PW Reader Ring: Samantha & Larry!

Samantha's one-of-a-kind ring.

Samantha’s one-of-a-kind ring.

The Couple: Samantha and Larry from Titusville, NJ.

The Ring: The ring is made from platinum and features a stunning center stone. It’s a two-prong setting that swirls around the diamond to keep it safe. The ring was designed by Diana Vincent in Washington Crossing, PA. Larry picked it out all by himself, but he knew I had my eye on this particular designer! I wanted something unique and modern, unlike all of the antique designs I’ve been inundated with recently. It’s simple and elegant and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My favorite part is the fact that Diana’s workshop is local and they don’t mass-produce their jewelry; they custom make every single ring.

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PW Reader Ring: Neha & Jack!

Neha's "moi y toi" ring!

Neha’s “moi y toi” ring!

The couple: Neha Sachdev and Jack Herrmann from Philadelphia.

The ring: It’s a sterling silver band with a round-cut diamond and a round-cut ruby, with smaller diamonds inset in the band. I love it because it’s totally unique and exactly what I wanted.

He designed it himself, with input from my best friend. I always knew I wanted a “moi y toi” ring, which is a two-stone ring that stands for “me and you.” I love the meaning of the ring, and since red is the color of marriage in Indian culture (my parents are from India but I’m US born), I wanted a diamond and a ruby. My best friend helped pick some design ideas, but he did most of it on his own and worked with a jeweler in New York to have it custom made. It’s perfect!

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PW Reader Ring: Colleen & Joe!

Colleen's ring!

Colleen’s ring!

The couple: Colleen Kirk and Joe Yurkanin, Philadelphia.

The ring: The center stone of my ring is my grandmother’s. My mom had shown it to me years ago, and I actually hated it in my grandmother’s setting, but then last year she had it cleaned up and taken out of the setting, and I loved it! It has a very pale yellow color to it, which gives it this vintage look that I love.

I had told Joe, and he asked my mom if he could have it, and she said yes. Joe then went shopping all around Jewelers’ Row, but settled on Safian & Rudolph, because they understood his vision and were willing to work with him on the customized one-of-a-kind look he wanted. I emailed him cool rings when I saw them, and they were always emerald cut (even though I didn’t know he had asked my mom for the diamond), so he had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. In the end, the stone is set in 14-karat white gold with 16 round diamonds in the halo.

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PW Reader Ring: Lizzie & Jonny!

Lizzie's ring!

Lizzie’s ring!

The couple: Lizzie Johnston and Jonny Friedman from Marlton.

The ring: My ring is a Hearts on Fire white-gold ring with a round center diamond with a squared halo around it, and diamonds going down the sides. My fiance was deployed in Afghanistan last year, and we talked endlessly about all of the things we were looking forward to when he got home. One of those things being getting engaged and moving in together!

While Jonny was away, my sister and I went to Bernie Robbins Jewelers in Marlton to have some fun and try on rings. I fell in love with this ring immediately! My sister even created a PDF file for Jonny to make it easy for him to pick out the ring when he got home, noting what I was looking for in a ring, and which rings I liked and didn’t like. The file has since become very popular, especially with the salesman at Bernie Robbins who helped Jonny when he brought it into the store to pick out my ring!

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PW Reader Ring: Kate & Jon!

Kate's ring!

Kate’s ring!

The couple: Kate Toy & Jon Bettner from Mount Laurel.

The ring: My fiance and I designed my ring with Sal from Canzi Creations on Jewelers’ Row. I knew that I wanted a two-toned ring, and, with so many friends engaged or nearly engaged, something different. After a few design sessions it wound up being a yellow-gold intertwined band set with pave diamonds, with a cushion-cut center stone and a white-gold pave-diamond halo.

My mom took one look at it and said, “It’s you,” but to me, it’s us. I get to look down at my ring and have great memories of Jon and I designing it together, and him saying—probably for the first and last time—”Get anything you want.” (And who doesn’t want to hear that when you’re picking out diamonds?” Even though designing the ring took a little but of the surprise away, Jon knew that when he officially asked I would still love it.

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Put a Ring On It: Today is National Proposal Day

PW-ProposalDay

Now here’s a made-up holiday we can get behind.

Apparently, today is not only the first day of spring, it’s also National Proposal Day. And while the day may elicit actual proposals, the point is more to inspire the putting-a-ring-on-it conversation by encouraging couples to “raise the subject of marriage proposals in a light-hearted and non-threatening manner” and “get a glimpse of how the person you love might feel about a marriage proposal,” says ProposalDay.com.

Proposal Day creator John Michael O’Loughlin came up with the holiday because he was frustrated by his cousin’s boyfriend who hadn’t yet popped the question after years of dating. O’Loughlin also names his most eligible bachelor and bachelorette each Proposal Day. This year’s picks? Prince Harry and Taylor Swift, with runners up Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Stone. Good choices, indeed.

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PW Reader Ring: Jessica & Greg!

Jessica's ring!

Jessica’s ring!

The couple: Jessica Abel and Greg Phillips from Bella Vista.

