Seeking engagement rings in Boston. Shhhhh.
October 6, 2010 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Seeking engagement ring recommendations in Boston.

Pretty much just what it says on the tin. Right now, I'm interested in rubies and diamonds, so a jeweler with a selection of high quality gems in addition to diamonds would be ideal. But this may change! Grar, I'm very conflicted!

Probably looking for a relatively traditional setting. Estate pieces could be nice, too.

Cost is not the primary consideration, though we're both sensible people. She would scoff at a ring from Tiffany's as a waste of money and lacking imagination.
posted by anonymous to Shopping (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't bought much jewelry lately, but five years ago Shreve Crump and Low was still a great place to buy elegant, not overly ornate pieces and had amazing customer service.

I don't often write letters of commendation for good help, but I was moved to do it once after shopping there. And I was only spending a couple hundred bucks. Worth a look if you're near Back Bay. The modern company may not bear much resemblance to the historical store (I don't know if it does or it doesn't). However, my Boston grandparents (who true to the stereotype hated anything "flashy" as much as they hated paying too much) got their important jewelry at Shreve-- including what is now my wife's engagement ring and my wedding band.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:03 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Small Pleasures on Newbury is a really nice, but small, store with lots of estate jewelery. I think it's perfect for what you're looking for, however.
posted by zizzle at 4:35 PM on October 6, 2010

I got my wife's engagement ring (in 2008) from Hefez & Sons; they were very nice, relaxed, and open to negotiation. But really, you should go to the Jewelry Building in Boston (where they're located) and check out all the jewelers. You'll be able to compare many stones, settings, and customer service approaches, all in one building.
posted by Mapes at 5:10 PM on October 6, 2010

Our rings came from Leo Carroll Jewelers, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. My fiance purchased my engagement ring first, and they resized it twice - at no cost, and in the same day each time. When it came time for our wedding bands, Sean worked with another family piece (a watch); he removed the diamonds and placed them in a new setting to match my antique ring. We also ordered my husband's ring from them.

They have a wonderful selection of estate jewelry, and Sean (I believe he is Leo's son) will really listen to you and work with you to find anything you want if he doesn't already have it in house. The customer service can't be beat. I don't know how they do it, but they have never charged us for things like resizing, polishing, and even modifications like joining together my engagement and wedding bands.

Highly, highly recommend you at least go for a visit.
posted by DuckGirl at 5:23 PM on October 6, 2010

I would HIGHLY recommend looking a a Moissanite stone rather than diamond. They are lab created so you don't have to worry about buying a conflict diamond and they are all the same quality. They have pretty similar qualities to diamonds, similar hardness, brilliance, etc. They sparkle a little bit more and the color isn't quite as white but you can only barely see it if you hold one side-by-side with a diamond and they have tiny needle-like imperfections that can only be seen with a jeweler's lens.

It is what I bought for my wife's engagement ring and wedding ring and she loves them. We were able to get a ton more stone for the money and anyone we've told that they aren't diamonds were blown away and had no idea until we told them.

I would head into a JC Penny as they carry both Moissanite and diamonds so you can compare them side-by-side.

I bought both rings separately (engagement ring first and wedding ring months later just before the wedding) though they are a matching set from Joseph Schubach Jewelers online. They were VERY helpful especially when I called them up to order the wedding ring since I wanted it to match the engagement ring. I'd be pretty confident that you could have them customer design something for you.

Good luck and congratulations!
posted by VTX at 6:07 PM on October 6, 2010

I know a ton of folks who have gotten their rings at Barmakian's. They have a few locations, including one in the Jeweler's Building on Washington so I second the advice to head there and meet with different jewelers and compare.
posted by jdl at 7:22 PM on October 6, 2010

See pricescope for your gem research and check out bluenile for decently-priced mass-manufactured but good stuff. Don't buy coloured gems from them though as they are often poor quality, e.g diffusion-coloured sapphires that will fade.
posted by polyglot at 7:22 PM on October 6, 2010

I don't have any Boston brick-and-mortar recs, but I have to say that I loooooooove my ring from Leigh Jay Nacht/Antique Engagement Rings. They also have a retail store in New York. I had done a little prospecting on my own, and I knew I liked a more antique-looking style (even though I'm sort of a modern, no-nonsense person). Like your lady, I'm sensible but like the idea of spending somewhere between "tiny" and "honkin' huge" -- it's a fine balance ;)

That's why I really liked the idea of having a setting instead of a ring. I was considering different stones, too, and given the wide variety of prices, colors and clarities on these stones I thought that a setting would be a great way to save some money but still get a really classy ring.

My fiance picked the site out by Googling "antique engagement rings" and what do you know -- theirs was on top! He says they were really, really great from start to finish; he liked that the owner (Leigh) answered the phone, and when he dealt with customer service (picking a ring, figuring out where and when to send it, getting a temporary CZ stone but still building the ring to eventually hold his mom's diamond of a similar size) he had the same customer service rep throughout (Winona, I think). He says that their rings have consistently been appraised for much higher values than what people have paid. They have a huge variety of prices.

EVERYBODY has oohed and ahhed over my ring; it looks huge but was actually quite reasonable. It's also classy but pretty unique when all you see is solitaires everywhere. They made the ring after he ordered it, and now that the proposal's been successful we're going to send the ring and the other ring with the permanent stone back in for resetting and resizing.

That is, if I ever let him take it away :D
posted by Madamina at 8:19 PM on October 6, 2010

If you come down to the jeweler's mart, you might as well also stop by EB Horn, as they have some lovely estate pieces.
posted by ldthomps at 6:22 AM on October 7, 2010

I am actually looking to sell an engagement ring at the moment. I won't post any details right now except I would like to sell it for around $5000 (it's worth more, and you might be able to bargain me down a little bit), certified diamond (very slightly less than 1ct), white gold, and it is very, very nice. Many friends of the original recipient were very jealous.

Buying a ring from some random guy on MF could certainly be considered a little strange so message me if you're interested and I will give you all the details. I would go through whatever channels are necessary to make us both feel comfortable that neither of us are getting ripped off.
posted by DerKommissar at 8:07 AM on October 7, 2010

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