Wedding Rings

Parent Q&A

  • Engagement ring "upgrading"?

    (10 replies)

    My husband suggested that we upgrade my engagement ring.  We were married very young, while still in college, and my ring is beautiful but the diamond is small (about 1/2 carat).  We have been going to professional and social events lately and my husband commented how he is a bit embarrased when I wear the engagement ring to those outings since the other women's rings are significantly more impressive.  It does not bother me and my other jewelry is pretty modest since I don't like flashy but for him the ring stands out. We have the money now to afford a bigger diamond ring but I hesitate.  We have been married nearly 10 years and this was my engagement ring all this time.  I'm concerned that the new ring will just feel like a nice fashion ring and not like my engagement ring and all the sentiment that comes with it.  Anyone had this decision and what did you decide?  Also, for those that did upgrade, what did you do with the old ring?

    RE: Engagement ring "upgrading"? ()

    Would your husband be satisfied if you got an "anniversary" ring that you could wear on the middle finger of your left hand when the occasion warrants it?  My engagement ring is pretty modest, but a few years ago I inherited a diamond ring that I started wearing on the middle finger (keeping my engagement ring on the wedding finger), and my hand looks a bit more loaded with diamonds than it used to, which I guess is what your husband is after.  My new (old) ring does not actually have a very large stone, but is set with smaller diamonds around it, so it looks more dramatic than it actually is.  And worn next to the engagement ring, the overall effect is more dazzling than either ring by itself. 

    You could also take your engagement ring to a jewellery designer and see if there is a way to upgrade it that incorporates the diamond you have, but I sort of prefer the first option, because then you can keep your modest look for everyday wear.  There are definitely occasions when you don't want to be dripping in jewels. 

    RE: Engagement ring "upgrading"? ()

    My husband and I were married when we were young students and had no money, either. I believe he actually bought my engagement ring at a booth on Telegraph Ave? Anyway, for our ten year anniversary we both had upgrades to our wedding/engagement rings. I had a replica made of my engagement ring (at Pave Jewelers), but with better karat gold and a real gemstone (the other one was glass, I’m pretty sure LOL). We kept the old ones (they’re in my jewelry box). We feel more attached to our new rings than the original ones because we feel we renewed our vows and commitment to each other with these new rings. We’ve been married over 20 years now, and are still very happy. Hope this helps. 

    RE: Engagement ring "upgrading"? ()


    I haven't faced this issue, but wanted to pass along an observation.  I  remember attending social events with my former husband's boss, a man of very large income.  His wife still wore an extremely modest engagement ring (probably much less than a half-carat).  Believe me, no one assumed they couldn't afford more bling.  We figured that they'd married young, when that ring represented a big financial commitment, and that she still wore it proudly to honor that fact, and because of how much it meant to her.  I've never forgotten how admirable I found that.  It sounds like you'd kind of prefer to keep your own ring, so maybe he could buy you a more expensive "anniversary" ring for your right hand, if it's really important to him that the jewelry you wear reflect your income.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Where to buy antique wedding ring?

Nov 2008

I recently lost my wedding ring and am thinking of replacing it with an estate piece. I seem to be especially drawn to pieces from the 20s and 30s, but prefer yellow gold to platinum. Any recommendations on good places to look? Alice

So sorry about your ring! One of my favorite stores is the Tail of the Yak, on Ashby just below College. They have a lot of antique jewelry. Also, if I were you I might call/visit Morrison's in Orinda, just opposite the Orinda Theatre. Good luck! Mari has some great antique jewelry. I got my wedding jewelry there, including my engagement and wedding rings. Jennifer

Reliable jeweler for tightening diamond in engagement ring

Aug 2008

My husband got me a beautiful diamond platinum engagement ring from a store in SF (which closed down). The diamond feels a little loose so I would like to get it tightened in the setting. I live in Berkeley and would like to take it to a place that can fix it on the spot, as I have heard a lot of horror stories about stores swapping out diamonds, etc. I just want to have it fixed. Does anyone know a jeweller who is good, reliable and can tighten it up a bit while i wait. i don't mind waiting a little bit either if that means not having to send it away. Any recommendations for trustworthy jewellers in berkeley (or nearby)? thanks very much

I have been using a jewelry in San Francisco in the Giftcenter (which is a wholesale mart for jewelry and gifts). If you don't mind taking a trip to SF, they are located at 888 Brannan Street (8th and Brannan). Place is called ''San Francisco Enterprises'', ask for Ellie. Although there are quite a few jewelry ''wholesalers'', which I use the term loosely since you still have to know what your buying, SFE is one of the few companies there that has their own manufacturing area. They have repaired many items for me, from sizing, stone setting, to making a new custom designed piece for me. It is a family run business, very personable people; and I have trusted them for over 20 years now. Call them at: (415) 255-2111. Edward