The ring:  My custom-made cushion-cut diamond set in platinum was designed by NYC-based Leon Megé (with input from Greg). Greg never went to NYC and completed the entire purchase remotely. He’s the co-founder of Kwelia, a start-up that quantifies the rental value of apartments, and was traveling to client sites in the fall. When not on the road, Greg was trying to spend more time with me in Ithaca, where I’m completing the final year of my MBA at Cornell. He created a secret email address and had Leon (and other jewelers he initially corresponded with) email photos, videos and other details. After reading a lot of reviews and fielding phone calls with a cadre of jewelers, Greg was ready to make the purchase! He picked out the design himself and received the ring via FedEx in Philadelphia. Here’s my ring on YouTube!

The proposal: The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I drove back from Ithaca for the holiday. Greg was with me in Ithaca two weeks prior, but told me he was going to leave for Philly on Friday (a few days earlier than we planned) to hang out with some fellow Cornell Delta Upsilon fraternity alums who would be in town. Little did I know, he was also picking up the ring from FedEx, asking my parents for their blessing and planning an epic engagement dinner.

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PW Reader Ring: Amanda & John!

Amanda's ring!

Amanda’s ring!

The couple: Amanda Neuber and John Haggerty from Philadelphia.

The ring: My ring is an oval diamond surrounded by a double halo and set in a white-gold double band. John and I talked about getting married on our very first date. It was one of those “when you know, you know” moments that everyone hears about but no one believes will ever happen to them.

About 10 months into our relationship, my mother offered us the use of her engagement ring. (My parents’ house had been robbed in 2010, and although just about all of her jewelry was stolen, her wedding set—which was dated and didn’t fit anymore—didn’t get taken. “It should have been gone,” she had told us. “There’s a reason it wasn’t stolen, and I want you to have it.”)

The oval stone was perfect, but since my parents were married in 1979, the setting needed some updating. John took the ring to his good friend, Barry, of Barry Jay Jewelers in Springfield. Because he knows that I am a control freak, John let me have one meeting with Barry to discuss my dream ring, and to get sized. I brought a Pinterest board, obviously. I thought the idea of a double halo was cool, and I knew I wanted white metal. After that initial consultation, John (lovingly) forbade me from having anymore say, and he and Barry took it from there! The results? Amazing. It truly is my dream ring.

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PW Reader Ring: Zofia & Alex!

Zofia's ring!

Zofia’s ring!

The couple: Zofia Wleklinski and Alex Wolicki, Philadelphia.

The ring: My ring is 18k-white-gold with a round center stone surrounded by a halo of small round-cut diamonds. The band is a split shank with small round-cut diamonds extending halfway down the sides. The ring is an original design from Max Weiner on Philadelphia’s Jewelers’ Row.

I had been sending Alex not-so-subtle emails with pictures and links to rings I liked: very ornate, antique rings. One day, we were out running errands around the city together and he just blurts out, “Ok, so I have been trying to get rid of you so I can go look at engagement rings. I don’t know how to do it without just telling you, so do you want to come or go home?” And although I had never thought I would want to go try rings on with him, I  immediately found myself excitedly saying yes. (I mean, I was going to put shiny things on my finger … not an opportunity I could pass up!)

At the first store he had on his list I asked to try on one of the ornate, vintage rings in the first case I saw. I put it on and immediately hated it. We tried on a few more and I found that I liked a more simple ring with a thin band—a style I had never looked at before. I was immediately glad I had decided to go with him!

We moved onto Max Weiner, and there I saw the most beautiful ring that immediately caught my eye. I tried it on and couldn’t take it off. It was just perfect … and well over  budget. Max said we could exchange the diamond for a smaller and less clear cut to bring into budget, which was something that I was fine with doing—and so with that, we left the store and I was finished looking. I knew that I had found one I really loved and that now, he had a good idea of what I was looking for. Never did I expect to receive the exact ring I had tried on in the store.

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PW Reader Ring: Erin & Mike!

Erin's ring!

Erin’s ring!

The couple: Erin Pollock and Mike Gilbert of Horsham.

The ring: My ring features one large, square-cut diamond surrounded by 16 smaller diamonds in a white-gold and platinum setting. My favorite element of the ring is the twisted double band, also lined with smaller diamonds. I didn’t believe in picking out a ring myself or emailing links and pictures (I only wanted a ring that he had taken the time to pick out himself, and assured him he knew me well enough and that he had never disappointed me before!), but I also didn’t leave Mike completely in the dark. When he first brought up the subject of getting engaged many months before, I had only mentioned that I preferred a square cut. He had asked a couple times if I wanted to stop in the jewelry store and point a few out, but I had always declined.

Nevertheless, when I stopped in Jared to have a couple necklaces cleaned earlier this year, I somehow found myself glancing at the engagement ring section during my wait. I noticed a ring with a twisted band and snapped a quick shot on my iPhone. Then, I later casually/not-so-casually mentioned to Mike that I liked the design and showed him the picture. I told him it didn’t have to be that exact ring. Weeks later, unbeknownst to me and with some help from a friend who covered for him while he shopped, he bought a similar, yet even more gorgeous ring at Jared.  I couldn’t have done better myself, and to me, not seeing the ring until he opened the box and asked me to marry him only added to the surprise and made it that much more special.

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