Today’s post actually started many months ago when I jokingly (okay, not so jokingly) prodded Jeremy for jewelry – as we ladies who like such sparkly things tend to do. He made it very clear to me that a ring probably wasn’t going to happen. Jewelry means something – and he wasn’t sure he would ever be ready for that something again. Fast forward to months later and a particularly awesome sale going on at the jewelry & watch repair shop I work at.
Realizing that this was probably the best opportunity to buy me a really nice piece of jewelry at a really good price, he told me that I had a $200 limit and that I could pick a piece of jewelry that was on sale. I was so excited to go into work the next day under the impression that I would be leaving there at the end of the day with a nice, new ring. Unfortunately, my little dreams were soon shattered because despite the sale dropping prices significantly, we didn’t have anything I wanted within reason of the budget (I hate yellow gold).
I was super bummed and asked Jeremy if it might be okay if I ordered something within the budget he gave me. He agreed to it and I set out to find a piece of jewelry that I could be happy with. Let’s start there. I am impossible to buy jewelry for because of my occupation. I know what is and isn’t quality, where a piece of jewelry is likely to break and all of the issues one may run into later if repairs are needed. It’s something I am specifically trained for and deal with every day at work. Jeremy is actually kind of terrified about personally buying jewelry for me, knowing how incredibly picky I have become.
The Search Was On!
What could I possibly buy for just $200? – ish. Oh yes… my “no ring” that turned into a “$200 budget” was now an “ish”. And suddenly a light turned on and I thought about a piece of jewelry that I have wanted for a long time. But no… surely it couldn’t possibly be within price range. No way… that would be a completely custom ring!
This is where Paul comes in. Say hi to Paul.
You’ve probably seen his work before – custom nerdy rings representing fandoms and universes such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Pokemon, Ghost Busters, and more. There are quite a few artists and jewelers out there who can make such designs, but I don’t know of any that are more popular than Paul Michael Design. Seriously, every time I see a Star Wars R2D2 Ring being Ooh and Ahh over, it’s his!
Imagine my surprise when I realized that I could have the ring I have wanted for a few years now for about $200 after shipping. Sure, it would be silver and not white gold, but honestly… I am pretty happy with silver and find it an appropriate alternative for someone like me who a) isn’t allergic to it and b) works in a jewelry shop where I can constantly keep it clean.
This is Paul’s The Sonic-Solitaire Ring. It’s a designed representation of The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver on Doctor Who with a stone about 6mm in size centered beautifully in between the 2 screwdrivers.
Of course being me, I had concerns and I contacted Paul directly and asked about the quality of gemstone that I could expect in my ring. I know a lot about gemstones (again, jewelry repair shop employee) and about the program Paul uses to design the jewelry. The images shown are directly from the CAD software. The rings and the stones are both just renderings of what the rings could and should look like on completion. There was no guarantee that my stone would look that brilliant. And for $200? Well, I wouldn’t expect it to. I received a pleasant and helpful response from one of his assistants…
“We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, where if you are unhappy for any reason, just let us know and we will work with you to make it right. We also have a 12 month repair/replace warranty. If anything goes wrong with your piece in the first 12 months, send it back to us, and we will repair or replace it. You just pay shipping. And, we will still service your piece after that for a small fee.”
I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that if I was unhappy with my stone (or anything else about my ring), I could send it back and perhaps exchange it. I originally thought about getting a Peridot (August’s birthstone), but decided at last minute to order my ring with a London Blue Topaz – something close to the color of the TARDIS without getting a Sapphire (my September birthstone). It seemed fitting for my ring.
The Girl Who Waited
Is this seriously how time progresses? All slow and in the right order? Argh! It felt like forever as I waited
patiently impatiently for my ring to be completed and shipped. Sorry Paul… I might have bugged your lovely assistant a couple of times just to check in because I am one of those customers apparently (hilariously, the same type of customer that drives me insane haha).
Production takes 4-6 weeks and then there’s shipping time. So, if you are looking to buy something in a hurry, that’s not how this works. While I assume Paul has the file containing the rendering of this ring, there’s still a hefty process involved that takes time – everything from making a wax copy of the ring, casting a mold from the wax, to fabricating the ring and doing polishing & stone setting. Again, I assume he has some of those steps completed as this isn’t a 100% custom and unique ring – obviously they are being sold to others. But still, these take time and believe me when I say – the time he took with this ring really shows.
Of course, Paul offers you the option of Rushing Your Order as well as Expedited Shipping. I’m not sure how much time the order rush takes off of the production process. As far as I understand it, it seems like it’s the best option if you are ordering jewelry from him around a holiday, that way you know you will get it in time. Truthfully, the shipping wasn’t at all bad. I didn’t expect my ring to reach me until Monday, which was sent 3 Day Priority Mail via USPS. I actually received it Saturday afternoon. He offers a 2nd Day, Overnight and International Priority if you are really worried about it.
My Stunning Ring!
I received my beautiful Sonic Solitaire Ring a couple of days earlier than I expected. Silly me – it was actually in my mailbox Saturday afternoon before I left for work. I didn’t check the mail because I wasn’t expecting there to be a pretty ring waiting for me!
My box arrived well packaged. I have ordered jewelry online before and while most places offer a nice looking box, I have never received a more professional and beautiful box before. Paul Michael Design took as much loving care of my $200 order as I would have expected from a much more expensive piece. I am really impressed with the attention to detail. It gave an air of sophistication to the experience.
The ring… Are there even words for this!? I will be honest… I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I’ve said it before but seriously, I am very picky and I worried that this ring wouldn’t live up to my hopeful expectations. One of my biggest concerns was that I would receive a flimsy ring that barely looked like the rendered photo. I was worried about the stone not being of quality or that it would overall feel cheap.
I am thrilled to report that not only does this ring look exactly like it’s CAD rendering down to the detail of using a contrast of high polishing and brushed polishing to make the design really stand out, but this ring is solid and incredibly well made. My pictures simply do not do it justice. I love that despite being made out of silver, which is much softer and more pliable than gold, the ring feels sturdy – like it might actually survive my job which is typically pretty rough on my hands.
The stone is beautiful. I was worried that I might find the 6mm size too much, but I think it’s just perfect (Paul offers a different version of the ring, The Sonic XL- Solitare which features an 8mm sized stone if you prefer). It’s perhaps a darker London Blue Topaz than I would have liked. But for $200? This ring is an absolute STEAL. The stone alone is worth at least $25 of the cost.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with my ring and so excited to share it with all of you. Paul Michael Designs offers a wide selection of fandom inspired jewelry in addition to being able to work with you to create completely custom designs. Yes, it can be pricey… but it’s ultimately worth it if you want something truly unique and all your own. Check out some of the other Doctor Who jewelry Paul makes!
What Are You Waiting For!?
Paul has generously offered a coupon code to my readers! By using the promo code Kimiwho at checkout, you will receive 10% off of any order of $100 or more. Believe me, it’s worth the money and you’ll be glad to have a piece of jewelry that is as different and beautiful as you are! Paul has such a beautiful selection of customizable pieces to choose from. If you don’t see something you like or want something altered, he can work with you and do something uniquely yours.
This post is in no way sponsored nor endorsed by Paul Michael Design. I have not been paid nor compensated in any way for this review. Trust me… $204 came out of Jeremy’s wallet for this precious ring. Haha There are affiliate links in this post so that should you decide to make a purchase based on my beautiful ring, I will earn a little something for my efforts as a thank you for introducing you to this slice of awesome. You are welcome by the way.