Sunday, October 31, 2010

Joel the Jeweler

Put on your coat! It's about to get chilly in here from all this ice!

We had a date yesterday - with Joel the Jeweler! Mr. P bought my engagement ring from Joel (a friend of a friend) last year. According to my timetable, it's time to start shopping for wedding bands. I left the ring file at home; I've got it all stored in my bride brain.

Walking hand-in-hand to the store, I was a touch giddy. Which faded into nervous-giddy as soon as we walked over to the first jewelry case. Peering into the cases, all of the rings seemed pretty similar: simple bands with a row of diamonds that either went halfway or all the way around the ring (eternity). None of them were really singing to me.


Joel asked which I'd like to see. (My brain: "None of them" is not an appropriate answer, Miss P.) Long pause, then unconvinced pointing. We tried a few "plain" delicate bands that matched the band on my e-ring. Nothing. It's too early to settle so I held out for something different, more artsy.

Moving on... Thicker plain bands, pave, channel set, and detailed scrollwork designs also failed to impress.


These were all gorgeous rings. Something else bothered me about them... The angle of split shank band on the engagement ring threw off the visual balance.

photo courtesy of our jeweler

It just didn't look right. Hive, does the angle bother you? Wearing something I'm not excited about every day ("for the rest of my life" as Mr. P quipped) isn't what either of us want. We found a few simple bands that would have worked if I didn't have to be so neurotic.

Joel disappearing into the back and came back with this stunning, artsy ring with simple bands. I fell in love right away.

jeweler photo, thanks Joel!

Now for the test - how would it look against my ring?

Woah, you're blinding me!

Ok, now we're in the same ballpark. The styles complemented each other, the diamonds are a similar diameter, and it's different enough. It even tucked under the halo on my e-ring. The more I studied it, the more it felt like a lot of bling. Which is not an awful thing... but it felt too ostentatious for me and would make me uncomfortable. Aside fromt he bling, there was too much going on, so I moved the e-ring to my right hand. This looked better: balanced, cohesive and the rings had enough space to shine on their own.

It would be too easy to forge ahead with this beauty. I torture myself.

At Joel's suggestion, I browsed for other possibilities (plain metal or fewer overlapping bands) while also dreaming up a ring that encompassed everything I love. This ring, Super Ring, does not exist and no real ring could ever measure up. I tell my first-time buyers, do NOT do this to yourselves... and here I am, doing it.

"Carmella" - Kirk Kara

So the first of the alternatives is this unusual square stone band I've had my eye on for almost as long as we've been engaged. Our jeweler doesn't carry Kirk Kara, which is a bummer because 1) we want to buy from him, and 2) it's a 45 minute drive in the nearest retailer (just to see this one ring).
Brilliant Earth, Alex Sepkus & Tiffany & Co.

As much as I like bezels, it doesn't work with the style of my ring. Bezels are decidedly more modern and minimal; my ring is too ornate against them.

Brilliant Earth (left) & Simon G (center & right)

Then there are the crossed bands, my current favorite. (Where's Miss Prairie Dog??) A big plus for crossed bands is they mimic the angle of my e-ring's split shank. My favorite is the Simon G dual band minus the honking huge gold band behind it. It is two less bands than the possibly ostentatious four-band option above. But, despite having seen them before, our jeweler could not locate a two-band crossover ring!

Tiffany & Co. & Brilliant Earth

Channel set bands, like bezels, tend to be more modern. A thinner channel for the Tiffany's band would make it less clunky. The square one, while not technically channel set, has the same feel but the millgrain kills it for me.

Brilliant Earth & Tacori

What would a ring round-up be without (my take) on the traditional metal band? The simplicity is very appealing; I doubt I'd tire of something so timeless. The finish options are overwhelming; I seem to veer to either end of the spectrum: hammered or high polish. Love the knife edge on the Tacori (right). Metal type would be of utmost importance: the band would have to be Palladium. These simple bands are usually a third of the price of the other rings - a compelling argument for financial responsibility.

With so many options, it's not wonder I'm having trouble deciding. Dress shopping was MUCH easier! The only way out of this rabbit hole is to return visit to try on more rings.

For those of you who've been here before, any pearls of wisdom?


  1. Hi! I'm a totally random stranger who came across your blog and totally have the same dilemna! My engagement ring also has a split-shank band which looks weird if just a single "normal" wedding rings sits below it. What did you end up doing to balance the wedding ring and the engagement ring? Which style did you choose?

    1. We did a custom ring! Here's the link: