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Tourmaline Engagement Ring? - Help!

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Pokey

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Hi Everyone -

I''ve been trolling these forums for a while now, and you all seem not only on top of your game, but also very nice, so I''m going to let you in on the saga of my girlfriend''s putative engagement ring. After looking at diamonds and having put a few on hold myself, she has suddenly decided that she wants a green-stoned engagement ring. Specifically, a tourmaline, more specifically this ring from H. Stern:

091605_rings_1.jpg


This is a great ring, but there are a number of issues that I was hoping you could help me with. First is that I am a traditionalist at heart and am still struggling with the idea of a colored engagement ring. Seeing how much you all love your colored engagement rings has made a tremendous impact on me so I''m starting to come around. I was wondering if any of you could tell me how you feel about wearing a colored stone every day, whether you worry about it "going with" your outfit, or looking ridiculous if you''re wearing sweats, and whether you regret not getting a classic diamond ring. Secondly, she has her heart set on tourmaline and I was hoping that any of you out there with tourmaline rings can tell me if it''s hard enough to stand up to every day wear or whether you find that it chips and scratches too much to be worn literally all the time.

And finally, while we both love the above ring, her picking it out has shattered the surprise element of the engagement ring process which we were both pretty upset about. So the question is whether any of you have every seen spectacular green tourmaline rings that you think would make good engagement rings. I''m very interested in getting hold of a Paraiba Green Tourmaline after reading this thread but I''m having trouble finding them in green. So if you all could please a) talk about how you feel about colored stone engagement rings and b) post pictures/links/suggestions of the most fabulous green tourmaline rings you''ve ever seen (I was looking at 2 carat diamond rings last week, so I have a little bit of financial wiggle room now that we''ve switched to semi-precious) I would really appreciate it. I really want to make her happy and have a ring that she loves, but I also think that it''d be nice to regain an element of surprise.

Thank you so much,

Adam
 

Odilia

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Hi there! I can''t really help you with many of your questions, since I have a diamond, and no tourmaline rings. Just wanted to say, it is a beautiful ring, and I did think of getting a colored e-ring at times in my life (when it was totally speculative; no engagement in sight), but I too am a traditionalist at heart and went with diamond when the time came. Also I do admire some of the colored e-rings here on PS as well. I don''t have a tourmaline ring, but I do love the color of tourmaline. Lastly, if she really wants that ring, maybe the surprise element could be getting her something like earrings or a necklace, in addition, that could add some surprise element to the engagement? Just an idea. Anyway, welcome to PS, and best wishes on the engagement!
 

TheDoctor

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Tourmaline is never going to wear as well as diamond, or even sapphire...but the ones i have set have held up surprisingly well under normal "wear and tear" conditions.
A fantastic tourmailne will cost a mere percentage of what a diamond or sapphire of equivalent quality would cost.
You must be prepared for the possibility that the stone may show signs of abrasion, or be chipped or destroyed under "normal" wear conditions. It''s a risk, but...so is life. If that''s what she wants, she will have it.
(I''ve learned that in 24 years of marriage!!!)
 

Kismet

Ideal_Rock
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I can''t speak as to the durability of tourmaline, but velouriaL had a lovely green tourmaline engagement ring made up. Look here.
 

Pokey

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
61
You know, I saw her ring in the Colored Stone E-Ring megathread so I just emailed her before I posted, but I hadn''t seen that thread. Wow. That pretty much single-handedly took care of my fears of a green engagement ring, it looks spectacular on her. And it totally looks like an engagement ring, just one with some personality to it. Seriously, no kidding, that thread might have just pushed me over the edge, thanks Kismet.
 

bstraszheim

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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533
Oh Adam, Holy Guacamole, that ring is unbelievable! I have an aquamarine as my centre stone and I do not wear it all the time. I worry about damaging it, but I love it and wouldn''t change it. I adore how it makes me smile when I do wear it, a great pick me up. I do have a tourmaline ring, but I really do not wear it often enough to give an opinion on how durable it is. With regards to the colour question, my aquamarine is a rather deep blue (for an aquamarine), I don''t wear it with olive greens, but pretty much any other colour is fine with me.

I guess I don''t really have anything useful to add, except how much I love it.

I wish you well,

Bridget
 

Scintillating

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Joined
Aug 10, 2005
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Paraiba is a specific color of tourmaline, it's more blue.

I suspect she probably wants a nice Chrome tourmaline.
Once you see a good one - you never forget them, they can be amazing.
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I considered one for my e-ring.
I think they rate about a 7.5 on the hardness scale, so you should take some care with them.
I think a halo is a good idea considering their hardness - it may offer some protection.
A bezel setting might be another good option to protect the stone.

Someday I'm gonna a nice honkin' chrome tourmaline in a halo setting...
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Scintillating...
 

gemprincess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
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First, let me say your gf has good taste. I love that ring, so beautiful.
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Your gf has to wear that ring for the rest of her life, so it''s important she is the one that likes it. As for a diamond being traditional..well without getting into the debeers thing, just look at the British royal family.. most have a color e-ring sapphire or ruby and Princess Mary has two Rubbies in her e-ring.

Not really sure about the clothes but it should be fine with most clothing she would wear. I would be more concerned with the hardness and is it going to chip and split like I was worried about with an emerald. I don''t want to take my ring off at all, so that''s important to me as I don''t want it to look crap in 25 years time or have to replace the orginal stone.

The downsides....regardless of your gf picking a color stone because she loves the color or want to be different, you might get people that won''t see it as an e-ring or think that your gf is wearing a color stone because she couldn''t afford to get a diamond. In my case I could afford to have a diamond ring and with our careers it proberly looks strange I don''t have one but I don''t care.

Along time ago I looked into diamonds and I know the four c''s like the back of my hand but I thought to myself, geez, sending my non-shopper bf out to buy fussy me a diamond with no idea lol and though tempting, giving him a ton of info on what diamond specs to get is kinda of unromantic and then there is the price, I thought I love this man and I want it to be about marrying him not finding the pefect ring. So after he asked me, I already knew before than I wanted a pretty color ring that didn''t represent his finacial worth or be compared to other womens diamonds and most of all I wanted it to be more unique like me and our love. Geez that was long, I''m sorry. lol
 

valeria101

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/8/2006 7:46:17 PM
Author:Pokey


Secondly, she has her heart set on tourmaline and I was hoping that any of you out there with tourmaline rings can tell me if it's hard enough to stand up to every day wear or whether you find that it chips and scratches too much to be worn literally all the time.

In 5 years or so it may end up having the table repolished. But anyway, rings don't get to do the chores - only go out for a walk every day. I wouldn't dismiss tourmaline on durability grounds.
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And finally, while we both love the above ring, her picking it out has shattered the surprise element of the engagement ring process which we were both pretty upset about.

Color stones don't coeme in standard colors, shapes and sizes as diamonds do. Each has it's own look... so the ring will be a surprise. Unless you buy that very one (which mai still be a surprise - if she doesn't expect the very thing!)
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So the question is whether any of you have every seen spectacular green tourmaline rings that you think would make good engagement rings. I'm very interested in getting hold of a Paraiba Green Tourmaline after reading this thread but I'm having trouble finding them in green.

Green Paraiba sort of defeats the purpose - what makes these stones valuable is the robin egg blue color... There are some greens coming from the same source, but there isn't anything terribly special about them (IMO). The stone in the picture seems to be greenish- blue, and that remnds me of some tourmaline of Afganistan... MJO here knows the story better.


So if you all could please a) talk about how you feel about colored stone engagement rings and b) post pictures/links/suggestions of the most fabulous green tourmaline rings you've ever seen (I was looking at 2 carat diamond rings last week, so I have a little bit of financial wiggle room now that we've switched to semi-precious) I would really appreciate it.

I don't have anything for the moment, just a word about the 2 cts thing - given lower RI, colored stones really don't look as well in small sizes. And since the cost per carat oes not go up as it does for diamonds... the neighbourhood of 5cts sounds safer for tourmaline. Unless you decide to ditch the green and look for Paraiba, which defeats the price argument.

BTW, nice green engagement ring could also be Tsavorite Garnet. Dare I say... better than tourmaline.

722.jpg

This one is nearly 7 cts (rare stuf!!, above 2cts these begin to be scarce) and about 24k...

These stones have better brilliance and are harder than tourmaline. If green is in order and tourmaline expected, I would think such a choice does bring back the element of surprise in a fairly royal way.



