This was when we started to realise that we have NO IDEA how things work down here!
We've lived in Birmingham for many years, which is of course home to the fantastic jewellery quarter. Its easy to get things made there; I have friends who have travelled to Brum just to get their rings made.
Here there is no such thing. Added to that, NZ is a closed market. By that I mean - there's not many people here (less than there is in the West Midlands region), there's not much online shopping, and it's a long way to go for alternative options. Australia is our nearest neighbour, and that's a 3 hour flight. This means that a lot of things here are really expensive (we actually get books and dvds shipped from the UK!).
So I tried to cover all the options. I had 2 key criteria - it had to be platinum, and it had to have coloured stones with the diamond. I went into a few high street jewellers, but they didn't have any platinum rings. I did discover that solitaires look really silly on me, and so do thin bands (I've got quite long fingers).
Next was the ever popular google image search. This turned up some good eye candy, and a custom jeweller in Auckland. I came up with a design, but progress was quickly halted - they said there was no way I could have the kind of ring I wanted in platinum for my budget. Great.
Then came two very promising options. Crystalink in Birmingham were happy to deal with me by Skype and email, and came in within budget for my rough design. A friend then told me about her sister's jeweller in Auckland - he had some gorgeous rings, one of which was really similar to my imaginary ring. He also came in within our budget, and finally I was happy enough to order my ring. And last week it was finished :-)
Thanks to Colin at Aurum Jewellers in Ponsonby.
(Note: as you'll see in the next few posts, I'd actually managed to book several wedding vendors before I got my ring - not sure how many people have achieved that!)