I never gave much thought to engagement rings until Anna Rose and Matt got engaged. It was the first time I looked at someone’s ring and thought, Oh my God that is gorgeous and I would totally wear that every day for the rest of my life.
It was a black diamond. Emerald cut with no frills. A thin, gold, pave band. Totally stunning.
Stephen and I are having conversations about getting married. About spending the rest of our lives together. At first, he wants to pick out the ring; for it to be a surprise. But he still wants to know what I like.
Unfortunately, I really don’t know what I like. I have never given it much thought because I always thought it would be weird to look at engagement rings until I knew I should be looking at them. Superstitious, I guess. (For those of you who don’t see a proposal in your near or distant future, I highly recommend looking at rings you like. When you have no clue what you want for a ring, a wedding dress, or a wedding location, all of these things feel very overwhelming when they happen. If you’ve never thought about them before, it only adds to the stress of it – not the joy of it – and this should be fun!). All I know is, I love ARs ring, I don’t want a diamond, and I want a thin, yellow gold band.
So, I head to Pinterest. I quickly realize that I know nothing about rings. There’s so much terminology that I’ve never heard of. First there’s the cut, which is the shape of the stone: round, princess, emerald, oval, cushion, pear, heart, etc. The setting: prong, channel, pave, bezel. Metal choices: platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold. Some have a halo, which is a frame of diamonds that encases the top view face of the stone.
Finally, there’s the actual stone. I show Stephen my Pinterest board and now he’s doing his own research until he finally says that maybe we should do this together. Sounds good to me! I completely trust Stephen but I’m going to be wearing this ring for the rest of my life, and by the looks of it, it’s not something that we can just find in a store.
But let’s go to some jewelry stores and see. We go to Jared’s and Tiffany’s. I pretty much hate everything. They have the opposite of what I want. I can’t stand how everything looks the same. I can’t stand the stuffy vibe of these places.
My friend Lindsay sends us to Donald Hackk Diamonds in Charlotte. She swears by him – he’s made a lot of jewelry for her, so we make an appointment to meet with Justin.
When picking a stone, I narrow it down to something green or yellow. Green is my favorite color and I just really like the look of a yellow stone. Emeralds, I learn, are a terrible idea because they are very soft stones. For some women, this might not be a problem, but for me, who hits my hands on shit all day – literally, for no reason either, I just seem to be careless with my body and sometimes find bruises from walking into random things – I should not consider an emerald.
I learn that in terms of hardness, the top three go in this order: 1) diamond 2) ruby 3) sapphire. I also learn that sapphires are not only blue, as I thought they were. You can get sapphires in yellow, green, pink, orange, purple.
Since I don’t want a diamond and I don’t want a ruby, it seems like a yellow or green sapphire is the way to go. As we go down this path, I realize more and more that I definitely want a green ring on my finger.
I do like the look of a bezel setting – it basically encases the stone in a metal ring. My other friend Lyndsey, who works at Tiffany’s, tells me that this is a terrible idea. A bezel setting doesn’t allow the light to come through (or something like that). If I’m not going to get a diamond, then I should get a halo, because a halo will allow light to come through the stone and make it look shinier and bigger and blah blah blah. I hate the look of a halo. But I see her point about the bezel setting.
I try to tell Justin what I want. He’s very good at explaining everything and making me feel like we will find exactly what I’m looking for. It might take some time – but he will find it. I think he also might worry that the size of the stone that I want will be too heavy on my finger, but I am undeterred.
He calls us in one day, a couple weeks later, to show us a stone that he’s found. I really like it. I like it a lot. Stephen loves it. But it’s not the one. It’s slightly smaller than I was hoping and slightly on the more yellowish side of green. I want something greener and bigger. I don’t even wear rings. Like, ever. But now for some reason I’m dead set on finding this stone.
A couple weeks after that, Justin calls us in again. He shows me the stone and I gasp. Oh my God. It’s so pretty. I love the color and I love the size. This is the one. It feels good to know for sure and be supremely all in.
When Stephen proposes a couple months later and puts the ring on my finger, it’s my first time seeing the whole thing as an actual ring, not just the stone. A 10mm green sapphire cushion cut with a prong setting and a yellow gold band. I can’t stop looking at it on my finger. I love it so much. It’s weird to wear something of this size on my finger, but that doesn’t change my feelings about it. Every time Stephen asks me, “Is it too big? Do you still love it?,” I tell him, It’s perfect and I’m obsessed with it – because I am. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and now it’s even easier to not have to think about it because I know that if anything, I at least have this beautiful ring on my finger, and every single time I look at it, I think about our love and our life together.