I had several requirements, once I actually took the time to think about it. I've done the big diamond solitaire bit: bad marriage, bad memories. Time for something different. And even though I reset the diamond into a new "dinner ring" with more diamonds and a pair of sapphires years ago, I just don't wear it.
I've often thought a ruby or rubies would be nice, especially since the red color is for love. Heck, a red heart would even be nice. Not necessary, but nice. Diamonds are good too, something on the small side, perhaps one or two on either side of a central ruby. Nothing too flashy or set too high, though. I'm left-handed, and still working for a living, and a high profile stone is just asking for snagging and prong wear, and with my dermatographism, would give me reasons to find it uncomfortable and not wear it.
As for the band, yellow gold. White gold contains nickel (though I found out that's in the past, that white gold now doesn't have it. Too many like me allergic, I guess.) Something simple in shape, that can go with a plain slim band.
I know rings like this exist. I've seen the flyers that come out every year around Valentine's day. They're not hugely expensive, another requirement, though I wasn't thrilled with the idea of waiting for the holiday to roll around again just to find something.
Keeping all this in mind, and after several conversations with Steve, I headed over to my favorite jewelry store tonight after work (Goodman's, in Maplewood Mall.) His basic thought was find something I like. I'll be the one wearing it. My thought was hoping I'd find one I liked tonight so I wouldn't have to do any more shopping.
I found a great saleslady, somebody who listened to exactly what I thought I wanted, gave me missing information, such as which rubies were laboratory created and which natural, and the white bands were sterling, not white gold, and once I requested sitting down, dragged all the ruby rings out of the case they were in and over to the one with chairs and a lower top. She never tried to upgrade me or in any way pressure me. She patiently let me try on whatever I wanted, let me know what the sale prices were, let me think.
I came to several conclusions. There were flashy rings on the low price end, and I wound up not liking any of them, including the heart-shaped ones with diamonds on the side. Even the two-heart rings. Nice in concept, not so much in execution. Luckily I didn't wind up liking the expensive rings either. The sterling rings were nice, but I didn't happen to pick one. What I did finally go for is subtle, low profile, and beautiful in its simplicity and complexity.
It has seven stones, lined up in a row, all the same small size, and alternating color: 4 rubies and three diamonds. The rubies are natural and deep red both, something I hadn't expected to be able to find. Apparently with small size they are still available. They do not rise very high off the band, although all are prong set and not channel set. The band is slim and straight, but has a second partial band with what I think of as opposite symmetry, appearing to cross the stone-set band, curving higher on the left and lower on the right. It gives the illusion of two interlocking bands, which is a good thing since I'm thinking of just re-using it as a wedding ring.
It has to be resized, of course, so I'll have it by the end of the month when Steve can put it on my finger. Meanwhile we all have to wait to see it.