Monday, March 16, 2009


After settling on the diamond, Mr. Bruschetta and I waited awhile before starting the search for the perfect setting. In spring 2007, a Hearts on Fire design caught my eye. The now-retired Optima set featured a wedding band with seven Dream diamonds, and an engagement setting with three stones on either side of the center prong. (Below is the wedding band, viewed from two different angles.)


I loved everything about the wedding band, but was hoping for a simpler engagement ring -- one that still mimicked the gentle curve of the Optima prong, and had the same caret-like design under the center diamond. After considering our options, Mr. Bruschetta and I asked for more information about using CAD (computer-aided design) to create a version of the Optima engagement setting without side diamonds.


Since I had heard success stories from other brides-to-be who had custom-made rings, I was confident (initially) that it would work out for us, as well.

Unfortunately, the process did not go smoothly. Between visits to the store to consult on the design, we were often kept waiting four to six weeks. And, each time Mr. Bruschetta and I came in, the wax model never looked any different, and most closely resembled a cheap-o toy ring you could get out of a 25-cent machine.


The jeweler continued spinning his web of lies, telling us the chunky design would become considerably more delicate once it was cast in platinum. Foolishly, we believed him -- and unsurprisingly, were greatly disappointed with another boring, thick circle, this time in dull, scratched, grey metal.

During what should have been an exciting, memorable time -- designing an engagement ring together -- Mr. Bruschetta and I argued frequently, worrying about the jeweler's poor communication and apparent confusion with our vision.

Several stressful months later, we opted to stop the CAD process, and -- for a short while -- severed our relationship with the jewelry store (which, for obvious reasons, shall remain nameless). We discussed springing for the Optima set, but it was far above the amount we had budgeted for a bridal set -- and really wasn't what I had envisioned all along.

After a brief hiatus from any engagement talk whatsoever, we (amazingly) returned to the offending jewelry store, opting to work exclusively with the salesman who introduced us to Hearts on Fire -- who had treated us with respect from the first day we met him, and was distressed by the troubles we'd had with the store jeweler.

With one goal in mind -- finding a simple solitaire so we could get engaged some time soon! -- I acted hastily, selecting a cathedral solitaire in platinum. I wish I hadn't brushed off suggestions to pick a simple white gold setting to temporarily hold the diamond. I blame the stress and hassle of the CAD process: I managed to convince myself that I liked (nay, loved) the cathedral solitaire far more than I actually did. When Mr. Bruschetta proposed in November 2007, it was with this setting. And at the time, I was ecstatic to be engaged to Mr. Bruschetta, and couldn't stop staring adoringly at the Dream diamond. But, our engagement ring saga didn't end after it was safely on my finger...

Did you have issues custom designing your engagement ring?

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