Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MANgagement ring for my super cool younger brother

I don't usually post two Dear ESB's in one day, but time is of the essence here:

April 18

Dear ESB,

My adorable younger brother's equally adorable partner called me last night to ask a favour. He is planning to propose to my brother and wants me to help with ring shopping when I visit my home town later this week.

My brother doesn't mind wearing a bit of bling, but in a tongue-in-cheek "I'm gay and loving it" kind of way. I have a feeling that with a ring he'd be wearing forever he'd err on the more traditional side. It'd have to be white gold or platinum or in that colour range at least (he doesn't wear gold), but he loves black so I'm not adverse to the idea of tungsten either. And I think a nice diamond would be, well, nice.

I defer to your sartorial opinion on this matter as men's rings tend to be boring and my brother is anything but.

As his cool older sister I feel like my rep is on the line if I get this one wrong.  Help!


PS: he has long skinny fingers if that makes a difference
PPS: thanks again, and thanks!


May 13

SHIT. I was so excited about this one and somehow I missed the fact that it was time sensitive.

What happened? Did you pick out a ring??


May 13

I have a new appreciation for what guys go through in picking out rings. Seriously hard. Rings look SO different in person than in a catalogue (duh). And picking for someone who doesn't have a distinct 'jewelry style' (and is frustratingly vague during recon conversations) is doubly hard.

My brother's partner has a family jeweler who is making up a ring as we speak. However he's not obligated to buy and he keeps wavering which makes me think it isn't the right ring?

I'll try to send pics of similar styles but would still LOVE to hear your advice. I think it's lovely but maybe a bit boring?

Oh and no tungsten (boo), just straight up white gold, or my preference, platinum.

Thanks again and again


I didn't really like the options the family jeweler came up with (shocker). But I could not for the life of me come up with anything better. I searched THE ENTIRE INTERNET for a cool white gold ring with a little bit of bling.

There are very few cool rings for men at a higher price point that aren't straight-up wedding bands.* I actually emailed COS yesterday to tell her I'd given up the search.

And then late last night my ladies at catbird swept in and told me they could do the Yayoi Forest Belt Ring (with three black diamonds!) in white gold.

I think it's pretty perf.

*Cool jewelers, take note.


  1. I love the one you picked out! I also like this one from blue nile, it has small diamonds but still looks pretty manly to me, although 7.8mm might be a little thick for thin fingers, the second one is a smaller version but not as unique

  2. @Anon those are too SLICK. and too wedding band-y.

  3. ooooh, yeah, i LOVE the forest belt ring.

    cool cool!

  4. Maybe give St. Kilda in Brooklyn a call? The last time I was in there they had started a small men's collection. Nothing seems to be up online yet (unfortunately) but their stuff is always awesome! Lux without being stuffy/wedding band-y.

  5. 1.The belt ring is very sweet.

    2.Why was this impossibly hard? There should be more cool rings for men out there, right? Pathetic. The best of my search was a woman's ring in bronze, which I could very easily see in sterling or white gold on a man:

    The designer works with other metals and may be able to cast it for you in something lighter on the spectrum?

  6. My brother's wedding ring is hammered platinum with s. small dark parallelogram sapphires from family jewelry - Claudia Kussano made it up for him. He's not gay though, but highly design sensitive. Once he got it, he decided it was TOO hammered and he needed something more traditional. So that Needs Tradition urge is verry strong in some.

  7. blugh the belt ring looks so "jewelry television special $99"

    who wants a belt on their finger forever..?

    i think having a classic band is much cooler than TRYING to be cool

  8. Yes to the belt ring! Perf, indeed. It's pathetic that there isn't more of a choice for non-wedding band rings to give guys. In the sprit of throwing more options out there, just in case... I'm a big fan of Bario-Neal, and they can do their Dias ring in any metal and customize it with diamonds or other gemstones (here is a custom example, though gold). I think white gold would look very cool with a few rough diamonds, or a black diamond (or three).

    Aaand, for guys who like jewelry, and for those who keep piping up about having to wear a ring "forever," if the brother likes jewelry, maybe consider the idea my husband and I have adopted. He likes jewelry but doesn't like necklaces or bracelets, and doesn't dress up enough to have many things like cuff links or tie clips, so we decided that he could have as many wedding/marriage bands as he wants. There is an official band, but he also has one we bought together at a street fair, and I have one tucked away for our anniversary next fall. And then there's always the option having a ring re-set or redesigned in the future. No ring is forever if you dont' want it to be.

  9. You finally found a cool one! Nice work. I think I would enjoy being proposed to with this ring if I were a dude.

  10. Ooof that's a tough one. Especially trying to find a little bling that isn't tacky.

    I like the catbird one but if he doesn't like the belt idea here's a couple options from a local jeweler in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles.

    you can add a stone to this ring, though I think it still looks pretty rad as is:

    this one is a bit more plain but still modern and not too wedding-y

  11. I second St Kilda! The Endless Love ring is lovely.,2,12/

    And this ring is really sweet,2,13/

    Also, buckle rings traditionally signify love and friendship, so I think the belt ring is perfect!

  12. Here's a more traditional ring with some small stones:

    recycled and conflict free as well.

  13. Exactly what was said a few comments above; the ring doesn't HAVE to be forever! Our styles and preferences grow and change, just like we do. My fiance was having a tough time narrowing down rings he liked, until I told him, "Don't imagine wearing it for the next 50 years, imagine wearing it for two. And if you see something else you like down the road, we can always get it too." Yes, the ring is symbolic of the commitment, but it's the HANDS that will be carrying out the acts of love and commitment. Hope that helps relieve some pressure! :)

  14. This is a random statement but one of my Professors at university, an astrophysicist (awesome guy i just took first year astronomy) his wedding band was classic gold with stars carved in it... maybe a basic band but with amazing engraving? or enamel accents? personalized but not to far from traditional?