May 18, 2016 : Today is the hubs’ 33rd birthday. We are going wine tasting in Napa after he gets off from work. I’m so excited because we get to explore a couple wineries that we’ve never been to before. Our favorite will always be V. Sattui because I just love, love, love the idea of buying wine and cheese and having a picnic on their lawn. We also love the Mondavi and the Castello di Amorosa a lot. But hey! When in Rome, why not get out and explore, right? There are so many gorgeous wineries in Napa Valley. We are so lucky to live only 1 hour 15 mins away.
I stayed up really late last night to finish some work so I felt a bit groggy today. So during this morning’s walk with Jixer (our Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix 7-year old dog), I brought my camera along with the Tamron 90mm micro lens to try to get some pretty photos of flowers and of my engagement ring. Today marks 5 years since we bought it.
Yup! We got the engagement ring 5 years ago on Henry’s birthday.
Here’s what happened:
By May 2011, Henry and I had been together for about 4.5 years. My co-worker (Maribel) was getting married that year so I was helping her with lots of the details: comparing venues, choosing the color palette, checking out rental companies, things like that. While doing all of this, I pretty much researched and found most of the vendors that I would like to use and where I would like to get married at.
The only problem was, we weren’t even engaged!!!
I came home one day and told Henry that the 5 year mark is coming up. What does he want to do because I am not going to stick around forever (of course that wasn’t true).
We figured the first thing was to get engaged.
The funny thing was, neither of us knew anything about engagement rings.
Check out these flowers on the neighbor’s cactus. She has so many that are in bloom right now. It’s so impressive! I didn’t know that cactus has flowers. The petals look so thin but so perfectly geometrical from every direction. She was watering the plants while I stood there for about 2 minutes trying to photograph them.
The first thing we did was going online to learn more about diamonds: the shape, the clarity, where are some stores around town that we can go to see them in person? Henry wanted me to go with him to look at rings so he can see what style I like.
Before going to an actual store, we set our budget for $3,000.
We told ourselves that we do not want to go over that amount.
Ring shopping was really depressing at first.
When we went to the jewelry store, everything that I liked was $6000, $7000, $10,000. They were way out of our budget. (Insert crying emoji here!!!!)
HERE ARE THE 5 STEPS TO SHOPPING FOR A DIAMOND:
1. CHOOSING THE DIAMOND SHAPE: Round, Princess, Oval, or Heart?
I knew right away that I want a round cut diamond. To me, a round cut diamond has the most shine.
2. CHOOSING The Diamond Color: D, F, G or H?
Color refers to a diamond’s lack of color, grading the whiteness of a diamond. D is the highest grade and Z is the lowest.
3. CHOOSING The Diamond CUT: Ideal, Very Good or Good?
The very good cut gives the diamond a better shine so we wanted to stay within these values.
4. CHOOSING The Diamond Clarity: Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2
5. CHOOSING The Diamond Size: Of course we wanted the size but we didn’t want to sacrifice the clarity. But to get both, it would have been way out of our budget.
At the advice of the salesman, we started looking at loose diamonds instead of already-assembled rings. For Henry and I, we would rather get a better quality diamond than a larger diamond if it is to be of poorer quality.
After our third visit to Samuel’s Jewelers, we found the loose diamond we wanted. The next step was to look for a ring with the setting that I like.
I’m not sure what happened but on that day, May 18, 2011, when we were supposed to go to the mall so Henry can buy some clothes, he bought me an engagement ring instead.
After we found the loose diamond we wanted, me and the salesgirl found this vintage ring that I really liked. I always thought that I just wanted a plain ring but when I saw this setting, my heart fluttered a bit. There was a heart carved into the front and back side of the ring. It came with a small .25 carat diamond that disappeared into the ring itself.
So while Henry browsed the internet on his phone, me and the salesgirl talked it all out. We are going to customize this ring, take out the .25 carat and put the new diamond in. The one we chose was half a carat. And to make it more prominent, they are going to lift the diamond up a bit. I am going to get a brand new custom ring. I was thrilled!!!
With a 3-year warranty on the setting and lifetime warranty on the diamond, everything comes out to be $3300. I told her repeatedly that our budget is $3000 so after some time, she went to talk to her manager and got us out the door at $3,000, warranty and everything!!!!!
I was over the moon!!! Henry, however, was not. He told me in the car that he was hoping I wouldn’t know what the ring looks like yet. He really wanted that to be a surprise.
They held the ring and diamond back so that the technician can work on it in the next several days. Surely enough, 5 days later Henry got the call to come pick it up.
(Just for clarification, this is not the loose diamond that we picked out together. I am going to write another blog soon on why and share how Henry and I got engaged, which was a surprise for us both.)
Soon, I promise!!!!
Thank you for tuning in to this very long post. I did not intend it to be like it. I felt crappy today so I wanted to take some pretty photos to make myself feel better. I didn’t realize it’ll end with me writing something so informational. You can learn more about diamond rings at Blue Nile. That’s where we learned the most about diamond rings when we started the process.
Share with me what you thought of this post? I would love to hear your engagement story as well so share away!!!! If you are on FB or IG, come by to say hi!
Thanks so much!