By Sarah Pfledderer with Jordan Lemke
Picking a beautiful engagement ring can be difficult enough, especially if your partner-to-be is in for a complete surprise proposal. But picking out a ring for a jeweler? Now that’s, ahem, intimidating.
Thankfully, Allison Neumann’s—owner of Allison Neumann Fine Jewelers—beau had the perfect approach in mind when he popped the question during a Canadian getaway.
To her credit, Neumann did have a hunch a proposal was right around the corner—er, atop a scenic lookout point. When her future Mr. plopped down on one knee and presented her with a box, she was delighted by what was inside and what was to follow. Spoiler alert: Not a diamond ring or the wedding planning.
“I opened it, and it was like an oval-shaped white sapphire,” Neumann says. “He explained, ‘This isn’t the ring, this is just something for you until we make your ring.’”
The “faux” stunner was meant to be “a token” of the moment, Neumann says, or a physical piece to cherish from the proposal and to wear while she designed the ring of her dreams.
A few months later, from behind the counter of her downtown shop, Neumann says the faux approach has only recently taken off. But there’s good reason(s) her clients and other wishful couples might want to consider it. Pulled from her personal experience—and 18 years professionally—here’s her tokens of wisdom for guys and gals considering following the “faux” way.
You can have your cake and eat it, too
Or, have your surprise and make a real ring, too. If the proposer has high hopes to surprise their other half, a faux ring takes the pressure off of getting the ring just right. Instead of sweating the four Cs they can focus on making the moment as memorable as possible. And as Neumann puts it, “You won’t blow your budget on something she may or may not like.” Which leads to the next point…
The ring-wearer can pick out something they actually like
“Traditionally, I think, you don’t get the opinion of whoever you’re proposing to,” Neumann says. “That still fine, but you cannot get the opinion on a faux ring instead.
“I think a lot of guys, really do want the women’s input. They want to make sure, especially if they’re designing something custom, they know exactly what she wants.” And in the instance the ring-wearer doesn’t even know what they want…
A faux ring gives the guy or girl time to decide on what they do want
For brides- and grooms-to-be who aren’t quite sure what type of engagement ring they’d like, a faux ring is a chance to “test run” a certain style. Even Neumann had a change of heart. “I had always envisioned an oval for myself,” she says. “But when the time came, and I was actually looking at the diamonds, I looked at my faux oval next to a round diamond, and I was like, ‘I want round.’” As for how she uses her faux ring today? “It’s my right-hand ring.” Which brings up a final point…
Whoever complained about having a little extra bling?
Allison Neumann Fine Jewelers specializes in custom engagement rings, wedding bands, and other jewelry, as well as Montana sapphire jewelry, heirloom redesign, restoration and jewelry repair services. Neumann’s designs have appeared in publications, including yours truly, worldwide and have been worn by celebrities such as Leighton Meester and Azie Tesfai.