My Mom’s Dream Gift :: Designing a Ring with

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Finding a meaningful gift can be tricky, especially for Moms! However, for as long as I can remember, my family and I had one major gift in mind for my Mom: a proper wedding ring. I’m so honored to be partnering with on this post and incredible gift for my Mom. If you are also looking to get engaged or customize an engagement or wedding ring, this post should be quite informative, too. I’ll break down how and why we chose to buy a diamond engagement ring online.

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my Mother.”

A little backstory: my whole family immigrated to the United States from communist war-torn Vietnam in the mid-’80s. My Dad fought alongside U.S. troops as a member of the South Vietnamese Army. My Mom and he got married after the Fall of Saigon. It was the furthest thing from a glamorous wedding. They quickly started saving money and making plans to immigrate to the United States. As you can imagine, they had no money and sold her wedding ring to make ends meet. Fast forward to 2019 and my Mom has endured hardship after hardship. I can’t even imagine coming to a new country, learning a new language, working labor jobs and getting an education. All while raising children sending money back to family in Vietnam.

Throughout my entire life, my Mom has been the picture and epitome of unconditional love and sacrifice. She always saved the best parts of the dishes she cooked for us, let us drive brand new cars while she and my Dad drove old ones… I remember up until I was my preteens, she had never driven on the highway. Texas highways can be pretty terrifying. But when I changed skating coaches and needed to train more than an hour away, she took a deep breath and started driving on three different highways so I could get to my skating lessons. She would eventually pass on getting a Ph.D. so I could pursue competitive figure skating.

For the majority of my teen and adult years, I’ve dreamed of giving her “the good life” whether that’s being financially stable or letting her pursue some of her passions. But things drastically changed in 2015. My Dad suffered a traumatic brain injury. She stopped being a wife and became a caregiver.

My Mom hardly ever asks for anything. She always sacrificed anything new and “shiny” for us kids. When we had money for new cars, us kids got them and my parents would drive older cars. She would save every penny for us. My Mom gave up pursuing her Ph.D to let me pursue my dreams of being an Olympic-level figure skater. While that dream didn’t pan out many other successes came my way. Now that us kids are grown and starting to see success, we wanted to show my Mom her sacrifice didn’t go unnoticed. It was time for my Mom to get a proper diamond wedding ring.

Designing A Custom Engagement Ring

I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past, so you can check out these blog posts for more in-depth information on the company. is a true pioneer in the diamond industry. We buy so many other items online, why not an engagement ring? In an era where digitally-native brands are crushing it, it would only make sense to buy your diamond engagement ring online as well. Not to mention, you can save up to 50 percent compared to traditional stores.

James Allen has a vast inventory of diamonds, including earth-created and lab-created. More than 200,000 of them, so you are sure to find the perfect one, fitting the exact criteria you’re looking for. The James Allen staff personally inspects and photographs each diamond for their website, so you know exactly what you’re getting, too. Something else I love about James Allen is how their diamonds are conflict-free.

Choosing the Diamond

I know what you’re thinking, how could you possibly spend thousands of dollars without seeing something in person? James Allen has a unique technology displaying all of their 200,000+ certified-conflict free diamonds in 360° HD. You can view and spin any of these diamonds, which are magnified up to 40 times. I’ve looked at diamonds in-store and believe this technology is better than relying on a salesperson to share what he’s seeing in his loupe. Plus, you are able to really see the diamond you’re actually buying.

The filters make it so easy to narrow down your preferences for a ring so you only see what you want and can afford. My siblings and I browsed the site after making a budget and discussing what we thought our Mom would love. Then, I chatted with Lorraine, a real-time diamond consultant on We used a screen-sharing tool while also being on the phone. She really helped us narrow down which diamonds gave us the best bang for our buck. Using the magnification tool, she showed us any flaws or spots that could be visible on the stone. When we were deciding between two diamonds with different color grades, she brought up a good point about us choosing a yellow-gold setting and how that would automatically make the diamond appear more colorless.

Choosing a Setting

Once we had the perfect diamond picked out, we moved onto a setting. My siblings and I wanted yellow gold since our Dad’s ring is yellow gold. I wanted a halo to help bolster the size of the diamond and make the ring appear more modern. My Mom does a lot of work with her hands, from caring for my Dad to running the house. This is we chose a plain band instead of a cable or pave. Lorraine was actually able to show me a very similar ring made for another customer so I could get an idea of what the ring was like. Another perk of shopping online at James Allen is how you can “try-on” your ring with your mobile phone at home to see how it looks. Technology just keeps improving these days!

For those who may be hesitant about buying an engagement ring online, James Allen has an incredible guarantee and lifetime warranty. There’s also free resizing up to 60 days so you can make sure the ring is perfect. The big kicker is how they offer 100 percent money back in 30 days with shipping if you’re in the United States. I’ve seen a wide range of their rings in person and they are all exquisite. James Allen really stands behind their product. My Mom’s ring was more beautiful than I imagined and I can’t wait to share it with you soon!

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