I'll give you a ring when the baby's here
April 14, 2010 11:33 PM   Subscribe

Ring! I want to buy my girlfriend a ring to celebrate a) the birth of our first daughter (soon!) b) her birthday. It's not an engagement ring (and shouldnt' be confused for one) and I have a certain budget. Cartier Trinity is the strongest candidate so far, but am not 100% sold.

First: my budget. Around 1,000 euros.

Second: at first i wanted to get her some kind of small diamond, but i am afraid that for that amount the diamond(s) would be so small that it actually be ridicolous and if that's the case, then better a nicer gold ring.

Third: we are in Amsterdam, Netherlands and I would really prefer to buy in person rather than online - so if you know jewellers here or you can suggest world brands (ie cartier tiffany chopard or even cheaper ones ;) is much better (but i really also just want opinions especially by women)

Fourth: We are in our early 30s, gf dresses trendy/nice but doesn't wear much jewellery in general.

I have been suggested the Cartier Trinity, which is 3 rings of gold (white, yellow, pink) and it's nice and all.... it's 920 euros which is well in the budget but... isn't it a small ring for that price? not that i want it dimensionally big, but just... is it a good way to spend 920 euros in a ring ? or can i get more "ooooohh!" for my buck ?

I appreciate any suggestion - I am really clueless but I really do want her to have a great ring!
posted by madeinitaly to Shopping (37 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you go with a "brand" ring, make no mistake you will be paying for the ring. It's difficult to talk to you about taste, because everyone has such different tastes and jewellery is no exception. i would be extremely hesitant to put down that kind of money unless I was 1000% sure my girlfriend would not just like, but love whatever I got her. Are you so sure she will care more about the size of the diamond than the aesthetics of the ring? If you guys don't wear jewellery as it is, are you so sure she would be comfortable with a thousand euro ring?

I'm not trying to second-guess you here, the answer may be yes to all those questions.

The _good_ news for you is that Amsterdam is like, one of the diamond capitals of the world. You will have no shortage of places to look and buy. Maybe start here? (I have no knowledge of the number of stores in Amsterdam, I just pulled that out of google.)
posted by smoke at 11:59 PM on April 14, 2010

Why not get her a necklace? It's more prominent then a ring, and there's no confusion.
posted by delmoi at 12:00 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

paying for the "brand" not the ring. Brain fart. Carry on.
posted by smoke at 12:02 AM on April 15, 2010

I second the necklace. A ring will bring on the confusion.
posted by cowmix at 12:03 AM on April 15, 2010

don't get her a ring, either she doesn't want to get married and will think you do or she does want to get married and thinks you finally figured it out. either way, bad scene.

go with a necklace or a bracelet.

if you must go with a ring - i'd suggest something like a , but call it a family ring and get her, the baby's, and your birthstone set in it.
posted by nadawi at 12:33 AM on April 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

All the actual diamond cutters and big-name dealers moved to Antwerp decades ago; what's left in Amsterdam is for tourists.

If you want a "world brand" piece that you can namedrop, you'll get it (barring slight ForEx differences) at the same price in that brand's stores wherever you go. If you actually want a nice stone and a distinctive setting, then you need to stop thinking about brand names and find yourself a reputable stone dealer and a jeweller who can set it. Or an antique piece that you can have appraised.

And I'd also say go with a necklace.
posted by holgate at 12:34 AM on April 15, 2010

arg. i'd suggest something like a mother's ring. silly html and sloppy fingers.
posted by nadawi at 12:34 AM on April 15, 2010

Response by poster: thanks already! just a couple of points

a) brand name not essential: the cartier one has been suggested to me by 2 separate female friends as "a ring that you can't go wrong with" and the other names it's just because i need to buy it in amsterdam but i am not sure how many people here on the green would know amsterdam specific jewelers

b) talking with some collegues this morning, i have been suggested a ring with 9 small diamonds, one for each month of pregnancy and if they're not too big i could stay within my budget.

c) i am very worried about the engagement misunderstanding thing. I don't exclude getting married but that's not the meaning of this present. This present is a thank you for taking care of our baby while she was pregnant. like a reward if you can say so. but i want to avoid a scene like "here's the ring" "oh thanks, yes i want to marry you" "oeps"

d) any chance i can get a necklace with some nice stones for that price? (gf has beautiful blue eyes and a light skin, if that helps)

e) about the brain fart. i guess it's internet-funny and that makes you internet-smart. pull this finger.
posted by madeinitaly at 1:28 AM on April 15, 2010

3 bands of gold in the Trinity ring will be misunderstood by others as a wedding ring, even if your girlfriend understands it's not.

