Herkimercy, mercy me.
Instead of spending the gazillion dollars one would spend buying a socially conscientious engagement ring, the BF and I decided the funds might be better spent on a honeymoon in one of those impossible water villas in The Maldives, or I dunno, new kitchen cabinets not manufactured in the post-war era. The price point makes this ring very loser-friendly (meaning if you lose things of great value as readily as I seem to) and if you're equally as indignant about the value of your "rock" being somehow equivalent to the depth of your undying love, this might be a perfect choice for you as well. Being a diamond-in-the-rough-uncut-yet-elegant type, the BF and I agreed this couldn't be more fitting. And after all, that's the purpose of jewelry-- to reflect the wearer.
The ring arrived on schedule to the day (I had mine custom sized at a 6.25 free of charge) and did not disappoint. Beyond being slightly too large due to the open structure of the band (see photo 2), the ring was nearly perfect. The pluses are patently obvious-- the ring is ALL stone. So large a stone (mine was almost 4.5 cts based on measurements), from a distance you might be mistaken for Mrs. Thurston Howell III. The band is so delicate it can't help but emphasize its prize. You can't really see the diligent, flat, symmetrical hammering in these photos which was a delightful surprise. The gold is a really warm, rich heirloom-y color which I suppose is a product of recycling and does not look anything remotely like the garish 14kt sold at your local mall kiosk.
Neutrally speaking, the stone has inclusions; visible ones that are inherent to the natural beauty of Herkimers, so expect bubbles. My stone was significantly larger than shown, and so was its inclusion; however, it was at least partially obfuscated by the top of a prong. The shape of my particular stone was more pear than round and sat oblong on my hand. It also had a rather high profile which wasn't ideal for my lifestyle and the spidery prongs were not fit as closely to the girdle as I would have liked to feel secure. Again, this would certainly add to the uniqueness of each piece, and are not dealbreakers for me by any means, but I was expecting a slightly rounder and more traditionally shaped stone that did not look like it would go AWOL if I were ever to get a fist pump.
The sole reason this did not earn 5 stars was its sheer lack of radiance. I have seen some cut Herkimers (pear, cushion, etc) which were really brilliant and closer to a traditional diamond. On the other hand, I have also seen some Herkimers that were akin to the balls of Elmers glue you'd roll off your fingers as a child. But with a name like "incandescence" I was honestly expecting a wee bit more sparkle and color-- my only long sigh. I suppose it may very well be the cuts that create rainbows, and well that would defeat the whole aesthetic, so I guess I can't have it both ways. I will say, the photos are 100% accurate to the luminosity and lucidity of the stone itself.
Bottom line-- If you're looking for a ring that sparkles with style and individuality, this is a definite yea. If you are looking for some bada-boom-bada-bling beyond sheer magnitude, this is a probably a nay.
Side note: My experience with BHLDN was 5 stars. Their style consultants worked closely with me through the custom order process with the highest level of customer service possible offering above and beyond at every twist and turn. Do not hesitate to let them be a part of your special day too!
September 26, 2012