Shopping for an unusual but elegant engagement ring in New York City
February 4, 2010 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Where should we go in New York City to buy a non-traditional and yet elegant engagement ring? Somewhat pricey is okay.

A friend (no, really, I'm already married) is interested in getting an engagement ring in NYC. His girlfriend isn't someone who would be excited about Tiffany or the like -- she's said she doesn't want a clear/white diamond, doesn't want a traditional/standard style, and isn't interested in comparing "rock size" with friends. On the other hand, she's very elegant and not grunge-y. He's able to afford a range of options and wants something distinctive.

We've been to Little King, and a few vintage shops in Soho. They all have some interesting stuff, but they don't seem "elegant" or "refined" in a way that would work for her. Any suggestions for great jewelers, especially in the city, that we should try?
posted by precipice to Shopping (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The Clay Pot in Park Slope has tons of gorgeous rings made by artisan designer-makers.
posted by cushie at 12:29 PM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Doyle & Doyle (there's one on the LES, and I think another loc uptown) has awesome vintage pieces and new stuff that is cool too, more vintagey style in general. Definitely elegant, definitely not Rock Competition, but also quite traditional, so she might not like that. Wow. It turns out according to the rules, by posting this, I formally resign my single hetero male card. It was nice while it lasted.
posted by jeb at 12:32 PM on February 4, 2010

Sounds like you could use the curating help of Refinery29. I went ahead and searched for "engagement rings" on their NY site, and got this write-up on just the subject you're looking for. It's from January '09, so not all of the designs will still be around, but it's still a good list of less-than-traditional jewelers with shops in the city, with pictures representative of their style of work. Hope it helps.

Also, I can personally vouch for jeb's suggestion of Doyle & Doyle; I've been dragged in there a few times as a not-entirely-subtle hint, and they've got some really different but sophisticated stuff.

Oh, and mazel tov, btw.
posted by patnasty at 12:43 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I came in to mention the Clay Pot, which cushie already mentioned. We got our wedding rings there, and they have a wide array of local designers with rings ranging from traditional-looking to non-traditional. They have fantastic customer service, too.
posted by bedhead at 12:48 PM on February 4, 2010

I came here to recommend Doyle & Doyle as well. We got my wife's engagement and wedding rings there. The have a great selection, the people are nice and I found the atmosphere a welcome antidote to the diamond district circus.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 12:53 PM on February 4, 2010

Doyle & Doyle was one of the places we tried; it definitely had interesting stuff and better quality than most, but we didn't find anything he liked.

Thanks for the great comments so far.
posted by precipice at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2010

We bought our rings from Liloveve, in Brooklyn. She has far more rings (especially non-traditional designs) in her shop than on the website.

Also, Conroy and Wilcox rings are in several showrooms in Manhattan. Lovely rings.
posted by minervous at 2:40 PM on February 4, 2010

We got ours custom-made by Raul Frisneda, who does lovely stuff, not all of which is web-visible. We love our rings; Raul & Keith were great working with us on making something right & special & exactly what we wanted. The price was not even really so high that I would call it "somewhat pricey" -- it was less than we budgeted. They have a studio in Dumbo that you can visit by appointment and see all of their awesomeness.
posted by xueexueg at 3:23 PM on February 4, 2010

Roslyn on the upper west side had some beautiful simple rings that were unlike anything else I found but the owner is a bit of a crazy pants...
posted by beckish at 4:38 PM on February 4, 2010

What about a tension set ring? I have this one by Stephen Kretchmer, very simple clean lines. Looks like you can get it at this place in NYC (probably other places too, since I got mine in CA). Looks like it can be set with a variety of stones in place of the diamond if you like.
posted by lemonade at 5:50 PM on February 4, 2010

We found a place in the Village around Bleecker Street that had some rings that were shaped like twigs, amongst other unusual designs. Can't remember the name of the place, which sold work by outside artists. Can't remember the artist either.
posted by LionIndex at 9:09 PM on February 4, 2010

I had my engagement ring designed from Suzanne Felsen's rings; one of her retail locations is at the Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth.
posted by emkelley at 7:22 AM on February 5, 2010

A friend of mine got hers (strangely enough) at Ralph Lauren on Madison Avenue. It was a vintage ring, oblong, with lots of tiny little diamonds—it didn't look engagement-y at all, and was one of the most interesting rings I've ever seen.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:05 AM on February 5, 2010

+1 for Clay Pot. Five years after buying wedding rings there, I called them yesterday, and they cheerfully looked up my wife's ring size and called me back in 5 minutes flat. And we still love our rings...
posted by Erroneous at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2010

My fiance designed my ring with Greg Jezarian. It doesn't look like a typical solitaire at all; it's subtle, elegant, and exactly what I wanted; MeMail me for a pic. Greg is fantastic and working on our wedding rings now.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:05 PM on February 7, 2010

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