Popping the question? Here’s some info you might find useful

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Zhoeé Williams

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and many people may be getting prepared to pop an all-important “will you marry me?” For most of those people, a ring is a necessary part of that proposal.

If you’re not shopping together, it might be hard to figure out what ring style your future soulmate likes the most, so these local jewelers are offering their tips and tricks for finding something you’ll both adore.

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This round diamond ring is available for purchase at Fincher & Ozment Jewelers.

According to weddingpro.com, ring aesthetics are always changing. While most shoppers still prefer earth-grown diamonds, lab-grown diamonds and moissanite gemstones are becoming popular alternatives.

Before you get down on one knee, here’s what you should know.

Is this proposal a surprise? If it’s not, consider shopping as a couple. If it is a surprise, you’ve got some due diligence to do before you walk into a jewelry store.

Tom Ozment Jr., who owns Fincher and Ozment Jewelers, said the first thing a jewelry salesperson asks is if the proposee has dropped hints about the style they’re looking for.

“A lot of ladies will either come down to the store by themselves or with a couple of their girlfriends because they all tend to get engaged together,” said Ozment Jr.

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Fincher and Ozment Jewelers is located at the Tuscaloosa Galleria north of the river.

Fincher and Ozment offers diamonds and gemstones of all kinds, including earth-mined and lab-grown.

Ozment Jr. said engagement rings are fully customizable depending on your budget, how much diamond or other stone you want, your metal choice and ring design.

“Anything that you can dream of, we can build it for you,” said Ozment Jr.

It is important to think about the type of jewelry your significant other wears every day. Do they wear silver or gold? Intricate, subtle designs on special occasions or mounds of accessories all day every day?

“Sometimes what customers see online and love, they come into the store and learn that the style and scale don’t look good when they put it on their finger, so they go in a different direction,” said Ozment Jr.


This white gold three-setting ring is available from Fincher and Ozment Jewelers. Photo courtesy Fincher and Ozment.

In his experience, Ozment Jr. said most customers come in looking for a classic-looking engagement ring. Younger shoppers, however, are steering away from halo style rings and more toward a solitaire style.

But no matter what you want, jewelers can make it happen.

“We do have customers who have family diamonds that may have been their grandmother’s, and we’ll take it and use it in the center and make the setting that she wants. It’s really nice,” said Ozment Jr.

It’s always a good rule of thumb to analyze the person you’re buying a ring or other jewelry for, although it’s possible what they want doesn’t quite fit your budget.

If you’re starting from scratch, local jewelry store Nancy and Co. Fine Jewelers has an educational diamond and gemstone guide online that can help buyers get an idea of different ring options.

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Reeds Jewelers is located in University Mall on McFarland Boulevard.

Reeds Jewelers has been in business for over 70 years and has been serving the Tuscaloosa community for almost 28 years, said employee and Accredited Jewelry Professional Susan Elam, who’s also a member of the Gemological Institute of America.

Elam said she starts by asking her customers about the style of jewelry worn; from there they’ll decide carat size and ring style.

Elam said for her store, halo rings remain a bestseller.

“Halos are very popular, but we sell a good bit of single solitaire with accent pieces too, but we haven’t seen anybody stray away from the halos,” said Elam.

This earth-grown oval diamond halo with 2-carat center is available for purchase at Reeds Jewelers.

If you aren’t sold on a diamond that came out of the ground, moissanite is a budget-conscious choice, as are lab-made diamonds. But they’re not the same thing.

“Moissanite is completely different from lab-grown diamonds,” Elam said. “They are diamonds, they’re just grown in a lab with the same components as if it was grown directly in the earth, so it is not manmade. Moissanite is manmade.”

Elam said she prefers lab-grown diamonds to mossanite if you’re seeking an earth-grown alternative.

“Some people like to be completely different based on what they’re looking for, but we still make most of our sales from the traditional earth-grown diamond,” she said.

Categories: Local News