You might try Deb Durant. She has her own small studio in Berkeley and is flexible and wonderful. She has fixed, restored, modified and created pieces for me, my mother and my sister. Take a look at her wen site ... Kate

Try Janko Jewelers in Oakland across from the Kaiser Center ( near Lake Merritt pretty close to Children's Fairyland). Parking can be a bit of a hassle, but my dad has a rich friend and she's been taking all her fancy jewelry there for years. If she trusts them with her stuff.... Jean

Jeweler to re-make wedding rings

March 2007

I need to find a reputable jeweler to re-make my wedding and engagement rings. I've heard so many scams about jewelers switching diamonds that I'm afraid to go just anywhere! Thanks! Melanie

Melanie, Both my wife and I understand your reservations about taking your jewelry to just anyone, as we had the same feelings when trying to locate someone to create a new setting for a family diamond for her engagement ring. We live in Alameda and found Mahesh at Park Street Jewelers. He will work with you to create the exact piece you want and will even make wax impressions before he casts the ring(s). His work is flawless and his service outstanding. He did such a great job on the engagement ring, we ended up having him create our wedding bands as well. His pricing is very fair and will work within your budget. Bob

A good friend of mine is a jeweler that works at a small shop in downtown Oakland. I've met the two owners. It's a small shop, they take real pride in their work, and they are very, very trustworthy. They do not overcharge (they'll tell you if you've been overcharged in the past) and they can recognize shoddy work from a mile away. The name of the shop is Janko Jewelers, and my friend's name is Mark (if you talk to him, you can tell him Lisa sent you :) ). The owners are Bill and Nan, very down-to-earth, friendly people. The shop number is 510-836-1586. great to know people in the business

Morrisons Jewelers out in Orinda. It's a very old, very reputable group. My mother has had all her jewelry done there and they are very good and won't scam you.

Given Gold on Piedmont Ave. is very reputable and very good. I would have no hesitation in taking anything to them.

Jeweler to adjust wedding rings

Oct 2006

looking for a jeweler to adjust the sizing of my wedding rings. anyone have any recommendations? thank you!!! cate

I had to have my wedding ring resized recently and used Oaks Jewelers on Solano Ave. They did a wonderful job! I have developed arthritis in my ring finger (with a lot of swelling) and they had to cut off my wedding ring(s)and they then resized them (3 sizes up!). The rings (engagement and wedding) look wonderful, you would never have known that anything happened to them. I paid $120, which was well worth it! Happy with Oaks

J. Sahadi Jewelers on Piedmont Ave is great for custom pieces and repairs!

Where to buy wedding bands/ engagement ring

June 2006

We are looking for wedding bands and an engagement ring. The engagement ring we have in mind is more of a band then a single stone setting. We need advice on quality and wear/tear. Any recommendations of local jewelers who are fair and reputable is appreciated. EGM

14 karats on college avenue is great for wedding bands. The couple who own it helped my husband and I design our bands, and weren't fazed by our limited budget. They even surprised us by putting a better stone in mine than the one that we had seen before--but charged the same. They have also happily resized and repaired my husband's band, for free (he bangs up his fingers and his ring regularly). happy customer

My husband got my engagement ring at the Gem Gallery (2945 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705). Our friend had purchased his wedding rings there and loved them. I love my engagement ring, and we went there for our wedding rings. We looked at their designs, and chose the style of design we wanted on our rings and they made the rings out of platinum for us. They made my husbands ring in the size he wanted. Mine is much smaller and matches the size and style of my engagement ring, but also matches my husbands ring. We love them, and their prices were reasonable. One clerk there who tried to help us was clueless, so we saw the woman who knows everything and is super helpful, and I wish I could remember her name! I think she has blondish hair. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but most people there really know their stuff! Good luck Andi

I've gone to 14 Karats for years and have always been thrilled with what they've made for me. Don't be put off by the fact that they have no answering machine--go wander around in person and talk to John or Lilly. Beautiful, beautiful jewelry Brynn

Clay Kirchenbauer is an independent jewelry designer who works with you to create the type of ring that you are looking for. You can reach him at: clay at (He is also a great poet.) Melanie

I highly recommend Park Street Jewelers in Alameda. Mahesh is really good at listening to what you want. He is also quite skilled at making jewelery on the premises so he can custom make something if he doesn't already have it in stock. His prices are fair and he will clean your jewelery at no charge. Tell him Laura sent you, I used to work with his wife a satisfied customer

