An all too common problem that occurs in the engagement ring world is men trying to pick out a ring s-o-l-o. We understand he wants to pick something special for his bride-to-be and have a surprise proposal BUUUT sometimes his selection isn't spot on because he isn't the one that has been pinning 100+ { v i n t a g e } rings! So, how is a man to choose a #DreamRing AND maintain the surprise aspect?! Enter: Danielle from Little Bird Engagement Ring Consultants.

Victor Barboné Jewelry: Tell us what all about Little Bird and what you do over there!

Little Bird: Little Bird offers independent, unbiased engagement ring and diamond coaching to our consumer clients who are in the search for the perfect piece.

First we dive deep and learn everything we can about our clients - their goals, timeline, and expectations. We then educate our clients based on their preferences and guide them through making key decisions based on their values. At that point, we navigate our clients through the process of understanding ALL of their options in the great big world of fine jewelry. From there, we envision together, hunt together and ultimately choose or manage the creation of their perfect engagement ring - all while saving hours of time, loads of energy and quite a few dollars.

San Francisco Proposal


VB: What made you decide to get into this side of the business?

LB: I had been working in the industry for a decade. From sourcing to production, operations to sales and marketing, I had eventually assisted over 3000 couples in finding their engagement ring.  As much as I loved helping folks make such a heartfelt decision, I often wished I could assist them beyond what was currently in my inventory. I wanted to help them find that super unique stone they were looking for that I just didn’t have in my safe. So, I decided to strike out on my own and to create a third party in the engagement ring shopping process. This way I can be an advocate for my clients and assist them in getting exactly what they want, where they want, for the price they are comfortable with.

Beach Proposal 

VB: With a big shift towards online shopping, what should you look for when you come across a new shop?

LB: Online shopping can be a great way to find something incredible and often at a nice price. If an online site or a particular piece has caught your attention but you’re feeling nervous, there are a couple of things you can do: Look at the return and exchange policy. As long as there is one, you should be safe. Then, pick up the phone or write an email and see how comfortable you feel with the human interaction. You can always ask for more imagery of a stone or a ring if you are seriously considering making a purchase. {VB: You really can!} If you are still nervous about placing an order remotely, you can take us up on our Fly By! This is a service that we offer to folks who are almost ready to pull the trigger but want to feel like they are making a solid choice. We will run through everything on the piece, including the certificate and make specific recommendations, provide a deeper education and, if needed, provide specific language for you to use when communicating with the jeweler so that you get exactly what you want the first time around.

VB: A big problem when shopping online is determining ring size. What are your tips on figuring this out?

LB: Well, well, well. This is a pretty big hurdle for folks to cross. The ring size question usually comes in toward the end of the process when almost everything seems clear, except this one, extremely important factor: the ring size!

If you’re not trying to pull of a surprise, then we recommend getting professionally sized in person. If you’re in “stealth mode”, as we call it, ask yourself in your partner’s hand is small, medium or large. If you think they are on the small side, then they are likely in the 4-5.25 range. Medium or average size hands are 5.5-6.5, and a gal with slightly larger hands will usually be in the 6.75-7.5 camp. Of course, this is just a ballpark range. However, it’s almost always dead on.

Another option if you are stumped on ring size: At Little Bird, we are strangely good at nailing a person’s ring size once we’ve reviewed a few pictures of them. Years and years of helping people in person and remotely has honed our skills on this one. We are happy to do this as a complimentary service, and folks reach out for this specific kind of help all the time.

VB: What type of metal is the best choice for a ring?

LB: The first question is, what color do you like best? If it’s yellow, then I prefer 18K for an engagement ring. If it’s rose, then I prefer the color of 14K. If the preference is for a white metal, platinum almost always wins out as the ideal option because it is heavier, more durable, maintains its white color and is hypoallergenic. White gold is great if you have a ring with lots of sweeping surfacing of high polish metal, as it keeps it’s high polish longer than platinum. It’s also a little harder in nature, so it’s great for very thin rings with small diamond accents. IF you find an antique ring, and you fall madly, deeply and hopelessly in love, then whatever metal it’s made of is probably the best choice ;)

VB: What are the two biggest mistakes (misconception, etc) men/women make when buying a ring?

LB: 1. Skipping the insurance step. You will be so so so so so so sad if you lose your ring, damage or ring or have it stolen from you. Get your ring insured. It’s well worth the small yearly cost.

2. Assuming that the investment in an engagement should render a solid resale value down the line. People don’t purchase engagement rings for the same rational reason that they purchase homes or cars. Therefore the value of an engagement ring will not follow the typical economics in a resale situation. Very few folks are interested in buying a rejected engagement ring or one they assume might be from a failed relationship. It’s also very hard to make a sale as a private party. Therefore, unless it’s a true antique, diamond and engagement rings don’t hold great resale value.

VB: What are you top two favorite Victor Barbone rings?

LB: The Cristina and the Roxanne (SOLD OUT) are two of the most mystical and unique antique engagement rings I have ever come across. I’m in love with both!

An easy solution to a big problem! Feel free to reach out to Danielle if you need help finding your PERFECT ring! 

November 17, 2016 — Andria Rogers

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.