The Story of My Engagement Ring

Hello there, Penny Darlings!

Happy Wednesday! It’s a snowy day here in the great state of Pennsylvania! We’re into hour 15 of snow, Preston’s office is closing early and he’s stopping to grab wine and ice cream on his way home, the schools are off, Harvey is perfectly snuggled into the couch, and I am writing furiously so that I can go take a snow day nap!

Preston even said that I should put up a photo on Insta that says that Penny Darling is closed for the snow day. That’s the only sad part about working from home – no snow days!

Also, LAME, I went to post this this morning and some kind of computer glitch or Abby glitch DELETED THE WHOLE THING and I had to start from scratch! So apologies for the late posting time!

But, anyway, what else?

And blah, blah, blah, – check me out on Instagram here! I also started a Twitter account! Find that here! Follow Preston’s brand new fashion Instagram here! I also have a selling Instagram page where I sell some of my old clothes/styles so that I don’t drown in my own wardrobe.

But since yesterday was #NationalProposalDay – I wanted to share a little story!

Now, if you’re new here – you may not have already seen the story of how we met or even the story (and video) of us getting engaged! 

But today, I wanted to actually chat for a moment about my actual ring.

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My ring is a near exact dupe of my mom’s ring!

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So, yes, let’s get it right out in the open: I helped pick out my engagement ring.

Some people have VERY strong feelings about that. I do not. If I have to wear something every day for the rest of my life, I want to see how it looks on my body and how it feels. That’s not crazy.

Also, Preston can get overwhelmed when making HUGE decisions like that, and I wanted to be there with him to relieve some of that pressure that he might pick something I wouldn’t like (which he wouldn’t have!).

But, I knew I wanted a ring just like my mom’s. I always thought it was very beautiful and unique and I didn’t know anyone else’s mom who had a ring like it. (kind of like my actual mom!)

I even asked her if I could just have her ring and her answer was a light-hearted, “No way! I’m not done wearing it yet!”. So, I knew that wasn’t an option!

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Actually, a quick funny story about my mom’s ring. She and my dad got engaged back in 1980-something, and were married not too long afterwards!

In the time that they were in their fourth year of being married (when they had a German exchange student, Ilka, who is coming to our wedding, full circle!) were hosting Christmas at their house.

They were opening gifts and when they were all finished, my mom went into the kitchen and took her ring off to do some dishes, and it got mixed up with some used wrapping paper, and my Pop Pop threw the ring away!

He felt so awful that he even GOT INSIDE THE DUMPSTER outside their apartment to search for it.

They never found it. However, the guy that my dad had bought the ring from was still making the same exact style! So they were able to replace it with an exact dupe. So fun fact, the ring my mom wears to this day is a replacement of the first ring!

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Back to the story!

But my mom had inherited a fairly large amount of jewelry (mostly costume, but some really amazing vintage pieces!) in the last few years, and had been working with this mom & pop jewelry store in my college town, called Jewelry Source.

She had gone to Jewelry Source to get pieces appraised, fixed, restored, or even to sell a few pieces that were dupes! I am ALWAYS appreciative of a small business with someone who truly KNOWS what they are doing and can help you with a great recommendation without trying to upsell you.

So we walked in to the store (Preston, my mom, & I!) and my mom starts chatting. I mention that I would like a ring like hers. The woman who owns the shop, Ruth, says “Oh, I have JUST the thing.” and walks over to a case and pulls out a container of estate rings.

She also designs new and signature and custom pieces as well as selling estate/acquired jewelry.

She reaches in to the whole box and pulls out my ring. The one I’m wearing as I type this post. It was gorgeous and unique and lovely. I was obsessed. I didn’t put it down the rest of the time we were there.

I even picked out another ring while we were there. I was so sure that it couldn’t have been so easy. The other one was more deco-contemporary with a square diamond and a halo with some neat engraving. It was exactly like the ones that I had pinned on Pinterest boards, ones I had browsed online, or like a magazine I had dog-eared.

But it wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t mine.

This one was mine!


And here’s the true kicker:

We hadn’t gotten the prices on them. My ring was a QUARTER of the price of the deco ring. Even after getting it sized for me, it was still 4x less than the deco ring (which were both estate rings).

I took that as the final sign. It was even WAY under the budget we had agreed upon for the ring. And I knew I had wanted an estate ring. I love a ring with history and a story and that can’t be duplicated! It’s perfectly unique!



Bonus: Here’s some adorable outtakes from my photoshoot with my mom!

She was a really good sport about doing this – but was way too excited so it was hard to get my mom to focus on taking the photos!

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Double Bonus:

Here’s a moment where we BOTH started coughing exactly at the same time.

Like mother, like daughter.

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*This post contains affiliate links but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.”


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Thank you for all that you do. You are truly extraordinary.

Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!

How Very,



  1. Elizabeth

    My husband proposed without a ring on the 4th of July, and then I designed it and he got to approve it. I wanted a very specific ring – oval kentucky blue sapphire with 2 small round diamonds set in white gold.
    I adore my ring. It means so much to me. It represented the first commitment we made to each other. Love your blog and reading about your ring!


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