I buried my engagement ring.
Unfortunately, I'm completely serious.
Quick story time: We were planting fruit trees and I didn't want to get dirt in my rings, so I stuck them in my back pocket. The same back pocket that I stuck my phone in. Which I checked periodically like the screen-addicted millennial I am.
Several hours and six trees later, I finish washing up and go to return my rings to my finger, and my engagement ring is gone. Just poof. Not to be seen anywhere.
We purchased a metal detector and spent HOURS scouring our 2.25 acre property. Every dew bead on a blade of glass had me whiplashing to and fro for months.
It came time to accept it. My precious ring was gone.
Grainy OG engagement photo. May she forever rest in peace. 🤧
But like the jewelry obsessed/content creator that I am, I decided to try out a few rings on the cheap cheap to see which ones I could recommend for y'all, and let me tell ya – I found some gooduns. Whether you're looking for your original engagement ring, shopping for a vacation-safe option, or just want to switch up your jewelry game from time to time, here's an honest review of the *most favoritest* of the ones I've tried to date.
Because when I tell you I tried a lot…
My Not-So-Easy Requirements:
- Relatively simple solitaire
- Round cut preferred, but willing to explore other shapes
- Dainty band
- White gold or color equivalent
- Durable for daily wear
- 2.5+ ct. preferred (read: unapologetically boujie)
Over the last year, I've rounded up a whopping 10+ engagement rings, but here are the four I find myself wearing the most.
Coming in 4th place, the Zhedora Solitaire on Etsy.
I opted for the simulated diamond in 14k gold, currently retailing at around $275. As the most expensive ring on the list, I had high hopes for this sucker. It's simple yet elegant design had me chucking my credit card at the screen faster than you can say “butter my biscuit.”
After wearing it for months, here are my thoughts:
- Smooth, rounded edge makes it a comfortable wear.
- Only precious metal on the list, so higher quality.
- Quarter sizes ensured I had the best fit possible (I'm a 5.75 on that finger, so it's pretty specific)
- High cathedral setting makes for an easy clean, but catches on a LOT of things.
- Six prongs provided a secure grip, but I still wish it had less.
In the end, I decided this wasn't the ring for me. While it ticked many of the requirements on my list, the six prongs and constant snagging had me looking elsewhere.
It was around this time that I discovered Modern Gents and BOY OH BOYYYY did I go hog wild. This shop is a dream and a half. By my count, they had almost 50 engagement ring options, and every. single. one. fell somewhere between $50-100 each (they're literally always having sales, so I highly doubt the full listed price is ever the price, but hey, if the Kohl's model is working for them, who am I to judge?).
So naturally, I bought seven of them.
[It's a write off, right?] ✍🏻
Ring #3 – The Wild Card
The Kira holds a 3 carat tear drop simulated diamond, held up by three prongs and snuggled in a little side halo. The metal is 925 sterling silver with an 18k rose gold plating. I don't know what possessed me, but I shirked almost every requirement above on the off chance this puppy could sway my style.
Talk about stepping outside my comfort zone.
I loved almost everything about her, but she still wasn't my number one:
- Again, lovely rounded edges made for an easy wear.
- Surprisingly, the pointy edge never got too stabby. That could be the bands I wore with it, but it's worth noting.
- Half sizes meant I either had to go under or over my ring size by a quarter. Not a deal breaker, but not preferred.
- Unique color, but doesn't last. After on and off wear for several months, the rose gold is all but gone on the tops of the prongs and base of the ring.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I take my rings off for everything. And I do mean everything (obvs, that's what got us started on this journey). Washing my hands, putting on makeup, smoothing out lotion, sleeping, everything. I absolutely loathe the feeling of dirty rings, and have lost a small stone from a previous ring during a gentle hand washing.
TLDR; I baby my rings.
I knew that the color wearing off had nothing to do with aggressive use, damaging products, or even a quick hand wash, and I only wore it sporadically. I can only imagine how quickly the plating would have deteriorated if I hadn't been so meticulous.
Final thoughts – beautiful ring, short shelf life. If you're down to replace the ring once or twice a year, this could be the one for you. Or maybe you're like me and just want to switch things up every once in a while, but won't be wearing it regularly. She sure is cute, but she ain't built to last.
Our Second Place Pick – The Daily Wearer.
The Chelsea is a rhodium plated 925 sterling silver base with a mega 3 ct. round cut simulated diamond in yet another side halo. She was sooo close to being number one, but because of a weird interaction and a bit of a grudge, I can't give her the top spot:
- Rounded edge we've come to expect, and a relatively thin band.
- Four prongs that nestled low, rarely (if ever) snagging on a single thing.
- Again half sized, but we deal.
- Under-halo for added pizzaz, but with quite clunky prongs.
- Simple, elegant, and perfect for daily wear.
- Rhodium plating is long gone, but at least it matches the sterling silver underneath, so it's meh.
So why didn't she hit the number one spot, you ask? A really bizarre influencer/brand interaction.
Betcha didn't expect a cup of piping hot tea when you clicked this link, did ya?
After realizing how much my audience would probably enjoy these rings, I attempted to sign up for their partner program. Five times. It never worked. Different emails, different browsers, over the span of several months – I couldn't get in. As luck would have it, though, I got an email back from them (after a hefty bit of pestering online). It was from their influencer relations manager, who went from wildly excited to work with me [quote: We do want to explore the full video option!] to complete ghosting.
No response for months. There seems to be a pattern here…
I ended up knowing someone who knew someone, and after a bit of behind-the-scenes prodding, finally heard back. Four months later with a “sorry for the delay” to soften the blow. Only to be ghosted yet again.
Does this affect the design or function of the ring(s)? Absolutely not.
Does this mean I loved my experience with the company? Also absolutely not.
Listen, I don't expect everyone to want to work with me. I may be an Enneagram Three, but I'm not THAT vain. But when they advertise a program and make it impossible to sign up for? That's just silly.
Alas, because of my embittered heart and the quickly eroded rhodium, I took to the interwebs for my dream ring once more.
And then I found her. My sweet Hannah from AmberJonesCoDesigns on Etsy.
A stunning 3ct. CZ with the daintiest half-infinity band you ever did see, and frankly the closest to my original ring I had seen to date. Let's take a look at her highlight reel, shall we?:
- Pave half-infinity band was smooth to wear, which can be hard to find with side diamonds.
- 1mm band making me swooooon
- Another under halo, but with a slimmer prong setting to let the stones shiiiiiinneee.
- Only comes in full sizes, but that's only a quarter size up from my normal size. May be a deal breaker for you, but doesn't affect me much.
- Comes from a small shop owned by a cutie couple. Doesn't change the ring, but it feels good to the soul.
- Biggest drawback – she sits HIGH. And I'm talking like nosebleed in the stadium status, which wouldn't be a problem *except* for the bands I paired her with…
- Biggest win – the bands.
Can I pick a winning ring based off completely separate rings? Is that even allowed?
DISCLAIMER: The combination of Hannah + Lily + Hazel is borderline criminally unsafe. The super high seated stone next to the Art Deco-esque bands is a stabby stab situation just waiting to happen. And it does. Multiple times a day.
But. I. Cannot. Stop. Staring.
The whole “starburst” ring look is most definitely a fad. We will look back one day and be able to spot a roaring '20s engagement with those spokes poking about every which way, but that's the thing about fads – they turn into beautiful bookmarks of history.
DID I JUST MAKE THIS POETIC? YAH HUH.
And yet somehow through all of this, I forgot to mention the best part: all three of them COMBINED were under $100. With free shipping and whopping $8.17 in sales tax, I'm pretty sure this falls into the shut-up-and-take-my-money category.
Let me know one is your is your favorite, and why is it Hannah?
This post contains affiliate links (but not for ModGentsss 😬), which means you won't get charged anything *extra* but we might get a little somethin' somethin' outta the exchange.