Friday, December 19, 2008


Due to the cold weather, my rings are not fitting quite right these days. I think I need to eat more holiday cookies and things to make up for the cold weather shrinkage, because last night my engagement ring was lost in a pile of fabric I'd been digging through while I frantically ran around the house searching for it.

That got me to thinking that I never posted anything about our rings.

My engagement ring was a collaborative effort. Our engagement wasn't a big surprise, so while we originally tired to have him pick out the ring without me, after a few weeks of him in a confused panic, I assured him that I didn't care and we worked on it together. Our budget for my ring was along the lines of the lower the better. No more than $1000. Which doesn't get you a whole lot in terms of traditional e-rings. I knew I wanted vintage, both for the looks and because I didn't want any new Congolese to loose their hands over my ring.

After searching far and wide we finally found my ring in a watch repair shop. It was $250, white gold with a few diamonds, and I've since learned was essentially mass produced during WWII so that army men could propose before leaving for war.
I'm not generally into the army or mass production, but as part of the storyline of my vintage ring it's sort of romantic and sweet.
I really liked the floral shape of the top.

Finding a vintage band to match my ring turned out to be an ordeal. It seems that most of these rings were fused to the band after the wedding, and I couldn't hardly any that were separate, reasonably priced, and looked like what I was going for.

In the meantime, finding my husband's band was easy. After a few searches around Etsy, we found Ash Hilton. Ash is the sweetest, most helpful, charming, lovely artist I've worked with on Etsy. I almost gave up vintage and matching had him make me a band too, but I have short tiny fingers and his designs don't really work on a thin band.

His work is made with ethical metals, his designs are based on the plants of New Zealand (though he will work with plants you love if you have an idea, and have I mentioned that he's really nice? He originally shipped us the wrong ring, and we almost considered keeping it because the design was so amazing. But we sent it back and got P's ring, which he loves.
It's two curly plants loving on each other.

Following in family tradition, his ring is sterling silver. All the men in both of our families wear sterling silver rings so they get all scratched and beat up looking. I think his ring ended up being somewhere around $100-150.

Ultimately my wedding band was purchased out of laziness and reaching the end of my rope with wedding planning. I like it, but I have to admit that it's not all that comfortable, so I can't say I love it. I had it designed by Ellie at Greenlake Jewelry Works based out of Seattle. They have a great online design process where you show them things you like and they create sketches and work with you to find something you like. They also use ethical stones.
LinkLike I said, I like it. I don't love it. And it wasn't cheap (around $900). If I hadn't been so stressed out about finding a ring before the wedding (along with the 100 other things I had to do before the wedding) I probably would have waited. In a moment of stress I actually almost bought a $2000+ Van Craeynest ring, but when I called they were so mean that I backed out (thank god).

The moral of this story is that while I love beautiful vintage engagement rings, and could have easily spent thousands of dollars on fancy sparkly things, you work with your budget, figure out what makes sense for your situation, and that ultimately our cheap rings are our favorites.


Color Me Green said...

funny, i just posted yesterday about how i'm looking for vintage or sustainably made rings (not engaged yet, just browsing). yours are so pretty and how amazing that you got your e-ring for only $250!

Anonymous said...

your mismatching rings are gorgeous!


Love 'em!

Anne @ Pink Galoshes said...

These are so stunning!! I just adore estate pieces.

Stephen said...
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janieliz19 said...

No idea if you still check this - but I just got engaged and have been looking at your archives, and my engagement ring is almost identical to yours!! I didn't know the backstory of it (got it at an estate jewelry store) but it appears you may have solved it... :)