Where to buy an interesting engagement ring in St. Louis?
December 1, 2007 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Where to buy an interesting (non-diamond) engagement ring in St. Louis?

So I proposed with a kids' plastic spider ring. She said yes. I figured it would be better if we went shopping together for a ring. But we don't want to go to a Shaneco or any other of those chains (for both the screwjob and the blood diamond reasons), and (being a geologist) she's more interested in something other than a diamond.

The one weird friend who's well-versed in such things suggested Timekeepers, which was nice, but rings aren't their focus really. Most of our friends aren't married yet, and all of my sisters have rather generic rings. Where can we find a larger selection of eclectic and/or vintage rings?
posted by notsnot to Shopping (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We didn't want diamonds, so we designed our own. eBay has a great selection of loose gems. We used created sapphires because they are beautiful and nearly as hard as diamonds, and never involved children in horrendous mines. With the stones in hand, we went to several jewelers and asked if they had an appropriate setting and what it would cost. Ultimately, we got exactly what we wanted, and ended up paying about $20 for the stones (including a very large blue sapphire) and, iirc, about $350 for the ring and setting service, in white gold.
posted by agentofselection at 1:13 PM on December 1, 2007

My (now) wife and I ended up going to a small independent custom jeweler. Two things worked out well: they had a very wide selection of non-diamond stones and she got to design the ring. Stone-wise, her favorite color is green, and with a little research we settled on Tsavorite (a deep green garnet). Not gonna see that at a typical chain store :). Design-wise, she picked out a stone in the shop and then described what she wanted (referring to some rings in the shop). They did a wax version of the ring, then we looked at it and had them size it and tweak it a bit, and then they cast it in white gold.

We were very happy with our experience and with the final product. The independent/custom aspect raises the cost, but the non-diamond stone can significantly reduce it depending on what type of stone you and your fiance' like.
posted by madmethods at 1:25 PM on December 1, 2007

You could try Blue Nile. Reasonable prices and straightforward presentation of the specs on their stones and jewelry.
posted by charlesv at 2:00 PM on December 1, 2007


Although Borsheim's is not in St. Louis, it's only half a day's drive away. It's supposedly the world's largest independent jewelry store (60,000 square feet, 100,000 + items) and also owned by Warren Buffet. Here are some reviews.

Let me know if you want to know more. Good luck!
posted by Ostara at 2:14 PM on December 1, 2007

Look online at Etsy. I a friend of mine found a really cool wedding band there. Handmade, unique items.
posted by greta simone at 2:21 PM on December 1, 2007

I don't like diamonds for how they get from the ground to the ring. They can look good.

The solution for my recent wedding ring purchase was a synthetic diamond piece. (I hope my Mother in law isn't reading and thinking that I am cheap!)
posted by dantodd at 4:22 PM on December 1, 2007

Try Simons Jewelers.

Perfectly nice folks, in that Jewelry shop way. They are well regarded in the community and I am sure they can make something real nice for you, on a custom basis. Probably will be fun for you and your lady geologist.
posted by Exchequer at 5:00 PM on December 1, 2007

Have you considered a moissanite? It is gem-quality silicon carbide grown in a furnace. Geologists know that moissanites are found in meteors but not on Earth.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:12 PM on December 1, 2007

I'm in favor of star sapphires for their connotations.

Diamonds are all about perfection: the more perfectly clear, perfectly unflawed, etc. a diamond is, the more expensive and in demand it is. This is not a very nice metaphor for a real-world relationship!

Star sapphires, on the other hand, only have a brilliant star in them, making them look really neat, because of a fundamental flaw in the gem.

I think this is a much better metaphor: I love you forever because of, not in spite of, all the things that make you unique and different.
posted by InnocentBystander at 7:09 PM on December 1, 2007 [3 favorites]

a blue-eyed couple i know got a gorgeous white-gold ring with a blue stone in it on ebay. they bought it on a whim: "ohmigod- that-stone-is-the-exact-colour-of-our-eyes-quick-bid-BIIIID!" they had it appraised later- it was worth about double what they paid for it.

or maybe a wood ring? there are lots of different kinds.

also nthing etsy, they have cool stuff.
posted by twistofrhyme at 7:34 PM on December 1, 2007

InnocentBystander-- yes, star sapphires are awesome, and I've found a couple that I really like online, but they seem to be pretty far out of our price range. Well, his price range, anyway.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:53 PM on December 1, 2007

Pricescope.com has a great community for just this in the colored gem stones forum.

acstones.com has a wonderful selection of beautiful gemstones in both classic and unique cuts.

You can have them set by a local jeweler, make sure you find one with experience setting colored gems. They can be a bit trickier than diamonds. Pricescope will have lots of reviews.
posted by lalalana at 9:52 PM on December 1, 2007

there is this place in hannibal, mo called ava goldworks. they do pretty f-ing good stuff considering it's hannibal.
posted by eedele at 10:02 PM on December 1, 2007

I don't know if you're still looking at this thread, but...

Ebay has a nice selection of created star sapphires, on the cheap. They're pretty nice, too. Get a ring setting separately and you're good to go (my setting was less than $300).
posted by InnocentBystander at 10:34 AM on December 6, 2007

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