And on emore thing:

If you guys liked the ring at Stern, perhaps a stone like above
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could find shelter in something similar - like
THIS .
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LuvThatBling

Shiny_Rock
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Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
122
I have a sapphire engagement ring that DH purchased for me a couple of years ago as an upgrade. Honestly, if I had been more honest with DH when we were engaged years ago, I would have chosen a sapphire to begin with. So, I think it''s great that your fiancee has expressed her wishes to you.

As for being a traditionalist, I understand that colored stones aren''t for everyone. There are some people that engagement ring only equals diamond. I think it''s great that you are trying to comprehend & appreciate your fiancee''s tastes. It''s good practice for marriage, believe me hehehe. To answer some of your questions:

I love my ring. I really do. I am very proud to wear it everyday. I don''t worry about jewelry being the same color as my outfit, and to me, my engagement ring is part of my wardrobe. I would no sooner go out without it than without my shoes. I have NEVER, not even for a second, wished that I had gotten a diamond ring. I HAD a diamond ring for my original e-ring, so I already knew that I wanted something different. It brings a smile to my face everyday. I am fascinated with my stone really LOL. Even now, almost 2 years later, I marvel at how beautiful it looks in different lighting conditions and admire it a LOT. So much so that my husband, who loves my ring as much as I do, has almost become tired of hearing me admire it hehehe.

I do find that the only women who successfully pull off wearing a colored stone e-ring are those who are very proud of their ring & its uniqueness, as opposed to women who almost apologize for not having a diamond, like it''s not a "real" ring. Also some women can''t stand up to the peer pressure. I have to admit, I can tell that my mother & sister do not understand my decision to have a colored stone, even though they have enough taste not to say anything. If I cared very much about what they thought, it might be a problem. So my best advice is to ascertain if a colored stone is something that she really wants for the long haul & will continually be proud to wear.

I think tourmalines are beautiful. I personally would be a little concerned about their hardness, but honestly, I don''t think if she is careful with it, it will be much of an issue. I think some of the others here are much more qualified to give opinions about that then I am, since I''ve never owned one personally.
 

bar01

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
622
About a colored stone engagement ring - if that is what you gal loves - then go for it. You will probably get a few negative or neutral comments about being a "person of color" throughout your life, but what a bland world it would be without color and individuality!

There have been numerous discussions and articles in the press about the increasing use of colored stones in e-rings. Of course I personally like the mix of both colored stones and diamonds.

By the way, I like that Tsavorite Garnet suggestion from valeria if your into green.
 

valeria101

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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A bit of a digression Re. green Paraiba tourmaline... well, it is just green tourmaline with a good name. It comes at a premium for origin, but I wouldn''t be so sure that also translates into some obvious merit. Maybe some are particularly nice relativel to others greens, but I wonder. Chrome green tourmaline is probably a tough competitor in the color department; unlike the robin blue Paraiba tourmaline, the price for green is comparable to top Chrome green prices.

I didn''t go much into this previously because I didn''t have a good example for prices... Until I remembered a specialist shop. Don''t know if they have a website other than the Ebay listings (probably for advertising - this is no typical Wbay discounter).

Take a look at the tourmaline listings HERE

For the record, 1 carat green Paraiba comes at about $500, while robin blue colors under 2 cts are priced between 7 and 14k, depending on color.


GAAJ (The gemological Association of Japan) has a nice online report about where hese tourmalines come from - report on who, where and how much mining there is, etk. If anyone wants a nice 20 min read, Here it Is
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That''s where the tell-tale picture below comes from. IMO, it shows pretty well why the green paraiba are not particularly prized relative to their striking turquoise relatives
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0512_01-013.jpg
 

Gemklctr

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
451
Checkout the designs on these pages.

http://www.hubertgem.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=50_58_59&zenid=bfa5357b97332ec9141c88cd510f3a58http://www.hubertgem.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=50_58

http://www.hubertgem.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=50_58_68

I think the 3.77 Paraiba halo ring is impressive.

I am familiar with Hubert from the gem shows. Their site lists the show dates. If you are close to any of the locations, you might want to pay them a visit. They always have an impressive display.
 

MJO

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
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Messages
861
Date: 2/9/2006 12:07:40 AM
Author: Scintillating
Paraiba is a specific color of tourmaline, it''s more blue.

