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  1. #1

    Default Cannot Find Right Pearl Engagement Ring ... Need Help with Vendor

    Hi,

    I'm excited to be a part of PG and this Forum ... I've been searching the internet for days (really weeks now) trying to find the right pearl engagement ring for my girlfriend, but just can't find something that meets all of my needs. First, my girlfriend has a metal allergy so the ring setting must be platinum. Second, she is ethnically opposed to diamonds (something about that industry funding human trafficking, the drug trade, child soldiers, the overly inflated De Beers system, etc), so since I know how delicate a pearl can be, I wanted to 'protect' it with her birthstone (emeralds). Finally, she was stationed in Japan a few years back when she was active in the Air Force, and fell in love with their culture, so I want the pearl to be a Japanese Akoya (thought it would be a great touch). And I need this ring by Christmas, when I plan to propose.

    Okay, just to recap:
    - Pearl type: Akoya
    - Ring metal: platinum
    - Protecting stones: emerald

    I saw this design and really loved it, but besides being an Akoya pearl, it fell short in all other areas (I envision the diamonds being replaced by emeralds):
    http://www.pearlotica.com/products/N...-Diamonds.html

    I'm getting a little nervous about being able to line all this up before Christmas, and was hoping someone could help me bring this together since all my searches thus far with online vendors are falling short ... help!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    One thing to do would be to have the ring made from scratch. If a pre-made ring has diamonds and is what you are looking for AND the stones are not too small (decent size prongs), the diamonds can be replaced with emeralds.

    Another idea is to check the website Stuller.com. They have a lot of settings without the stones. If a setting has no pre-set stones, emeralds can be used as well as a Japanese akoya pearl.

  3. #3

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    Emeralds may be a bit brittle for a protective belt. Perhaps consider green tsavorite garnets?

  4. #4
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Does anyone else think that an Akoya pearl isn't really a good idea for a wear every day ring?

    (btw over here in England the man asks then the shopping for the ring happens, so that the wearer has some imput..this seems more logical to me)

  5. #5
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    I think in the past we have recommended planning to have the pearl in the ring changed fairly often. The wear is harder on a ring and akoyas do not have much nacre. I agree about the emeralds too. Emeralds are known to wear down fairly fast as well. The garnets would hold up much better and they have a great colour - better in fact than many emeralds.

    - Karin

  6. #6
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert dkan 168's Avatar
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    I would stick to harder gemstones for setting in rings for daily wear myself.

    DK
    Treat every life situation like a dog: if you can't play with it, eat it, or hump it, p1$$ on it and walk away

  7. #7
    Member DaveTT's Avatar
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    South Sea have more nacre and are more strong.
    Just a tip
    Happy and Honest

  8. #8
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I can see why you want an akoya pearl and emeralds specifically. You probably realize that both are relatively easier to damage with daily wear than, say, corundum (ruby, sapphire.)

    Do you think she would want to wear her engagement ring all the time? I ask this because not everyone wears their engagement ring all the time. I don't! I normally wear my wedding band alone, putting my engagement ring (a ruby) on just when I go out. I find this to be more comfortable when doing housework, and it keeps the ring cleaner and causes less wear and tear on the prongs and the ruby. I also notice it more, and enjoy looking at it more, when I don't have it on all the time.

    If you think she will want to wear it constantly, then I urge you to discuss this with her first. She may prefer some other stone for the engagement ring. But she may still love the pearl/emerald ring for her right hand! Maybe for a future anniversary? If she does want the pearl ring for her engagement, then as others have said, be prepared to have to replace the pearl periodically.

  9. #9
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    The OP has given good reasons for picking akoya and emerald and I don't think substitutes will be quite the same, however much more sensible. Might I suggest you abandon the akoya and emerald idea for a ring and go with that for a necklace at some later time - a station necklace would be great for akoya and emerals

  10. #10
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Ooh, yes, a necklace...or a pendant. Or earrings! Any of those would tolerate regular use much better than a ring would.

  11. #11
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sea Urchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post

    (btw over here in England the man asks then the shopping for the ring happens, so that the wearer has some imput..this seems more logical to me)
    Sorry if off-topic, but I'm from the U.S. and surprised that so many here do want to have the ring as part of the proposal. It's the most expensive piece of jewelry many of us will ever own (for many years anyway) and the one piece of jewelry many of us wear every day. So I would much rather have the ring I like most in any given price range than a surprise. I think a marriage proposal is over the moon romantic by itself. Just my two coppers.
    Last edited by Sea Urchin; 11-27-2012 at 05:08 PM.

  12. #12
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I'm with you, Sea Urchin. But some people like to be surprised.

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert dkan 168's Avatar
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    Personally, if I feel I know the person well enough to appreciate his/her style and preferences in clothing and jewellery, then I would buy him/her a significant piece of jewellery.

    Otherwise I would refrain from making a very big financial mistake, in case my chosen piece of bespoke jewellery is not to his/her taste.

    DK
    Treat every life situation like a dog: if you can't play with it, eat it, or hump it, p1$$ on it and walk away

  14. #14

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    Hi Everyone!

    First off, I want to thank you for your quick responses ... I love the conversation and think you all rock for taking the time to help and by providing your great perspectives!!

    I appreciate the delicateness of the Akoya pearl, but I do think it's the right center stone ... maybe she'll favor her wedding band more to minimize the daily grind, or as the years pass, a replacement pearl for an anniversary or birthday will seem like the perfect touch to reinforce my commitment and love to our relationship (would also give me the opportunity to be romantic ). And relatively speaking, a new pearl is pretty affordable when compared against a diamond

    But the priority for me at the moment is finding a platinum setting (that seems to be the biggest hurdle ... and finding one that is designed for a pearl). Mr. Shepherd from PearlParadise recommended "Stuller.com" and that's been the best site thus far in identifying platinum pearl setting options for me ... does anyone else have a few other places that I could browse?

    Here are a few options I narrowed from Stuller.com (in order of priority) ... thoughts?
    1) http://www.stuller.com/products/6114/?groupId=29626 (like the unique design, like the single emerald style, and looks like setting will help protect pearl)
    2) http://www.stuller.com/products/6077/?groupId=25522 (pretty ring, room for emeralds, and looks like ring will help protect pearl)
    3) http://www.stuller.com/products/6245/?groupId=31359 (room for emeralds, don't see much protection)
    4) http://www.stuller.com/products/6423/?groupId=85205 (classic look, but no protection for pearl)
    5) http://www.stuller.com/products/6305/?groupId=31901

    Also, since the settings at "Stuller.com" all require a loose pearl and stone to be purchased separately, any recommendations on where I should look to make that happen? Plus, I'll need to find a jeweler that not only will put this all together for me, but can also make the purchase from Stuller.com since they only sell to 'qualified members' ... uuhmm, still lots to line up

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    With Stuller, you do have to have an account. They are wholesale only to the trade. I can help you as can any other members that have Stuller accounts.

    Stuller will set the emeralds for you. They have a range of different qualities available with each setting, from synthetic to AAA, which is their highest grade. You would want the settings without the pearl, because you're not likely to get anything that nice from them.

    To give you an idea on the stones, 25522 has two stones, each at 2.25 mm. Using genuine emeralds, the price ranges from faceted commercial standard for under $3 per stone, to more than $50 per stone for diamond cut, AAA.

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