Anniversary ring advice
May 15, 2016 11:08 AM   Subscribe

My spouse and I will soon be celebrating a milestone in our marriage. I would like to get her an anniversary ring. But I’m uncertain about the options. If you know anything about jewelry I would appreciate your advice.

Some background: My wife (amazingly!) accepted my hand in marriage many years ago when I was a starving college student. The engagement and wedding rings look kind of like this image. Except picture a smaller solitaire and a few less complimentary diamonds.

After a several years of wearing the gold wedding ring it became clear that her skin reacted poorly to the gold—or at least the nickel in the gold. And so I purchased a ‘stunt double’ platinum ring. It’s simple band with a few small diamonds and looks kind of like this image. She only wears her original wedding ring on special occasions and wears the platinum band day-to-day.

Fast forward to today and I now have the resources to get her what might be called a ‘proper’ ring. My budget is ~$5K. Not wishing to be a sucker, I also want to be smart about this purchase.

Here are some things that I’ve considered:

1) Purchase a new platinum ring with conflict-free stones. This is probably the most expensive option and would probably leave me feeling like a sucker.

2) Purchase a vintage/estate platinum ring. I understand these need to be appraised for authenticity.

3) Buy a pre-owned wedding ring through a site like idonowidont. Neither of us have superstitions or hangups about this type of purchase.

4) Redesign her current wedding rings into something new. An example can be found here. I’m not sure where something like this could be done in the SF Bay area.

5) Go to the upcoming International Gem & Jewelry Show and get more ideas. But I’ve never attended an event like this and wouldn’t know where to start.

Other ideas?
posted by quadog to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
 
There are more options - many estate jewelry dealers remake damaged or ugly vintage jewelry into new pieces. My engagement ring was made this way, and it gives you the option of using already-mined stones and/or metal but opens up your style options considerably. The store I used is now out of business, but I imagine other estate/vintage jewelry stores would do it too.

I'd also think about your track record of picking jewelry your wife will happily wear if you're planning this as a surprise. I know my husband's chance of picking something I'll love is only about 50-50, so he would definitely get my input before spending serious money on anything.
posted by snaw at 11:25 AM on May 15, 2016


Research small jewelers in your area and you may be able to find pieces you really love for a fraction of the cost. We found a ring at a "Rock shop" in my city this way. They're a store that sells gems and minerals to hobbyists. I didn't even know they sold jewelry, and it turned out they have an amazing selection. I also think it might be best to bring her with you to select the ring. You could visit a jeweler and select a piece or two, then bring her back to look at them. That way she knows you've put some time into it and it would also give her the freedom to really know, "Wow, husband is serious that we can spend $5,000 on this gift!" (I'm pretty frugal, so I wouldn't come to that kind of conclusion on my own without some real convincing from my spouse).
posted by areaperson at 11:35 AM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


FIY the traditional gift for a significant milestone anniversary is an eternity ring. A platinum eternity ring even with conflict free diamonds is well within your budget. The band stacks with the existing engagement ring and the effect is lovely.

FYI a true eternity ring has stones all the the way around the band. Anything short of that is... very inexpensive and not... what you are probably after.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:19 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I designed my wedding ring with my husband at Pave in Rockridge (now they have a second store in Berkeley, and they have an online option). I think, if you want this to be a symbolic expenditure, it would be nice to spend the time together, as a couple, going to some jewelry designers and making a custom piece yourselves. Surprise is nice, but it's a gift about a lot of things other than the temporary thrill of surprise - anniversaries are about being together for the long haul, and about the pleasures and comfort of being sure of each other.
posted by gingerest at 5:25 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am a jeweler in NYC, I have a few ideas with your budget. I can take the rings you have and incorporate it into a new platinum set.

PM me and I will give you all of the options. I can possibly make you a new set of engagement ring and wedding band, but I think it would be wise to use what you have to create your new gift so that she won't be conflicted about not wearing her original rings.

I do a lot of custom designing and redesigning to update existing pieces. I ship all over the world and have never had any issues (in case it worries you that I am in an other state.)

If you decide not to use my services, I can at least help you figure out what you should do.

Good luck!
posted by Yellow at 7:40 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is she also not wearing the original engagement ring because of the allergy or just the band? Since she likes to wear the original set together on special occasions, your goal should be getting her a matching engagement + wedding band set that she is not allergic to so she can wear it as often as she wants. I can't tell from the info here whether that means replacing/redoing the original engagement ring and the band or getting the solitaire to match her platinum band, but that's the end result I'd go for: a full wedding set she can wear all the time. Bonus if you upgrade it to reflect your current budget or add a 3rd eternity ring.
posted by girlhacker at 10:29 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Please offer advice on the question asked rather than on assumptions not in evidence in the post, or based on what you personally would rather receive than a ring.]
posted by taz (staff) at 12:24 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


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