Eventually, we filed an insurance claim with our renter's insurance. Allstate was so great about our claim that when we had to buy homeowner's insurance and changed car insurances, I insisted we go with them because they were so easy to work with. Eventually, I started talking to the folks at Green Lake Jewelry Works, because I have always loved their custom work, but the idea of outsourcing the ring to a company in Seattle just made me a little iffy, and the idea of picking a diamond on the internet was even more disquieting. We talked about a non-diamond, and I was on the fence, and so I stayed on the fence for awhile. Eventually we decided to go with moissanite and were in the process of actually making decisions when my cousin called me and offered me my grandmother's engagement ring.
I was incredibly close to my grandparents. My grandmother died shortly after we got married, and was too ill to come to our wedding, but we were very close and I loved her so much. As soon as my cousin gave me her ring, I immediately stopped dragging my feet on the replacement. We went to a couple of jewelry stores, and my other cousin recommended Berman's. The woman who helped us looked at my stone, and then asked me what I was thinking about. I said I wasn't sure if we wanted to resize or pick a stone off the rack or get something custom, and I asked if I could just try stuff on to get a feel for what I liked. She nodded and asked me about my tastes. She started with, "the halo settings are very popular". I shook my head, because they're just not my style, and so we started pulling out other stones. There was a pretty one with an antiquey etching look to it, which is a style I like, but it wouldn't sit flush with my wedding band. I started to feel a little discouraged. I was really starting to want to not go through the custom process again, for a number of reasons. I nudged M. out of the way and started looking at the halo settings I had turned down earlier. And then, there it was. In the bottom of the display case was a ring with intricate metalwork, accent stones, and a leaf motif.
"That one." I said, urgently. I knew before she even handed it to me that it Was Mine. I proceeded to wear it for the next half hour while we discussed soldering my wedding band to it, while we discussed sizing, while she appraised my grandmother's stone. She popped my grandma's stone out of the setting and put it in the ring and I smiled so hard I was concerned my face would break.
We opted to have my wedding band soldered to the engagement ring, which I was a little concerned about but looks great and keeps everything in place, which is important because it makes them seem more flush.
The ring is from Jolie Designs and they also make the same design in a wedding band with no center stone, which I think is cool. It's white gold, but looks good with my palladium wedding band (especially after they shined the heck out of it!) I'm still really surprised I was able to find something I liked in the store, because all of the other rings we looked at were so different from this one.
Ultimately, I'm pretty happy with our decision to replace my ring, but I also think that if I had simply opted not to, I would have gotten by as well. I'd gotten very used to wearing my simple wedding band and it made life easy - I could wear it and do anything, which is nice. My new setting is on the higher side, which I'm getting used to. I also fought a lot internally with the idea I didn't deserve a new ring, which was why I was so grateful when my cousin offered me my grandmother's ring. Somehow it felt different than simple vanity to get a new ring - it was a way to bring new life into something that wasn't being used, it was a way to remember and honor my grandmother on a daily basis, and it was more than just an engagement ring.