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Setting selection: Should I get her involved?

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pittsburgh66

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
18
Greetings again,

Well, I bought the 1.24ct Asscher that I had for feedback about (pic below), and now it's on to selecting a setting, which brings me to a MAJOR dilemma!

I had gotten some guidance from my fiancee-to-be about two months ago (I think i was pretty sneaky about it, because after all it doesn't take much "leading" to get most girls to start talking engagement rings!), and over the years that we've been together, I've tried to pay attention to rings she's pointed out in magazines and such, so I feel like I've got a darn good idea of what I'm doing (note: I had chosen correctly on an Asscher, which neither of us had even heard of before hitting up bluenile for some E-ring 101; I was SHOCKED when she picked the same shape and 2 of the settings I thought she'd like)

However, despite my knowledge of her taste and preferences, it's looking more and more that the ring is going to be a custom or designer setting (sidestones are a definite, so this will be pricey), and I'm more than a little concerned about the no-return policy on most custom pieces and the limited return policy of most others ( and re-set/return nightmare in general).

So my question is: which of the following options is my best move?

1. Should I get my girlfriend involved in the setting selection process, and how would I go about doing that without completely destroying the element of surprise? we're a couple of romantics and I know she wants to be surprised -- different things work best for different people, but I find the idea of a pre-determined/planned proposal a pretty deflating concept. Note that everyone we know is waiting on our engagement, so it's not exactly coming out of the blue (though I have her convinced that I can't afford a ring until an upcoming financial development that I'm waiting on -- white lie :) ).

2. Should I go ahead and pick it out myself, having a respectable idea of what she likes? (problem is that there is great variance here, from fancy, ornate Verragios to classic Cartier-repros and the like). I realize that there's a real possibility that whatever I select WILL become the ring of her dreams, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist on these things.

3. Should I set the diamond in a simple solitaire for now, pop the question, and then proceed to let her shop to her heart's delight (also letting us get on with planning our much-overdue wedding!)?

While I know she'll be happy with whatever I select (I can avoid the woofers), I really want her to have the ring of her dreams (and the envy of her friends) instead of me "playing it safe" and getting something less than perfect as a result!
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Sounds like door #3.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
Date: 12/18/2006 6:53:10 AM
Author: Regular Guy
Sounds like door #3.
Ditto!
 

Londonchris

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
96
#2. Then it`s done and sorted.
She`ll most probably love it by the sound of your "what she likes" knowledge,and it`ll be all YOUR own work.

He who dares wins (with abit of luck)
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Date: 12/18/2006 7:14:10 AM
Author: Londonchris
#2. Then it`s done and sorted.
She`ll most probably love it by the sound of your ''what she likes'' knowledge,and it`ll be all YOUR own work.

He who dares wins (with abit of luck)
Point made. I could go with that, too. (Maybe I''m no help).

Obviously you''ll ultimately be the judge.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
I still say #3. As you pointed out, this will be a custom piece, so IF for some reason, you didn''t get quite what she would have wanted, your stuck. A lot, but certainly not all women like to pick their own setting. These are very personal to us, and we will be wearing them a long time.

You still get to surprise her with the simple setting, she then gets to pick the ring of her dreams. To me, that''s a win/win situation.

Just my .02.
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
another vote for number 3.
 

Stone Hunter

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
6,387
Since you want to go custom I would do #3 BUT make it very clear to her that you plan on going custom that this plain setting should hold no emotion. Maybe even have some pictures ready and some idea of which designers you''d like to pick from. Make sure she knows that you want her to have the ring of her dreams.
 

colorkitty

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
220
If she''s a die-hard romantic, then I think there''s a good chance she''d want you to pick out the entire ring. So as much as I like door #3, it might not be right for your girlfriend. From what you''ve written, it sounds like you really know and listen to her tastes. I think you are safe with door #2.
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1,088
I say door #2- not all "custom" is truly custom. If you were to do just tapered baguettes on the side it wouldn''t be all that crazy of a process.
 

treysar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
962

I was the fortunate recipient of a case where the man chose #3.


This was GREAT for me – because
1: I was totally surprised about the engagement
2. Enabled him to spend all the money on the stone
3: it gave us time to save for a nice setting
Good luck!!
 

MMM

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
526
For myself... I would want option 3. I LOOOOOVE having input on my setting! I think picking out (and learning about) what you want is half the fun!!
 

jaz464

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
2,022
No doubt, #3. Let her have some fun shopping for the ring she will wear for the rest of her life. (Or until she upgrades).
 

Midway

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
65
I''m currently going through the same process as you and I opted for #2. I wanted to surprise her but also wanted to get her the ring of her dreams, so I listened carefully like you did and narrowed down my selection. Then I asked her friends what they thought her style/preference is just to confirm what I had already picked up on.

I went the custom route and am working with Quest Jewelers. I don''t know how you feel about working with a custom jeweler that isn''t local, but I believe Quest has a policy where they will change the setting for free if you''re not completely happy with it. So, it gives you the best of both worlds. You can design a custom ring that you think she will love and one that she probably will love. If for whatever reason, she wants something changed, then you can take it back and do whatever tweaking needs to be done.

Good luck.
 
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