It’s amazing how tireless women can be when going after something they want. This statement is applicable in personal situations, the working world, and in this specific case (as most of us nuts know) – this is unbelievably true when it comes to having an item or possession that you can’t get out of your mind. Whether it’s that little black dress (that you feel should be easy to find), that specific pair of shoes you’ve created in your brain, or that piece of jewelry of which you’ve seen variations on other people – you can close out the shopping mall on a desperate hunt for what you’ve convinced yourself exists. This might sound a little silly; I mean, it’s just a possession, it’s just a decoration. But I think this goes further back than that. As we grow older and start migrating away from the weekly purchases of $8 accessories that sparkle for about an hour, I feel like we think back to when we were little girls, envious of our Mother’s sparkling jewels. Most of the time we were most in awe of the pieces that dazzled even after 20 plus years of wear. We might even start to think that it’s time that we put some cash or thought into a few decent staples that fit us like a glove, and that we’ll have forever.
I began this kind of thought process and search about a year ago, when I became determined to find the perfect ring. Something reasonable, pretty, and something that in five years I’m going to have to pry off my hand. Why was I so adamant on finding this? For one, I work in Communications, meaning I’m always meeting with someone and talking to somebody – and therefore am also usually flailing my hands around to add emphasis to what I’m saying. The paws have to look semi-decent in the workplace. Another reason, and a more basic one at that – is that the rings I notice on my friends are the ones that they hardly switch up, regardless of the outfit. I don’t ever get a chance to notice the practically disposable ones which are tossed into the depths of a jewelry bowl, never to be seen again after one wear. And so began the avid search. I looked at:
Flea markets and vintage sales:
Pro – There are SO many funky things at these sales, and you can trust that whatever you pick up has a fantastic story behind it. You’ll find many unique pieces, gemstones and concepts that are most likely one in a million.
Con – Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly the materials in the ring, and therefore whether or not it will turn colour, last without breaking, or wear away. Unless an educated jeweler is selling the ring, even they might not know exactly what you’re working with.
Accessible Upscale Chain Stores (eg: Banana Republic, Coach, BCBG):
Pro – These stores are unbelievably on target with current fashion trends, while still staying timeless and classic. This means you’re very likely to find a piece of jewelry that appeals to you, is sparkly, unique and sturdy in make.
Con – You’d be surprised how few of their pieces (despite clocking in at anywhere from $35 to $150) are actually made with sterling silver or gold plate. Although beautiful in appearance, even some of the most expensive pieces admittedly are made with nickel or gold tone – and might turn the band that icky green after a few wears. If you’re OK with that – go for it, because the pieces are still extremely fashionable!
Online Jewelry Retailers:
Pro – As we all know, the internet is our oyster – type in what you want and you will find someone who’s selling it. So, if you search “gold-plated Turquoise ring”, you’ll be pulled towards amazingly resourceful retailers like Beso or ShopStyle.com who will have a number of options and designers for you to browse through.
Con – I don’t know about you, but like shoes, rings are something I would like to try on before I hand over my credit card number. I never know how the tone of the ring will look in the light of day on my finger, compared to how it looked on a computer screen. So, if you’re anything like me, you might want to try that $100 puppy on first.
In conclusion, the hunt is over. Where did I find my precious baby ring? Well, I found it with the power of traipsing around…wait for it…on foot. I jaunted all over the city in the heat, the snow, and the rain – for what’s felt like a lifetime, and I found it a lovely Ottawa store called True Bijoux, which is less than four blocks from my work (secretly sighing about that). During the ring search, I started exploring jewelry companies that might seem like they only market one thing (necklace, bracelet, etc.), but actually have all sorts of different lines. I looked at the Pandora bracelets ages ago, and then figured I would browse through their rings – and that’s where I found what clicked. It fits like a glove, sparkles with little diamonds, and didn’t break the bank. The line is also sold at Magpie, which has three Ottawa locations. Moral of the story, after stopping buying $10 pieces of jewelry every four minutes, you’d be surprised what you can save up for – and what you’ll inevitably enjoy for years to come.
So, check out the ring bling each of us nuts sport! In a nutshell, these things really are a girl’s best friend.
Jess wears: 1. Pandora “Kerry” diamond ring with beaded Sterling Silver 2. A vintage 1970s Gold zig-zag ring that was passed on by Mom.
Kaylee wears (from top left) 1. Banana Republic 2. Maison Martin Margiela from SSENSE. 3. Gift from grandparents when they were in Italy. 4. David Yurman graduation gift
Meg wears: Sterling silver staple from Magpie jewelers – she couldn’t get this baby off if she tried!
Kate wears: Vintage 1960s opal and gold ring from Australia, also passed on by Mom.
Cat wears: a vintage hand-me-down from Mother goose.