Hellloooooo out there! I'm Allie, and I blog over at Allie's New Day.
I live and work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with my fiancé aka Mr. NYC (he's originally from NYC, hence the nickname). We live together and are getting married (For the record, Mr. NYC brought up the wedding topic first [happy girl])!
Like most of us gals, my brain immediately headed off at a gallop into the very scary exciting world of wedding ideas and planning. It was the point of no return. Jumping off the cliff. Y'all know what I mean.
I was casually reading my friend Nicole's blog, Big Day for 10K, just to keep up with her fab ideas and all the wonderful things going on in her life. She introduced me to Cris at Kiss My Tulle who is like my un-twin (but that's another post for another day!). One of the first posts I read at Kiss My Tulle was about Cris' engagement ring shopping adventures and advice.
I was inspired. I mean – what great ideas! Selling old gold jewelry for $$ towards the bling? Brilliant my friends, BRILLIANT. Now, we hadn't talked at all about rings, what I'd like, how much we could spend, etc. So first I had to figure out if he was ok if we went ring shopping together. I hemmed and hawed for a while, keeping quiet about the subject while I tried to figure out how to ask him in a way that would not be all control-freakish.
Let me just say, there's no way to ask without being all control-freakish. Fortunately, Mr. NYC is ok with that. When I asked him "would you be ok if we went ring shopping together" (see how eloquent and smooth that was?!), he said "sure, that way you can get what you want."
See? We're a good match for each other. Me = control freak, Him = keep me happy.
I digress. The bling. The shopping.
I began my jewelry-porn-internet-drooling shopping and decided I wanted something like this:
Image Courtesy of: Blue Nile
Image Courtesy of: Blue Nile
I knew I wanted a full carat. And a simple setting. I liked the emerald cut and cushion cut diamonds. So I drooled over rings for a while. I had no thoughts of getting the band, as I figured it'd be a simple white gold band that would look nice with the solitaire (small budget anyone?).
Meanwhile, Mr. NYC & I had a trip planned to NYC coming up and he'd said a few times that he had a friend who worked at a jewelry store up there (More accurately, the family owned the jewelry store – minor details, MINOR DETAILS PEOPLE). I had filed this fact away for later mention…
About a week later I casually suggested that maybe we should go see his friend and just see what he has available, get an idea of pricing, maybe sell the yellow gold I have that was sitting in my drawer and hadn't been worn in forever (I switched to white gold quite a few years ago). He agreed, and so when we arrived in NYC, we quickly set out for Chinatown (yes, Chinatown!) to see his friend at the shop.
First thing we did was show them the gold I had and get a price. I had a mix of 10k and 14k gold (of course the 14k is much more valuable!), and after they tested all of it, offered around $500 (cash money!) for the 10k and 14k pieces (I had a few more pieces that weren't gold after all – fail!). They counted out the cash and handed it over – so regardless of where I bought my ring I had $500.
Then we looked at the engagement rings & sets they had. Nothing was really what I was looking for – most were much busier and blingier than what I had in mind. We talked more about what I was looking for – simple, more of a square shank (not domed or rounded), 1 carat and he said "come back tomorrow and I will have more for you to look at."
We went back the next day and he had three settings that I really liked. They would have to switch out the solitaire for me, no big deal. I narrowed it down to two that were very similar, and loved the way both of them looked on my hand. Oh, and they were round diamonds, both with channel set diamonds on the shank and a matching band of channel set diamonds (but we didn't "have" to buy the band if we didn't want to).
That's right. I loved the way the round diamond looked on my hand, and the "extra" channel sets on the side really blew me away. The difference between the two rings was the setting – one had a little more detail underneath the diamond, and so had a higher profile. I liked the details, but didn't like the higher profile (I'm a klutz, always knocking into things, so figured that would not be good for my new baby bling).
We chose the more simple setting, and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was at the lower end of our price range. Even better? It was at the lower end of our price range WITH THE MATCHING BAND. Holy surprises Batman! Plus we had the $500 from the gold we sold.
And that was that. We would return the next day to pick them up and pay for them (we left the $500 as the deposit). And since the guy was a friend, we paid cash for the rings, and earned an 8% discount (coughsalestaxcough).
When we returned to DFW, I promptly scheduled an appointment to get my rings appraised for insurance purposes. (Quick tip – call around to different jewelry stores for their appraisal prices. Try local/family owned places. We learned that an appraisal can range from $65 to $155 for the first piece. And that it's the SAME gemologist for nearly all of the stores here. You're welcome.)
Have y'all had that jaw dropping experience? You know the one – where the gemologist tells you that your jewelry is worth more than 2x what you paid for it? HELLOOOO happy dance!
Mr. NYC declared that I will be wearing a small car on my hand. I'm ok with that fact.
Without further ado, here are my rings: