Monday, April 4, 2011

My new cousin wants to copy my ring!

Dear ESB,

I was recently married...literally less than a month ago. Last night, my husband asked me if I still have the contact info for the jeweler he worked with in NY to build my ring (I know, he should have the info himself, but I was the last to work with the guy for our bands...and maybe a little more organized ;). Anyway, I said yes and asked why. He proceeds to tell me that his cousin asked for it because his wife really likes my ring and he would like to buy her the same for their 10 year anniversary.

My question is, should I be OK with this? My husband (boyfriend at the time), worked with this jeweler to find the diamond, find a designer to build the band, etc. - he was in and out of the place probably 10 or more times without me knowing so it was a total surprise when he proposed and I absolutely adore the ring! More than the ring itself though, I love the story behind it and how it makes my ring special and reminds me of our time living in NY (we're in Chicago now), so it bugs me a little how my new cousin wants the exact same ring less than a month after we're hitched...and just for a 10 yr anniversary, no less. Am I just being crazy?

Thanks for your help!

OverbeaRING Bride? (Ha ha! So cheesy, but I wasn't sure if you made these names up yourself or needed suggestions ;)


Dear Overbearing,

Tolerating a copycat or two is the price you and your husband have to pay for being cool.

You get to keep the story about how he sourced the diamond, worked with the designer, went in and out of the jewelry store ten times, etc. All your new cousin will get is a story about how her unimaginative husband went out and bought her the same ring just because she said she liked it.


(Lava Ring by Imogen Belfield with blue sapphires, citrines and fragments of white porcelain via Myan Duong)


  1. Now this might seem a little "sneaky" BUT it is what I would do...I would give the people the contact info but then I would give a little call to the designer and use your developed relationship with him to make sure she doesn't get the same ring. I would just call and ask their policy on "copying original concepts" and let them know that one of the major reasons you love your ring (and will be buying from them in the future) is knowing that no one else will be walking around with it..........I know this is super passive aggressive but that is how I roll sometimes. That way you seem super cool and still have a unique ring...and she will have something kind of similar.

  2. Your husband could always tell his cousin that yall are ok with them using your designer and your design as inspiration, but that you would prefer this ring not be a carbon copy of yours.

    But, if you ask, you can't control whether they respect your wishes about that or not.

  3. I'm with the overbearing bride on this one. If they want the jeweler's contact info - fine. But I would have your husband just be upfront and tell his cousin that he went to the trouble of having your ring custom for a reason: so it would be unique. Knowing that the same ring is on a family member's hand takes away from that.

  4. I say combine Lacy's and Abernacky's suggestions: politely request "similar to" or "inspired by" but not "identical to" on both the jeweler and the cousin fronts.

    And have your husband do it for you; it's his cousin after all. . .

  5. It sounds like your husband is okay with his cousin copying the ring, and since he's the one who helped design it, you should probably just go with the flow. It won't take away from the fact that the design was created especially for you.

    (for the record, though, I'd be super annoyed, too)

  6. ESB is right that being cool begets copycats, but I would still ask the sheep not to copy the ring exactly because you had it custom made so it would be one of a kind.

  7. Yeah I don't think there's any harm in saying, "yes, but also no" on this one, as long as you're nice about it.

    Also, this seems like a classic case of dude-ism gone wrong. Not all guys understand that we ladies are all unique flowers and prefer that our accoutrements reflect said individuality.

    Furthermore, they're also not necessarily aware of the inherent "Don't steal my coolness" rule that exists in girl world or of the fact that we'll be labeled copycat bitches if we walk around wearing the same thing as another girl.

    Your new cousin probably thinks that when she said she liked your ring, it meant she wanted one just like it, but frankly I can't remember the last time I wanted my husband to go out and buy me a carbon copy of something I thought was pretty (except for the rare occasion when I say, OMG I NEED THOSE).

    So really, you'll be doing his gal a favor by suggesting that he work to create something that reflects her own individuality. That's the thing that makes it so cool to begin with anyway.

    Unless of course everyone in this scenario is crazyface and has a secret desire to one-up you on the "Who Wore It Best" page of Us Weekly.

  8. Sorry. Novel.

    Also, just recognizing that this is a gross generalization of dude-ness. But I think it comes down to him missing the mark, not so much about her wanting what you have.

  9. I love all of the nice and polite comments. However, I am not so nice.

    My fiance also designed my ring and it took six months, countless emails/phone calls/AutoCAD drawings and, not to mention, one nail biting future fiancee (me). So if someone, even a close friend or relative, came along asking for the name of our jeweler to replicate my ring I wouldn't give it to them. I would however point them in the direction of another competent jeweler.

    Yes, creating something unique begets copycats but that doesn't mean that you have to make it easy for them to copy you.

  10. There's a decent chance that if he actually gets her the same ring...she'll be mortified. I'd get your husband to suggest that he work with the jeweler to create something in the same general style, but it's a better present if it's not a copy anyway.

  11. I'm with most commenters - you and/or your husband should offer up the contact information but explain how special the ring is and that you'd like to keep it one-of-a-kind. Frankly, I think it's a little rude that your new cousin plans to copy your exact wedding ring. What is that?

  12. (Disclaimer: I'm not even married, but) I agree with everyone else. I know that we should all be adults and be flattered that someone likes our style enough to copy us, but this would really bug me (see Maddie's comment on the "don't steal my coolness" rule), and I don't blame you that you feel the same.
    I agree that your husband should say something to them along the lines of- inspired by but not copying.
    Would it kill me if my husband designed me a ring and later the designer made it for another woman who I didn't know? Not really. Would it kill me if I knew that other woman and had to see it on her? Yes.

  13. Maddie nailed it, the dude just doesn't get it. He's hearing his wife but not listening. Help your new cousin out. Give up the info but explain he needs to put in some personal effort with the design.

    Then, go behind everyone's back and tell the designer it better not be the same.

  14. I'm in a lone boat I think.... Who cares? How often do you have to see her band, and really chances are if the jeweler created it for you, he may suggest and create it for someone else or feature it on his website (like mine is).

    It's just a ring, the symbolism is beautiful and important, but at the end of the day - really it is just an over priced piece of metal and rock...

  15. For what it's worth, I actually have more sympathy for the poor girl who is about to get a rubber stamp anniversary present.

  16. Also, the cousin's wife might not want a matching ring herself!! She might like your ring, and might appreciate "inspired by" look, but might feel just as awkward as you about having an identical ring.

    SAY SOMETHING. Be nice about it, or whatevs, but why should you have to be silent on this one?

  17. I agree 100% with our gracious hostess here. I would be cranky and irritated myself, BUT a) you almost get to be martyr-y about it, AND b) know in your heart that you were cooler (even maybe get to brag on it a little) cause you had it first.

    Those equally childish thoughts (which I would totally have) would cancel out my childish annoyances resulting from the copycat.

  18. Spare the other woman the mortification of receiving an exact replica of your ring. Tell your husband to talk to his clueless cousin and ask him if he really thinks his wife would want the exact same ring someone else in the family wears as a wedding ring. Your husband should encourage his cousin to have one custom made for his wife in a similar style, but stress that ladies don't want knock-offs.

  19. I'm with anonymous. I would be embarrassed if my dopey husband got me a carbon copy of an original ring, simply because I said I thought it was pretty. I mean HELLO ! That's chick language for "hey, hon, get a clue and do something creative like that for me !"

    Tell your hubs to grow a sack and hint that the other hubs design his own ring, too... Or go to MFin Tiffany's.

  20. I'm with anonymous too. My entire family has custom rings (we have a jeweler in the family), and none of us ever want exact replicas of each others rings. The whole point of making a custom ring is that it is unique to you. I would almost consider it insulting on my part if someone went to all the trouble of making something special for someone else, only to wear a copy (I hope that made sense....) I agree, I think the dudes almost get it, but just don't entirely understand, and your new cousin would be happier with something unique. Unfortunately you will have to explain this to your husband well enough so that he can tell his cousin...