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In Which Two Panthers Pick a Ring

November 12, 2010

I think it’s about time I share the engagement story, don’t you? Part one, coming at ya.

Mr. Panther and I knew quite a while ago that we wanted to get married in the summer of 2011. Because we wanted to have the ceremony outside, overlooking water of some sort, we knew the date needed to be in the summertime. And Mr. Panther didn’t want to wait until 2012, because he thinks the world is going to end on December 21. He wanted to have a little more than five months to enjoy being married before we all die, I guess.

So, at some point around spring 2009, Mr. Panther started saving for a ring. I’m crazy, crazy picky, so he knew he’d be better off getting my input. And luckily for him, I already had one picked out:


But of course that’s not what I ended up with. Come on! We all know that I never end up going with my first instinct, right?

See, as it turns out, Tacori settings are just a little bit overpriced. Shocker, right? And round diamonds are also the most expensive cut. Between those two things, Mr. Panther wasn’t going to be able to afford very much in the stone department after buying the setting. One of my coworkers has a contact at AmericasMart, which is a big market in Atlanta where vendors sell things to stores. On the jewelry floor, you can buy rings and diamonds almost at-cost, without the price hikes you’d get in a jewelry store. When Mr. Panther went in, he realized that if he bought the setting and the diamond there, he could afford a much better quality center stone. Unfortunately, they don’t sell Tacori settings, so he asked me to reconsider my dream ring.

The idea of a nicer diamond was pretty enticing, so I joined him on another visit. Since I knew I wouldn’t find the unique Tacori setting there, I set my sights on a totally new style: the pavé halo. I brought in lots of photos, and AmericasMart had tons of options. After visiting a few different vendors, Mr. Panther pointed out a setting that had everything I wanted—white gold, a very thin pavé band and very low center stone placement. And that was it: The Ring! The setting was meant for a cushion cut diamond, but the brilliant ovals were more sparkly and a little cheaper, so that’s what we went with. Mr. Panther haggled a little bit, got a seriously great deal (it appraised for twice what he paid!), put down a deposit and that was that! Very romantic, isn’t it?

(Personal photos)

*Swoon* I love my ring. (I don’t know why it looks yellow in that second photo—it’s an F!) Even now, eight months later, I find myself staring at it. But after we bought it at AmericasMart, I couldn’t have it right away. The jewelers needed to set the stone and size the band, and uh, duh, Mr. Panther had to propose. I went home ringless, but so excited.

Next up, how Mr. Panther and I became affianced and I got that sucker on my finger.

Did anyone else pick out your own ring? Do you wish you’d let your man surprise you, or are you glad you sacrificed romance to get exactly what you wanted?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2010 4:42 pm

    #1 Is affianced a word?
    #2 Does Mr. Panther (almost typed his real name!) really think the world is going to end in December 2012?

    • November 12, 2010 4:47 pm

      Of course it’s a real word! (I just double-checked my dictionary because you made me nervous.) And yes, Mr. Panther (you can use his real name on this blog if you want!) believes the Mayan thing. He’s crrrrrazy.

      • November 13, 2010 2:56 pm

        That’s why I’m frantically planning to graduate law school,take/pass the bar and get married all within the same three months in 2012– because I want to be married before the world ends!!!!

        PS- I love the oval shape. I feel like you NEVER EVER see ovals. Although, I am partial to cushion cut (after all, it’s what I have, and it’s what Chuck bought for Blair, but never got the chance to propose) but I think the oval looks soooooo beautiful especially with the halo around it. It makes me want to listen to “halo” by Beyonce.

        Do you know what type of wedding band you’ll get to go with it?

      • November 13, 2010 3:59 pm

        Such a wise choice. You don’t want to meet judgment day without a husband, and a law degree will probably come in handy, too! You know, in the judgment day court?

        I’m secretly still kind of obsessed with cushion cuts — they totally say vintage elegance to me. I loooove yours (and um, need to see more pictures of it!) and obviously Chuck’s Harry Winston, too. I wish we could’ve afforded one that would have fit in my setting! But the oval worked out pretty well — it looks almost cushiony, sort of, doesn’t it?

        NO straight wedding band will sit next to my ring! Because the halo part is so low, it totally sticks out and pushes bands away. And I haven’t found a curved one that’s the right shape yet … I think we’re going to have to either get a custom one, or just cut out a chunk of a straight one and have it welded together with the engagement ring. Such a pain. Oh well!

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