I finally decided to go ahead and try on some rings at various jewelers today while having drinks and shopping with a girlfriend. I keep reading how many brides had a set idea in their minds of what they wanted in a ring. And then when they go to try them on, they have a complete change of mind or preference. Based on the fear of this potentially happening, I set out to find what I wanted: Three stone - asscher cut - flanked by trapezoids - plain band.
After trying on a variety of styles (radiant w/trapezoids; plain solitare; cushion cut w/pave all around, 3 stone round, asscher w/pave band, princess w/split shank (pave), and 3 stone emerald), I have confirmed that what we decided on IS the best! The closest was a radiant w/trapezoids at Cartier. Not many jewelers carry asschers already set in a ring. But the cut is what I love. Both the sales associates at Cartier & Nathan Alan understood that. The moron from Bailey Banks and Biddle was telling me how he would choose a cushion over the asscher cut any day, even after I told him that it was what I wanted.
Review of the stores I visited today (all at South Coast Plaza):
Cartier http://www.cartier.com/ - Awesome, awesome service!!! Even though she knew I wasn't buying anything today and actually just there to "try on" different things, she was curteous and most helpful! She even sized me and directed me to Nathan Alan to see if they had something closer to what I wanted. The radiant w/trapezoids was my favorite (of course the center stone was over 3cts and a canary diamond). They were exemplary in service!
Nathan Alan - Also very very curteous and helpful. They had a picture of the ring I wanted and she will order it - no obligation - just to try it on whenever I want. I DID try the asscher cut w/pave band and I am enamored w/the cut. Even though the GF I was shopping with preferred some other styles I tried (she is a solitare, Tiffany-setting, plain band - gal herself), the sales associate at Nathan Alan was great in emphasizing that the cut is a very personal choice. Also that Asscher cuts are very modern and contemporary. I loved that!
Bailey Banks and Biddle - Awful! I would never recommend going there. 5 sales associates with no customers. Took about 5 minutes of me standing at one particular counter before I had the lamest salesassociate come greet me. This man needed a serious lesson in personal hygience and grooming. Reeked of body odor, had a messy comb-over, an ill-fitting jacket, and paisley print tie. Comment about Asscher diamond (see above). When I told him what I wanted to see, he said he had it but brought a loose diamond out. Then when I asked about other tyes of cushion cut settings he had - he told me to just draw what I want and they would design it for me. Useless. Ugh. Awful.