I suspect she probably wants a nice Chrome tourmaline.
Once you see a good one - you never forget them, they can be amazing.
30.gif
30.gif
30.gif

I considered one for my e-ring.
I think they rate about a 7.5 on the hardness scale, so you should take some care with them.
I think a halo is a good idea considering their hardness - it may offer some protection.
A bezel setting might be another good option to protect the stone.

Someday I''m gonna a nice honkin'' chrome tourmaline in a halo setting...
31.gif


Scintillating...
Paraiba is not a specific color of tourmaline. It refers to a specific location in Brazil where a cuprian (copper bearing tourmaline) was discovered. This tourmaline comes in a variety of colors depending on the copper and magnesium content and the heating temperature.

Maurice
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,011
For my first marriage I had an emerald engagement ring. It was my choice to have an emerald rather than a diamond. I was definitely at the "I want to be different" stage of my life. But having a non-diamond e-ring did take a lot of explaining. People either didn't really think I was engaged or thought my fiance was too cheap to buy me a "real ring." I was proud of my emerald ring and told people that but I still got the "look of pity" from people.

Fast forward 13 years. First husband died from cancer and I was engaged to a new guy. This time I chose the traditional diamond because I didn't want to have to go through all the explaining again.

That being said, I really love the tourmeline ring you posed. It's just beautiful.

You might want to check out the Leon Mege rings. Here's the link. There is a green stone in pave that is stunning:

http://www.artofplatinum.com/4images/details.php?image_id=76&sessionid=1fa9e11dd185df40b20782f5e369ebab

http://artofplatinum.com/start/enter.htm
 

valeria101

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Date: 2/9/2006 9:29:54 AM
Author: IslandDreams
For my first marriage I had an emerald engagement ring [that] did take a lot of explaining. ...

Goodness.. emerald took explaining !? Geez... strange world.
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Sorry to hear that...
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Maybe AGTA should start collecting donations for their publicity campaign!
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PrecisionGem

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I have sold a few colored stones for e-rings in the past. Also as mentioned above, most of Englands royality have had colored stones. The whold diamond e-ring thing is actually pretty new, I think it started here in the US around the turn of the century with a big marketing promotion by Debeers. Today diamands are the norm in the USA and Japan (Japan since the 1970''s... another Debeers marketing move), but the rest of the world has not been so influenced.

I think the idea of the Tsavorite would be good too. A tsavorite will have more sparkle and flash than a tourmiline.

As far as people thinking you bought a colored stone rather than a diamond because you were cheap... my wife for fun was trying on some ruby rings at Tucson last weekend that were $800,000.00 !! So, colored stone does not always mean you paid less than a diamond.
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Yeah, go figure on the emerald. I''m sure it cost more than many of the people''s diamonds who commented to me. I think it is a perception thing from people who really don''t know gem pricing. I would venture to say that the average consumer has never even heard of Tsavorite.
 

nicky newark

Rough_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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You may want to consider a Russian Demantoid Garnet. It is one of the most brilliant of all gemstones. It has a high refraction and its .057 dispersion is more than diamond[its also more rare]. As Valeria mentioned the Paraiba tourmaline in green is nothing special. The neon Windex blue is another story. I have a round brilliant Demantoid and a Paraiba green tourmaline and there is no comparison. The Demantoid looks like a million dollar green diamond.
 

gemprincess

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Having read the new posts and your reply again, I''m not sure if I should be still suggesting you get her a color e-ring. I think to want a color e-ring you have to be a strong individual especially with other peoples comments, you could place an expensive ruby ring next to a much less expensive and less quality diamond and people will oohh aahh the diamond. lol But the main thing is you have to have a real passion for gemstones.

I thought it was odd that your gf would pick a green tourmaline (it is very pretty however) over the more better Tsavorite or if she isn''t brainwashed by deep emerald green like me a lighter green Demantoid as suggested. I got the feeling that she hasn''t researched it and by re-reading your post where you say ''After looking at diamonds and having put a few on hold myself, she has suddenly decided that she wants a green-stoned engagement ring'' it confirms that. See, with me, I loved a lot of gemstones but the lack of everday hardness ruled them out.
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I looked up alot that I liked the look of and compared them to the Mos scale. I also picked out colors I liked than looked up as many different gemstones as I could find with that particular hue and narrowed it down by which gemstone in that color was the best stone of the lot and which one was higher on the Mos scale.

