Ice, Ice, Baby

Mr. Hot Cocoa and I have very different aesthetics.  He's traditional and classic; if he were a store he'd be Brooks Brothers or Falconable.  You know that if I could be a store, I'd be Anthropologie -- fun and girly, with a splash of vintage.  So when it came to picking out an engagement ring, Mr. HC said he would pick out the stone, but felt very strongly that I should pick out the setting.  Initially, I was a little bummed about this -- I had a whole fantasy of him surprising me with the perfect ring that he'd designed. But I got over it when I realized that this meant I got to do more shopping. Schweet!

Cue the bling photos.  

At first, I zoned in on an emerald cut stone on a simple pave band.  I really like the emerald cut. It's understated, refined, and modern -- the Natalie Portman of cuts.

But when Mr. HC asked my mom for permission to propose to me (cute, huh?), she told him that under no circumstances could the engagement ring be square shaped.  She had this whole theory of how the stone represented the marriage, and that it's bad juju to have a stone with angles since you want your marriage to be smooth and corner-free.  Oy vey.  I'd never heard of such a theory.  But here's the thing about my mom: she's superstitious and persistent.  Oh, and Mr. HC finds her very intimidating.  Bottom line -- I wasn't getting an emerald cut ring unless I was ready to find myself a new mom and a new fiance.  Given that I'd had the former for 31 years and the latter for close to 15, it seemed a tad inconvenient to find new ones.

After near-talmudic discussions of whether cushion or asscher cuts qualified as "smooth and corner-free," I relented and decided to go with a round stone.  There was still, however, the question of the setting.  A pave cathedral design was lovely, but I was nervous that the thick band might not be comfortable to wear on a daily basis.

An heirloom setting sounded right up my alley, but I wasn't sure what it'd look like in person, and we'd already decided to get our ring online through Brilliant Earth.

One setting that I never thought about was the halo.  It looked like a donut. And I wasn't into any donuts that don't come off a Krispy Kreme conveyer belt.

But then I saw the cover of the Spring 2008 edition of Martha Stewart Weddings.  And my eye zeroed in on the ring on the upper right corner.

Halo.  Pave.  Round.  And so beautiful!  Still a bit unsure about the computer rendering of the halo, I asked Eric Grossberg, the very accommodating co-owner of Brilliant Earth, to send me a picture of a real ring with a halo setting.  He didn't have a picture of the halo with a pave band, but he was able to show me what a halo with a plain band looked like.  To my delight, the real ring was much more delicate and refined than the virtual ring.  And it had a sweet vintage vibe that I completely fell for.  

Ultimately, the ring was still a surprise, since I didn't get to see the whole setting or the stone until Mr. HC proposed.  And while it's not at all what I thought I'd like when I first started looking, I love it and think it's very me:

And here's a closeup (don't be scared off by my hairy knuckles -- I'm 3/4 Chinese and 1/4 werewolf, apparently):
Given the title of this post, there's only one appropriate way to end it.

Word to your mother!

Did you choose your setting, or did your fiance? Did your family have any say in the matter? Do you know of any other quirky theories about rings?

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