stone Emerald Cut RHR" including detailed stats for my diamond choices (so far...).

All feedback and input welcome!
 
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