As much as I love green if she wants a tourmaline, I couldn''t go past those blue ones..omg in that pic, they make the green look so blah and dead in the water. If you wanted to suprise her get the blue one over the green, how could she not love it!

I''m sorry but I don''t get the feeling she has a passion for gemstones, I really hope I''m wrong and maybe she couldn''t make up her mind and got confused about the diamonds you picked or just didn''t want you to spend that amount of money. It''s one thing loving a pretty color stone now but how do you know she won''t get sick of it in years to come. If someone said to me they couldn''t afford a big enough diamond for eg so they went for size in color instead I would say stop and get the diamond in a smaller size because a color stone will never make you happy if you really want a diamond.

I would seriously think about how much or little she has looked into color stones and ask her reasons for not wanting a diamond. As someone trying to be helpful
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suggested to me once lol ''why not get a diamond e-ring and get a color one for the other hand'' lol
 

valeria101

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Date: 2/9/2006 9:23:46 PM
Author: gemprincess


I think to want a color e-ring you have to be a strong individual especially with other peoples comments...

Is this a local phenomenon of sorts? I must have been living in a bubble during the years spent in the US... because I definitely did not encounter this sort of anti-color attitude. The posts here sound pretty scary
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gemprincess

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I have a feeling this wouldn''t be an issue in Europe. Even my mother can''t get her head around why I don''t want a diamond. I guess people don''t want to be different, so they can''t get their head around going against the norm. Maybe you don''t surround yourself with very conventional people or people not so insecure what others will think ..maybe that''s why you don''t get that reaction.
 

velouriaL

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Messages
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Hi! Sorry I haven''t answered your e-mail. I''m just really, really busy these days, don''t have a job that allows me easy access to computers, and don''t get a chance to pop in here as often as I used to... and you can say that again!

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I never, never wanted a diamond engagement ring. It''s just not me. My fi knew this. We worked on my ring togther, but if it had been more of a surprise, I would have been pissed, seriously, if he had shown up with a diamond. I live in the south and work with fairly conservative people, many of whom have diamonds on their fingers, and everyone loves my ring. I''ve had people tell me that it was "hands-down the best e-ring" they''d ever seen. In the 6 months that I''ve had it, I''ve only had one negative comment, and that came from a very spoiled, very wealthy family member. It was preceded by a comment about how when she was in elementary school, she used to used to use the promotional pens that drug companies give out so that everyone would know that *her daddy* was a *doctor*. This, by the way, was supposed to be a funny story...

In short, get her what she wants, screw everyone else. The only people who''d say or think anything negative are not worth worrying about.

Do people ooh and ahh more over diamonds? Maybe. But I''ve had an embarrassing amount of oohs and ahhs with this thing.

4+ carats? Uh... mine is about 3 cts and it''s LARGE. I have fat fingers, too! For colored gems, it may be best to think in terms of millimeter size to get an idea of how it will look on the hand. Each gem, if it''s cut well, is going to have unique dimension. There is no one "ideal cut" for colored gems.

As far as gem choice goes, if she wants green, she should have green. Check out all your green options. When we were looking, we were open to a lot of different colored gems, but we fell in love with THIS particular stone, not green tourmalines in general. Be sure to examine specific stones, not types of stones. Mine is not a chrome tourmaline. We looked at those, but so many had a yellowish-brown cast. We also looked at tsavorite garnets and saw many lovelies, but nothing that killed us the way this stone did. Demantoids are nice, too.

Well, that''s all for now. Good luck! You''re in good hands with experts like valeria and others around. Feel free to e-mail me again for anything!
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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hey adam
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i think the tourmaline e-ring will be amazing!
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there are some great ideas here and i can't wait to see what you decide on!

(excuse the quick hijack please)

HEY VEL!! glad you dropped in! i've missed you and that beautiful ring!
hope all is well
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firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 30, 2005
Messages
2,216
Just my 2c but how about a green sapphire? You get sapphire durablity with a range of knockout green colors to choose from. There are some real beauties on http://thenaturalsapphirecompany.com. I also saw a nice one on richard homer''s site.
 
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