How about earrings or a bracelet from a less traditional but still high quality and beautiful brand such as John Hardy? Or go for estate jewelry from the 20s and 30s. Or something made completely of turquoise, amber, or amethyst? You have limitless options. It should be easy to avoid confusion.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:52 AM on April 15, 2010

So, you don't seem to have a clear idea of what the gf would like and your worried about her misunderstanding and thinking its an engagement? And your budget is a pretty considerable amount?

The most fail-safe option to me seems to let her pick it herself. Picture this: you take her out to a lovely lunch, you give her a biggish box with a cute note about how much you love her, love your impending child, and really appreciate how amazing she's been throughout the pregnancy and how you want her to pick out a necklace, bracelet, or ring of her choice. You take her to a lovely shop around the corner, where you have the jeweler show her a box of suggestions, in your price range, that you've carefully picked out earlier.

If she's feeling pretty uncomfortable at the moment from the pregnancy, you could have the food delivered and, possibly, arrange with a local jeweler come by at a pre-arranged time with a few suggestions.

This makes sure: a) the money is spent on something she really loves; and b) your intentions are clear from the beginning.

(Warning story: a friend got his gf a set of earings. She saw the box and thought 'Oh my God! A ring!'.....much awkwardness and disappointment ensued and made his planned proposal a few weeks later fall a little flat.'Um, do you really mean it this time?')
posted by brambory at 2:01 AM on April 15, 2010 [12 favorites]

Perhaps something lovely with the birthstone of the child? Please also consider the alternate birthstones depending. A unique single-stone lovely gift to your child's mother, I'm thinking necklace with a pendant, seems right.

For April, I think the traditional stone is a diamond. Depending on where you search, though, an alternate is an opal, which is gorgeous. Other birthstone options are dependent on when your child is born. Zodiac stone options, for instance.

If you're going to give your child's mom a gift, please don't do it when she's feeling vulnerable, especially if you choose a diamond. Diamonds are too loaded emotionally. I hate to say it. Maybe wait until you've both figured out how you feel about the birth and the child before you give her anything but emotional and physical support, if you're going to do that.

Having reread your initial post... If someone gave me anything by Cartier, I'd freak out. And I don't even pay that much attention to jewelry.

Many best wishes to you, mom, and daughter. And congratulations.
posted by lilywing13 at 2:12 AM on April 15, 2010

Response by poster: @smoke - apologize!
posted by madeinitaly at 3:54 AM on April 15, 2010

How about this ring? It's by Lalique so has the wow factor of a big name, is well within your budget (so you could afford some other treats along the way such as babysitters and nights out!) and has three stones to represent your new family of three.

It looks nothing like a traditional engagement or wedding ring but, to my eyes, is very, very beautiful. If your girlfriend doesn't wear much jewelry she might not be into the traditional stuff but this is different enough to be striking yet not over the top.
posted by hazyjane at 4:09 AM on April 15, 2010

Do you even know whether your girlfriend would like "traditional," brand-name jewelry? I love and wear a lot of jewelry and I find most of the high-end, diamond-encrusted stuff you see in boutique windows to be absolutely hideous. (The Lalique ring isn't bad.) Plus there's all the ethical issues with the diamond industry...

