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When actress Emma Stone and her new fiancé, SNL writer Dave McCary, announced their engagement this past Wednesday with dual Instagram posts, Stone's adorning fan base had a hard time figuring out what she was wearing on the ring finger of her left hand. Was it a diamond? Might it be... a pearl?
The Instagram photo shows the beaming couple posing for a selfie while Stone extends her fist to the camera. While their faces are in focus, her ring is just a sparkly blur.
As the news broke, some reporters ran with the assumption that the ring's center stone must be an out-of-focus diamond in a diamond halo setting. MarthaStewartWeddings.com said Stone was "flashing a diamond engagement ring with a twisted platinum band." Bustle.com said Stone "showed off a pretty impressive diamond ring."
But then an engagement ring expert told Us Magazine that the ring appeared to be an antique-inspired design featuring either a 3 to 3.5-carat Old European cut diamond or a 9 to 10mm pearl.
As more information became available, we learned that Stone's ring by Tokyo designer Kataoka does, indeed, feature a lustrous 8mm untreated saltwater pearl surrounded by .37 carats of diamonds in a snowflake motif. The ring's 18-karat gold band is also encrusted with diamonds.
McCary purchased the ring at a Brooklyn, N.Y., boutique called Catbird. The retailer's website features a similar ring priced at $4,780.
While style writers gushed over the pearl ring, calling it "striking," "on trend" and "the perfect winter engagement ring," jewelry-industry experts wondered if McCary's unconventional choice was misinformed.
Cultured pearls are typically not used as center stones in engagement rings because they are delicate and not suited to daily wear and tear. While a diamond rates 10 on the Mohs hardness scale (it's the hardest of all gemstones), the pearl earns a 2.5 (one of the softest). Corundum, which includes sapphires and rubies, rates a 9.
The Gemological Institute of America warns that pearls can be easily scratched or abraded, but acknowledges that with reasonable care pearl jewelry can be a lasting treasure.
Pearl lovers who insist on following Stone's lead should know the risks and responsibilities that come with owning a pearl engagement ring.
• If you wear the ring every day and work with your hands, it's very likely the pearl will get dinged over time.
• Pearls can be damaged by household products, including vinegar, ammonia and chlorine. They need to be kept away from hairspray, perfume, cosmetics, and even perspiration.
• Always remove a pearl ring when showering, swimming or doing the dishes.
• Consider keeping small ring holders in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and work desk so you are less likely to lose track of the ring if you need to take it off during the day.
• Be prepared to replace the pearl every so often.
Stone, 31, and McCary, 34, have reportedly been dating since the summer of 2017. McCary works as a writer and segment director on Saturday Night Live. Stone is an Academy Award winner and one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. According to reports, they met more than two years ago when Stone hosted SNL.
Credits: Couple image via Instagram.com/davemccary; Inset ring image courtesy of Catbird.