The ring...

Next will be the engagement ring. Should I go for the tried-and-tested diamond solitaire? How big is it gonna be? Clarity? Cut? How many months of my salary is it gonna cost?

Hell no I say! Every married women on the street today owns a solitaire. And if you look at them, they are of the exact same setting, from the usual jewelery store. 4 of the biggest chains are from the same company even. So, at some point of time, they must be in those shops, sipping hot floral tea and gazing at the rings. The salesperson will, in broken engrish, give a lecture on the stones. The richer ones will go to more upmarket shops where they will receive the same lecture, hopefully from someone with better engrish.

So, I decided not to let my future wife suffer from having to give a fake expression of shock when I show her the oh-so-common solitaire. And she will be spared from all the bitchy my-rock-is-bigger-and-brighter-than-thou comparisons with the other ladies too.

There was this one design which I fancied back when I was camping in NTU, preparing for my exams. I saw the design in one of those tai-tai magazines where you see brands you don't normally see in HerWorld or Cleo. That particular pearl ring caught my eye but I never thought anything of it.

I once told a friend that pearl rings hold more symbolic meaning compared to diamond as it is something that takes time to nurture, much like love. The answer I got was:

''diamond takes longer what.''

I was kinda stumped because damn she was right. But after some thought, my conclusion is: a marriage is not indestructible like a diamond. Instead, it is more like a carefully nurtured pearl with a beautiful luster. A glowing symbol of love which is anything but indestructible. Many people tend to forget that and take it for granted. A pearl is something which needs to be carefully taken care of and preserved. Every single one of them is unique with some flaws here and there. There is no perfect cut for a pearl. And no, there is no certificate for you to trade in 2 years later.

Pearls also complements her dark skin too.

So, a pearl ring it is! I visited Loang & Noi and was quote some crazy prices for rings of inferior quality. Do not be mistaken that they are no good. It is just that those I can afford are no good. So I have either work my ass off for a few months for that branded couture ring, OR I can seek alternatives. Which I did.

With A LOT of help from my friend, I managed to custom make the ring of my dream. First was the design part where I described what I want. I was told that a baroque pearl of my specification is hard to come across and might be quite costly. If the shape and size is correct, the luster may be questionable. If all goes well, we'll also have to look out for major flaws on the pearl. Sounds like mission impossible. But luck was on my side and we found one that is PERFECT. The moment I set my eyes on it, I passed it back to my friend and said, ''this is it.''

With the pearl selected, we come to the design process where she will design the ring to complement the pearl. And the sketch goes like this

Yellow 18k gold ring, with 2 rows of premium diamonds set on white gold. I initially had the idea of having a raw gold finish. But my friend suggested otherwise. She mentioned that I should go for a high polished finish to complement the pearl for that luxe look.

She had me at 'luxe'. So, polished it is.

After a week, we met up to look at the actual piece

In pre-polished finish without the diamonds set in, one can already see how beautiful it is going to be. And it is one heck of a heavy little ring! The picture do no justice to the luster of the pearl. Gorgeous.

24th of July 07: it is finally ready! Here it is...

The finishing turned out exactly as I wanted it. The soft glowing luster of the pearl is simply alluring. Now... to plan the proposal that would make Shuyi glow in bliss.
Hihi... May i know where did you get the ring done? Can i have the contact? =)
My friend did it for me through her contacts. I'm afraid I cannot give it to you as they don't normally do these orders.

You can get the ring at Noang & Noi where they will infuse the ring with magical powers and sell it at 3 to 4 times the price.

But, it's magical. Really.
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