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When Apple employee Steven Simon started looking for an engagement ring for his soon-to-be fiancé, Andrea, his online research proved to be more than frustrating. He called it "painful."
Sites, such as Pinterest, had a great selection of engagement photos, but no details. Was he looking at a 1-carat cushion cut or a 1.5-carat round? How would a diamond of that size look on Andrea's hand? What would be the best precious metal color to flatter her complexion?
With so many questions and few answers, Steven and Andrea set out to build a better mousetrap.
Introducing Sparkly (mysparkly.com), a site dedicated solely to engagement ring selfies, where the founders invite you to "Find your ringspiration™."
Sparkly presents a gallery-style board of user-posted ring selfies, but adds a slew of filtering options — the types seen on top e-commerce sites — so users can drill down to the ring of their dreams.
There are three main menu sections: Diamonds, Settings and Hands.
Within "Diamonds," users can choose from 11 popular cuts, diamond sizes up to 15 carats, colors from D to W and clarities from Internally Flawless to I2.
The "Settings" category offers eight styles, five band features and three metal colors.
The "Hands" section is intended to offer the viewer a proportional, lifelike example of how a ring will look on a specific hand. In addition to being able to pick the carat weight of the diamond, users can also filter based on five skin tones, 15 nail colors and whether or not the ring is shown with a wedding band.
"There had to be a better way to see what a ring really looks like on a real hand, narrow down the faves, and somehow along the way hint to that special someone what you’d love... all the while keeping the proposal the surprise of the century," the founders wrote on the Sparkly "About" page.
Once the user has narrowed down the search and selected her faves, she can share them with friends, family and her future fiancé. Brides-to-be are never notified when a groom-to-be peeks at the registry, thus preserving any potential surprise. A future site enhancement will allow users to select a ring and then "Shop This Look."
And, of course, after the proposal, users are encouraged to return to Sparkly to show off their new engagements rings — along with all the details.
Credits: Screen captures via mysparkly.com.