If you have trouble figuring out what her jewelry style is, I would definitely nth brambory's suggestion, which eliminates a situation where your gf has to pretend to be delighted by a piece she doesn't like so as not to hurt your feelings.
posted by bettafish at 4:44 AM on April 15, 2010

If you're "very worried about the engagement misunderstanding thing", you probably shouldn't get her a surprise ring. Even if you're in mutual agreement about not getting married, you're still going to be giving a (tremendously hormonal) woman a small box exactly the size and shape as one which would contain an engagement ring. In order to avoid confusion, you're going find yourself saying—either right before, or right after, she opens the box—some version of "Oh, by the way, this isn't an engagement ring." No matter how either of you feel about getting married, this is a bizarrely unromantic thing to say to someone with whom you've just had a baby. Now, I am definitely not saying that all women want to get married - obviously, that's not at all true! - but nonetheless, there's a strong possibility that what you're planning to be as a lovely gift-giving moment could turn out to be a sad, confusing, disappointing one instead. For both of you.

So, get her a necklace, or a bracelet, or a set of power tools, or whatever it is you think would make her happy. Considering she doesn't wear much jewellery, I'd be inclined to take her shopping so she can choose something she really, really loves. And if she ends up choosing a ring, then at least it will be one that makes her light up with pleasure—and its meaning will be clear, and wholly positive.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:01 AM on April 15, 2010 [6 favorites]

"like a reward if you can say so"

In the US, it's popularly called a "push present" (to make up for the painful "pushing" during labor, I guess!).

My husband gave me a necklace for Mother's Day which occurred about a week before the baby was born. It's an old/antique piece of jade about 1 1/2" or 2" across, with a hole in the middle (a donut shape, you know what I mean), and then the jeweler set six modern semi-precious stones in a flower shape in the middle. It didn't cost more than $300, I don't think, but it's gorgeous and very striking and the floral shape reminds me of new life, etc.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:25 AM on April 15, 2010

Wow factor + small diamonds, you can't go wrong with Tiffany. Diamonds by the yard are set in silver, a bracelet or necklace would be under your budget. Lots of sliver with colored stones.

If you want to get her a ring, get her a ring. Just make sure when you give it to her, you preface it with what you've said here -- that you want to give her something to thank her for caring for your baby, and as a birthday gift. Maybe something like this?
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:44 AM on April 15, 2010

And, of course, you're paying for the brand. But I love my silver tiffany jewelry, and wear it every day.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:44 AM on April 15, 2010

i am seconding all who suggest that you have her pick something out herself. i think that's a great way to honor her, the new baby, and your relationship. if that were me, i would be really touched. because having a baby changes you in so many ways, and she may enjoy the opportunity to mark the occasion in her own way, with your help and love. awesome all around. congratulations to all of you!
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:09 AM on April 15, 2010

In case you breezed over hal_c_on's comment, remember that her fingers might be a different size right now.

I Nth that a necklace is a safer bet for so very many reasons.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 6:19 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't be an idiot-do NOT get her a ring. That is too loaded with possibilities for misunderstanding.

Either a very nice necklace, or yes, take her shopping.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:33 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you do go for a ring, $1000 euros is in the ballpark for a non-diamond custom ring.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:08 AM on April 15, 2010

I think that if the OP and his girlfriend have talked about marriage and they both know that this is not a proposal then it won't be confusing at all.

Also, each band of the Trinity ring could symbolize you, your girlfriend, and your baby. I think that's a sweet idea.
posted by hepta at 8:17 AM on April 15, 2010

If you don't want to create confusion about a proposal, don't get a ring.

Seconding the advice to let her help choose. If my SO dropped 1,000 euros on a piece of jewelry for me that I didn't care for, I'd be mighty pissed. Which is not the outcome you are seeking.

If you must pick it out yourself, can you arrange for the two of you to casually wander through a jeweler so that you can get a sense of what she likes and doesn't?
posted by ambrosia at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think that if the OP and his girlfriend have talked about marriage and they both know that this is not a proposal then it won't be confusing at all.

hepta, the OP said further down that he is "very worried about the engagement misunderstanding thing"
posted by ellieBOA at 8:48 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you are "very worried about the engagement misunderstanding thing," I would suggest that you either have her close her eyes and then put the jewelry on her (necklace, earrings, bracelet) or, as suggested above, let her pick out a ring herself to avoid the confusion.

The WORST thing you can do right now is gift her with an obvious ring box if you don't want the gift to come across as an engagement ring!

