Monday, May 3, 2021

A Gift to Myself?

Via Mociun's Instagram page, most of these designs probably exceeded my maximum price limit, however. 

My remaining student loan balance is now down to ~$18,700. At my current rate of repayment - I've been putting in approximately ~$5,100/month - I remain on schedule to finish paying it off in full by late August or early September this year.* It's going to be a huge milestone for me when I finally finish paying off the ~$195,000 or so in student loans I had when I first started working full-time in fall 2015, after graduating law school. I simply can't wait to be done with my student debt once and for all.

Even though I haven't been shopping much for my wardrobe in 2021 so far - and have now proven somewhat disinterested in window shopping for any more clothes, shoes, and accessories while my day-to-day life is still not restored to something resembling pre-pandemic normal - I can't help but think about maybe buying myself a significant gift to commemorate this financial milestone. 

One idea - though, spoiler alert, I'm almost 100% certain this won't actually be it - is a handbag, provided there was a design I absolutely loved and was certain would be highly functional for me and would be something I'd reach for often. This could be the Celine Seau Sangle bag I was seriously contemplating 15 months ago, when I thought I'd soon be visiting Paris as part of a lengthy business trip also including stops in London and Luxembourg. (COVID-19 international travel shutdowns intervened before we got to Paris.) In the end, though, there still isn't any single handbag design I actually like that much and am absolutely sure would be worth it. 

The more likely idea for this milestone-commemorating gift to myself is a piece of jewelry, specifically a sapphire right-hand ring. I've looked at quite a few jewelers and types of designs and don't really have any specific ideas about what my ideal ring would look like, and thus, what the target price range would be. Obviously, there's definitely a concrete upper limit on what I would be willing to spend on this, I'm not planning to go absolutely wild to the point of financial irresponsibility! But there's a fairly wide range of prices I'm potentially willing to consider. 

My ideal sapphire right-hand ring probably won't be a super-simple sapphire solitaire on a more delicate band. I think I'll most likely want a design that has at least some side stones or accent stones. But outside of that, I'm not sure of much, including the cut or shape of the main sapphire. I'm open to either a cluster ring incorporating other colored stones, or something with only clear side stones or accent stones. 

There's also a question of what color of sapphire I prefer for the main or center stone. I'm totally not knowledgeable or discerning when it comes to any kind of gemstones, or about sapphires specifically. But I've seen that there are some sapphires that are more blue, and others that are more green or teal. (As you may recall, I'm very fond of teal as a color for my wardrobe.)

Some of the jewelers I've considered for slightly more simple and dainty-looking sapphire rings are Jennie Kwon Designs and Envero Jewelry. I could potentially see myself buying something like the Jennie Kwon Ceylon Sapphire Dew Equilibrium ring pictured immediately above, or the Envero Jewelry rings pictured in the second photo from the top. Both jewelers offer a large number of sapphire ring designs, including some very dainty ones that can be relatively modestly priced. 

But I also find myself drawn to more statement-making sapphire ring designs with larger stones, some of them in less traditional shapes or in clusters with other colored stones. In particular, I find myself extremely attracted to Caitlin Mociun's work. (The photograph at the top of this post includes some of her sapphire ring designs.) 

Mociun, in particular, offers sapphire rings across a particularly wide range of prices, taking into account the size and rarity of the stones used. Many of her rings with larger or more unusual stones can definitely far exceed the absolute upper limit of my budget for this potential purchase. But she generally also has a decent number of sapphire ring options in my price range, as well as options for custom design work. (Though I think the price minimum for custom work by Mociun is towards the high end of my price range, so I probably don't have the budget for a custom ring.) 

* I should, in the interests of transparency, note that I maintain significant cash savings, including my emergency fund, which consists of a year's worth of living expenses. At this point, my student loan balance is small enough that I could technically pay off the entire remaining balance now. But I get really nervous about transferring that much cash all at once, so I'm probably not going to be able to bring myself to pay it all off more than a few weeks ahead of schedule. 

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