If you are willing to travel to East Contra Costa County, we have a jeweler in Pleasant Hill who we love. John Stanziano owns a store called JNS Designs. He does custom jewelery and lately he's been doing a lot of custom wedding band designs. He'll work with you to make sure it's what you want and pricing is reasonable. If you use him, please tell him I recommended him to you. He designed my Mother's Ring and I am very pleased with it Stephanie

We went to M. Lowe & Co. on Shattuck in North Berkeley. The woman who helped us was really nice and helped us get just what we wanted. And they are totally unpretentious and not as pricey as I would have thought AND they have beautiful stuff Lowe's fan

Shane Company. They have several locations, we use the Walnut Creek location. My husband got my engagement ring there 18 years ago. It was a plain band with a diamond. I picked out the wrap to go with it. Years later we upgraded and got double the price we paid for it credited to the new ring. They have many options available since you can pick your own band and stone, so the price ranges are very wide. We have bought many pieces from them over the years. They have great service, educate their customers, and never treat you like a dummy! I have NEVER been encouraged by the employees to spend more than the limit I give them either....a refreshing change from other jewlery stores.

Visit Oaks Jewlery on Solano. They are a family owned business and have been around for years. Their service is always very good, and their prices are fair Rose

I have found all the folks at J. Sahadi Jewelers on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland to be good to work with my jewelry repairs and my mother-in-law's necklace design project. Jeff Sahadi does the design and production and he does attractive, very well-priced design and repairs! They have rings for sale in the case and he can also do custom designs.

We bought our wedding bands from I was initially nervous about jewelry on the internet, but I went with a recommendation from a picky (and wealthy) friend who raved about some diamonds she bought through them. Everything went well. My husband's band is just as he bought it. Mine was plain from Blue Nile. We took it to Pave on College Avenue for some gorgeous engraving. They were the most creative, informed and lovely people to work with. I highly recommend them for any ''interesting'' jewelry needs at a real store Congratulations!

Trusted jeweler to repair platinum engagement ring and replace diamond

Dec 2005

I need to repair my treasured engagement ring. It is a platinum ring with a raised basket mount for the main diamond with three elongated rectangular baguettes on each side. The mount for the baguettes on one side broke, so I am now missing the small platinum piece and three baguettes. Can someone recommend a reputable jewelry repair shop that than replace the platinum and the baguettes in a timely manner?

The main diamond is a good-sized, flawless stone that represents the only time I've actually seen my husband spend any time shopping. I always remember my great grandmother swearing that one of her diamonds was replaced when she had a ring repaired years ago. Bless her soul, but to this day I am paranoid about handing my ring over to someone I don't know. I am looking for a trusted professional very experienced in working with platinum and of course guarantees their work to a reasonable extent. I live in Rockridge but am willing to travel. Of course I would like the work done in time for the holidays. Thank you.

We bought platinum wedding and engagement rings at Pave at 5496 College in Rockridge and had a great experience. We didn't buy off the shelf; they made everything for us based on designs we worked out with them. My ring had to be adjusted and I was really happy with the changes--if that counts as something that shows how they repair jewelry! We supplied one diamond from an old family ring and they supplied two pink diamonds that were way better than supposedly comparable diamonds at a prestigious San Francisco jeweler. We worked with Leanne but I'm sure everyone there is great. Good luck! anon

I don't know that they can help with your particular situation, but I recommend McConnell & Sons/The Kings Jewelers in Walnut Creek. Website: They provide very personalized service, have amazing collections of stones, and do quality work. Leslie

I have used Given Gold Jewelers on Piedmont Ave for repairs on my engagement ring. I even had to leave it there for 3 days, I was nervous, as I've heard about the replacing the diamond with cubic zirconia trick too. BUT I don't believe any reputable dealer would do that. I was very happy with my service there, though my ring is gold, but they do platinum work as well. I'm sorry I don't have their contact information handy right at the moment. Also, we bought our wedding rings from 14 Karats on College. I don't know if they handle repairs, but their quality and service was excellent as well. Hope that helps! Kukana

Studio to redesign and set diamond wedding ring

Aug 2005

I am looking for a design studio to help me redesign and set my diamond wedding ring. I've looked at Pave on College ave. Any other suggestions? Karen

I recommend Fishers jewelry on Solano in Albany. They helped me design a ring for my wife long ago when we were engaged. We've both been very happy with the results. I went there a few weeks back to get a replacement wedding ring (long story!) and they were as helpful as ever. Jeff

I am so glad you are asking. My family has had many stones set and often they were ''lost'' or switched by the very jewelers we had trusted the stones to. We just had a large diamond set three weeks ago-- into an engagement ring --in Alameda at Dennis Jewelers on Park Street and it turned out perfect--pretty and with the origianl stone. I have heard dozens of horror-- and sad --stories about most of the other local jewelers. Be very careful---and also take photos of the stone before you hand it over. Good Luck. nancy

Union Street Goldsmiths in San Francisco (on Union). The designer is named Glenda. They are fabulous. They designed my husbands wedding band and he gets compliments all the time. anon

Try Eric Trabert Jewelers in SF,in the upper Fillmore area: 2420 Fillmore at Jackson. (415) 567-8887 Eric has worked with me to redesign several pieces of jewelry, including my engagement ring and a necklace. He has also done an absolultely fantastic job of restoring several pieces of jewelry that have been in my family for over 100 years. He is very friendly and his prices are incredibly reasonable.

