Ladies, your men don’t need to dip into their retirement fund or put $$$$$ on credit cards to find a beautiful engagement or wedding ring. There’s plenty out there that won’t break the bank — you just may need to step beyond the fancy jeweler. Here’s the story of my ring and the rules my mother gave me that all women should take to heart.
I knew after two weeks that Dane and I would get married. And I did not tell a single soul. You see, I’m the kind of “Sex & The City” gal who is independent, happy to live on her own and would never NEED a man. I actually spent one year of my life on a man hiatus while focusing on my career. That’s right. I didn’t go on a date for a whole year. No coffees, no candle-lit dinners, no butterflies in the belly – nothing.
When I decided to “get back in the game,” I did so with an open mind. I was living in Aberdeen, Wash., where it rains more than 100 inches every year and if it’s not raining the sky is still gray. It was also logger country, so if they guy had a steady job and all of his teeth, I’d go out with him. I highly recommend these low expectations to all the single ladies out there. I was shocked that I was introduced to a gem of a man by my best friend in Aberdeen.
Our beginning was less-than-romantic. My friend Cassie said “Would you ever go out with Dane?” I had met him once before. He was tall, he didn’t have holes in his clothes and he had a full mouth of pearly whites. I said “yeah sure, why not?” No love at first sight, no “OMG he’s the hottest man I’ve ever met.” There was no way to tell at that point that it was the beginning of forever. Ha. Weird. Forever.
Dane and I knew we were the perfect pair from early on, but we both played our seriousness about our future close to the vest. I made some subtle hints to my mother about Dane and I’s distant future and she gave me a set of rules:
1) He must ask your parents for permission
2) He must get down on one knee
3) You must be able to pick out your ring
I took these rules to heart and informed Dane of what my mother had said. Sure, picking out your ring ruins the “surprise element.” But, I still didn’t know how or when he would propose.
Our ring search began at a local jeweler. I died when the ring I loved was… get ready for it… $13,000. I think he almost passed out. I just shook my head and said “No Way.” So, we gave the jeweler our budget and took a look at what we could get. I was unhappy. The diamonds we could afford were so tiny. I at least wanted something proportional to my finger without having to spend the next decade in ring debt. Remember, I’m a journalist (read: poor) who loves Suze Orman. Suze would have certainly denied me a $13,000 ring.
One day soon after our trip to the jeweler, I came across a ring I liked on a bridal blog. Turned out, the ring was handmade by a seller on Etsy and the price was AWESOME! I emailed it to Dane and that night we looked at everything the seller offered. Her prices for rings were great, from about $100 to $4,500. Actually, Dane found the ring by EidelPrecious on Etsy that I loved and that he bought. So he had direction, but he gets major kudos for making the final selection.
The main stone on the Etsy ring was much larger than anything we could have afforded at the jeweler because it is a champagne-colored sapphire rather than a diamond. And man, that baby sparkles in the sun. There are still diamonds all around the main stone and on the band.
The ring arrived quickly (to his parents’ home so I couldn’t sneak and try it on), however, I still waited another two months before I was surprised with it. We had recently decided to move from the rainy coast to the sunshine in the east so I could follow my dream of running my own newspaper. He worked for the state at the time doing conservation and trail work and his contract wasn’t through for more than one month after I started my new job. We were getting ready to leave each other for that month, getting the house packed up and I said goodbye to my former co-workers and the cheer squad I coached.
The day before I hit the road for Waitsburg, Dane took me out to Ocean Shores, a nice beach where we went to fly kites on one of our first dates. It was even, gasp, SUNNY, this day! And while we were flying kites, Dane knelt in the soft sand and asked me to be his wife with the beautiful ring we had picked out.
I continue to see rings by EidelPrecious on Pinterest and on wedding blogs. When I took it to be appraised, it was appraised at $400 more than he paid for it. Awesome! And the jeweler said the diamonds were of really high quality. Double awesome! Buying from an online seller, I was a little worried. But, my ring is gorgeous and I STILL get compliments on it one year later. We just bought my wedding band from Eidelprecious, which was also a steal of a deal and totally within our budget. I would easily recommend buying from her to anyone.
To drool over her shop, visit this link.