If you weren’t already in the know from following us on Instagram, we’re now engaged! Evan proposed while we were in Washington, visiting family (kept it under 10 people). We’ll go into more detail on the proposal and everything else marriage-related in future posts. I would start a whole series on wedding planning and stuff, but with Covid going on, that probably won’t happen for another year at least. So, I’ll discuss the things that have already happened, like how we found my unique engagement ring. First I’ll establish a timeline because I jump around a lot in this post. For videos of the ring, go to our Instagram.
- Winter 2018: started looking at rings on Pinterest
- Summer 2019: started looking again, but a little more seriously
- Spring 2020: went to the first jewelry store
- Spring/Summer 2020: more research and purchased the center stone
- Summer 2020: went to the second jewelry store and started trying to find a band
- Fall 2020: purchased the band and had it altered/set
- November 2020: Engaged
In case you weren’t aware that we’re very detail-oriented, we spent longer on finding a unique engagement ring than some people we know have known each other before getting married. We’re also clearly in this for the long haul.
I started looking for inspiration when Evan was deployed. Yeah, I know we hadn’t been together thatttt long, but we were kinda like if we can make it through the deployment and all the major life changes that were going to come after that, we would be together for a long time. We were right. A lot has changed in the past two years and none of it has put a strain on our relationship. You can check out our other posts on relationships for more insight on our experiences together.
Ok, back to ring ideas. So, I primarily just browsed through Pinterest and saved everything that looked cool. Initially I was thinking I would pick a differently shaped stone and that would be the unique part. I liked marquise, at first, but eventually I ended up deciding on round. I was still looking at diamonds early on, but after going through Pinterest and Instagram, I realized how many more gemstone options there are out there. I’ve never been a huge fan of diamonds. I like color, so I switched pretty quickly from wanting a diamond ring to something completely different. For a quick second I also looked at different cuts after I decided on round. They seemed super expensive though and I didn’t think would be that noticeable with how interesting the gemstone I picked would be. After Evan came back and we moved, unique engagement ring research was put on the back burner for awhile. I believe it was last spring when I started my search again.
Places we went:
So, I don’t wear much jewelry. I have stuff I bought from Claire’s when I was in middle/high school. The nice stuff I have was given to me by relatives when I was like 8. (as evidenced in my recent post on black dress outfits) I really had no idea what would look good with my skin tone or what shape would work with my fingers. I didn’t know my ring size either. We went to a jewelry store and they were pretty much like yeah girl, anything would look great on you, so just whatever shape and color you want will work.
I tried on a bunch of different rings, all white gold. Rose gold seemed too trendy for me and yellow gold seemed like it would look gaudy depending on the gemstone, rest of the design, and size. I think both of the other types of gold are lovely, but I was mainly going for an elegant, classic look without being too overbearing. With the design I landed on, I’m really glad I went with white gold. We had a pretty good experience at the first store we went to. I think it was Jared. The people working there were helpful and not pushy at all.
We went to a different jewelry store after Covid restrictions had been implemented. The experience was different. Again, they were all helpful and friendly. It was just weird because we were masked up and I was like scared to touch the rings cuz I didn’t want to make them clean them. We had the gemstone by then, so we were trying it in different settings to see what would look best. It was at this point when Evan started adding his opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I mainly came up with the design and everything, but Evan was essentially quality control. If I came up with something ugly he would’ve vetoed it and come up with something better because he has way more style than me.
I kind of had an idea when we went in, but they didn’t have anything like it, which makes since because I was looking for a unique engagement ring. They said we could either get a custom one or look for one online. Their jeweler couldn’t set moissanite anyway, so I started trying to find
Picking a Design
After our visit to Jared, I worked on narrowing down what I wanted a bit more. Took severallll months of sporadic research. I found a video on Youtube of this black moissanite that reflected off rainbow light. I can’t find the video now, but after seeing it I was like yep, that is exactly what I want. Finding that was difficult. Actual black moissanite doesn’t reflect any colors. It’s basically matte. Dark grey moissanite however, does reflect rainbow colors. Most grey moissanite is relatively light colored and looks grey. Finding a grey moissanite that looked black, but reflected colors took awhile to find. There was one seller I followed on Instagram who had dark grey, but they were pretty pricy and not quite as dark as I wanted. The size we liked would have been over $500, which I know is much less than a diamond of this size, but I was hoping for something a little less.
Following our second visit to a jewelry store, after we had the center stone, the next step was to find a band. We discovered that the stone looked the best in a halo rather than on its own. We both liked the idea of the engagement ring matching with my wedding ring, so that limited our options quite a bit. Had to find a matching set without a center stone already set. I searched around online for what felt like ages. I maybe around a few months. I wanted a pave band with engraving on the side because I like the vintage look.
Finding the Design
I ended up reading through forums on WeddingBee where other people talked about where they got their moissanite. We found a couple of sellers on Alibaba that had dark grey moissanite. I narrowed it down from 3 to 1. It took maybe a month to receive it because it was sent from China. The customer service was good. They still check in now to say happy holidays and stuff like that. The price for this stone was incredibly low. I would highly recommend Niel Gems on Alibaba for moissanite. The other two places I was looking at were Tianyu Gems and Provence Jewelry Co., both on Alibaba. If you’re in the market for moissanite and aren’t comfortable with purchasing from overseas, Gray Girl Jewelry is well known for gorgeous moissanite.
The detail combination for the band was superrrr hard to find for some reason. I thought that since halo, engraved, and pave alone were pretty easy to find and very popular, more people would want a combination of them. I guess not. Plenty of pave/halo and engraved/halo, but very few pave/halo/engraved options out there. After numerous Google searches, I finally found an engagement ring and wedding band set with a halo, pave, and engraved side design. Best of all, it wasn’t crazy expensive! The description said it fit a limited range of sizes, and our stone fell in the middle. It seemed perfect. The customer service and quality left a lot to be desired, but it met my criteria and was a decent price.
Fixing the Design
As stated in the foregoing, (<- the legal assistant part of me showed up for a hot second there). In the last paragraph, I talked about how we had issues with the company we purchased the band from, which was Pompeii 3. Some of the diamonds in the pave were a lot darker and there were chips in the rings. We sent them back to get fixed, but they just sent us a different set with NEW chips and darker diamonds in different spots. We also had to pay for the return shipping, which was annoying. I wouldn’t recommend buying from them unless you’re willing to go the route we did.
We were not going to be happy with the way the rings were sent from the company, so Evan took them to a local jeweler, Lonnie’s Custom Jewelers, who replaced the darker diamonds and set the stone. He told Evan that the setting was NOT made to fit the stone size, so the company we purchased it from lied. He took apart the halo to fix the prongs to fit. It looks so much better now than when we originally received the setting and wedding ring. That added a little extra cost, but it was worth it to get a unique engagement ring the way we wanted it.
I’m wearing my engagement ring all the time now except when I’m dealing with raw chicken for meal preps or holding weights. I get distracted by it easily, just because I love how it looks in different lighting. Finding a unique engagement ring was quite a journey. I wasn’t too concerned about what it looked like, but Evan was like you’re going to wear this every day for the rest of your life, so you liking it matters more than how much it cost or how much time went into it. If you’re picking your ring with your partner, it can be a cool experience together.
Finding a unique engagement ring takes a little more time and effort than just going for the biggest diamond or whatever it trending, but in the end all that really matters is if you’re in love with it (almost as much as you’re in love with your significant other).