Go to Pave Jewelers on College in Rockridge. They helped me design a necklace using stones I had from two different rings. The end result is stunning - even better than I had hoped. Their staff is extremely nice, very professional, great in helping with design ideas but always following the customer's lead. I have used Pave several times for jewerly repair also and I highly recommend them. Susan

Clay Kirchenbauer is a jeweler in Oakland who works by appointment to create custom jewelry designs to meet your needs. He has a refined artistic sense and many years of experience. 510 339-6269 Melanie

White gold wedding rings need re-plating, where?

Jan 2004

Hi there, can anyone recommend a place where I could have our white gold wedding rings and engagement ring polished and re-plated by a good, honest and not-too-pricey jeweller? It has to be possibly somewhere between north berkeley and rockridge. Thanks very much barbara

I highly recommend J Sahadi Jewelers on Piedmont Avenue. They have a real professional who does repairs, settings checks, and even makes his own jewelry (beautiful stuff). They are honest and do quality work. We've had them maintain items bought elsewhere (before we moved here) and have also purchased new items from them. I used to lose small diamonds from my wedding ring on occassion, but no more since they worked on it. I do have them check it once a year (which they do for free). I'm not sure how they compare on pricing, but it has always seems reasonable and well worth the cost.

Where to get a 10th yr wedding ring

July 2002

Our tenth year wedding aniversary is approaching and we wish purchase some new wedding rings and we don't know where to go to get them. We would consider custom rings if they are nicely made. Please give us some ideas, advice or experiences positive or negative. Thank you! Greg

A personal favorite: Old Gold in Mendocino. You can take a romantic trip AND get lovely rings. Becky

I love the selection at 14 Karats on College Avenue in Elmwood. They have a diverse selection of rings and other jewelry that they design themselves (some traditional, some more unusual). The owners are really nice -- they're a husband and wife team, and they do all the work right there on-site. Their prices seem quite reasonable, too (not cheap, but fair). Kathryn

I can strongly recommend Anne of Edelweiss Jewelry on College Ave., near Ashby. She is an artist who designs jewelry, as well as having many other older pieces for sale in her small store. She can work with you closely to give you what you want, at a reasonable price. Dianna

Pavi on College Ave. has excellent customer service and a good collection of unique jewelry. We got our wedding rings there -- we picked out the bands and stones and had them custom made. They did a great job. Now I go in there to get our rings cleaned for free. I've also had my ring sized up after pregnancy and birth. They are very nice to deal with. Hae

My partner and I just had some rings made for us at Pave on College Ave. We are very happy with the results! We worked with Leanne. archie

I highly recommend Pave on College Avenue in Rockridge. My husband and I, my brother, and about a 1/2 dozen of our close friends have had our wedding rings made there. They do fabulous work, offer great design consulting and service, and have a collection of beautiful/original pieces. I have also had other pieces of jewelry custom made there. Maya Byrne McBride

Greg, There is a jeweler in Alameda, David Allen Designs, who is wonderful! He primariy does custom work for other jewelers, this should give you an idea of his talent. Because he designs and creates his pieces for other jewelry stores his prices are well below retail. I just had a ring made in platinum with over 50 1/2 point diamonds pave set and it was appraised for 3 times what he charged me. Not to mention other jewelers comment on the quality of the ring. maria

Fisher's Jewelers on Solano has a nice selection of rings. They can also design something special and unique for you. Burr

Someone else recommended the 14 Carats on College @ Ashby, and after this weekend, I need to pitch in with my comments. I lost my engagement ring in February, and with a heavy heart went back to the store to buy for myself the same ring that my finace bought last year. When I told the owner my story, he not only remembered my unique ring design exactly, but told me that he would only charge me material and labor. He said, ''I can't charge you full price twice.'' He seemed to feel almost as badly about it as I did.

The moral of the story is, insure you jewelry (mine wasn't) and make sure the ring really fits (mine didn't and I didn't take it back to be resized). But also the 14 Carats is a great place. The people there are eager to work with you to make sure that you are happy with the design, and will also work with you to help you come up with a design, even if you just have a rough idea of what you want.