People go for untraditional rings these days, and she WILL be confused if you break out that ring box. And do you really want to have to explain at the moment you are trying to give her a special surprise gift, "Wait, no, this doesn't mean we're engaged or anything!"
posted by misha at 9:22 AM on April 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

Whatever piece of jewelry you end up choosing, don't present it to her in the box it came in as it will scream "ring" even if what's inside the box is a necklace. Put it into one of a cute little pair of baby booties and give her the booties in a box larger than a ring box. And before she opens it tell her the gift is something meant to commemorate the birth of your child.
posted by hazyjane at 9:30 AM on April 15, 2010

Put it into one of a cute little pair of baby booties and give her the booties in a box larger than a ring box.

This is a really good way to give her a ring and avoid any chance of a misunderstanding, especially if the box was branded with an obvious babywear brand.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2010

I would definitely recommend a necklace or bracelet rather than a ring or earrings. Just the sight of a ring-sized box could cause immediate confusion, so why risk it?

You have tons of options for designs - ranging from birthstones to meaningful engravings to charm jewelry designed to be added to over time. Or there's always the classic diamond tennis bracelet or pearl strand necklace. They never go out of style - and they come in a nice long, skinny, non-ring shaped box!
posted by platinum at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2010

Nthing "not a ring". You can get a lovely necklace for that price.
posted by kestrel251 at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2010

nthing "not a ring" too, and this:

"Put it into one of a cute little pair of baby booties and give her the booties in a box larger than a ring box.

"This is a really good way to give her a ring and avoid any chance of a misunderstanding, especially if the box was branded with an obvious babywear brand."

is ridiculous (is it against the rules to call a post ridiculous?) so don't listen to it for one second unless your girlfriend is completely literal-minded.

I agree with the necklace suggestion and disagree with the "take her shopping" suggestion, which can be confusing for both of you (would you tell her your price limit? how romantic!) and will basically become a burden on her, as she is now obligated to choose her own "gift".

And make sure the necklace is in a nice big necklace box, not anything resembling a ring box.
posted by DMelanogaster at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2010

is ridiculous (is it against the rules to call a post ridiculous?) so don't listen to it for one second unless your girlfriend is completely literal-minded.

I got engaged recently, and I know if I had been presented with a ring sized box that turned out to have a non-engagement ring in it, I would have been really disappointed, and probably embarrassed too as it would have no doubt caused some confusion. I suggested this to avoid this disappointment and humiliation.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:41 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

re: ellieBOA:

When I said I thought that putting a ring in baby shoes or some other baby-centered container was ridiculous, I didn't mean that I thought a ring *should* be put in a ring box; I meant, don't buy a ring *at all*, because, no matter *what* container you put it in, when she opens that container, there's the ring -- with all of its confusing and potentially angst-inducing implications (about which the original poster has now stated and restated).

I hope that's more clear now.
posted by DMelanogaster at 5:49 AM on April 16, 2010

I hope that's more clear now.

It completely is, thanks for clarifying.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:54 AM on April 16, 2010

I vote necklace (a simple solitare stone on a chain is lovely and classic), or barring that, ASKING her what kind of jewelry she would like.

Some women don't wear certain pieces, or don't wear them that often. For example, while I would wear a simple ring or a necklace every day, I never wear bracelets, and am VERY picky about earrings.

I would also suggest NOT getting the birthstone if she's at all picky, or could be at all picky, as to color of stones. For example, though I love my son, I cannot stand his birthstone, and would not wear even the nicest, most gorgeous piece of jewelry that included it. This is probably not something you want to find out after purchasing and giving a gift to your girlfriend.

(last mother's day, I had to have this conversation with my husband, who luckily was able to return the earrings featuring my son's birthstone. Then we went and got a necklace made out of a cast of his thumbprint--something I highly reccomend, but also something that requires the presence of the babe first)
posted by kumquatmay at 2:10 PM on April 16, 2010

Response by poster: one update (and thanks all for contributing!):

our baby Camilla was born this morning. she's beautiful and it's by far the best thing i have ever done in my life. I cried like a baby all afternoon whenever she pulled a funny face or looked into my eyes. i still can't describe i much i love her.
posted by madeinitaly at 2:34 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

posted by platinum at 3:06 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

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