June 26 2023
Hi there. It’s been a while and I have much to tell you.
On Christmas Eve, Jerry, my partner of ten years, proposed marriage! I was both surprised and overwhelmed with love and excitement. We were in quarantine with Covid, so we had the perfect opportunity to bask in our bubble, contemplate wedding plans and our future together as husband and wife. With my daughter’s summer wedding already in the works, we could wait another year, elope, or exchange vows during a planned tropical vacation in February. After ten years together, why wait? We also realized there is more than love to consider at our age…accountants, estate planners, lawyers, and Social Security; but that's another story. Let's just talk about the bling, baby!
When I learned of Jerry's effort to secretly secure an engagement ring for me, his very particular jeweler-girlfriend, I was touched by how much went into his proposal. It now made sense — his interest in how I felt about rings I had recently made for clients; why I loved So and So’s diamond so much. Uncovering my preference for beautiful, antique, European-cut diamonds with a particular cut and color (very hard to come by), and the fact that I would want to design and make my own ring, he ultimately decided to propose with a stand-in: a simple solitaire he had my jeweler-friend create for the surprise.
My Turn as a Customer
Newly engaged with nothing but possibilities, I became my own client.
I have a few designs in my collection I’ve always loved and thought, “What if…” When reality strikes and you have to choose one to live in 24/7 forever, it gets much harder. Plus, the pressure of being a jewelry designer with everyone’s opinions weighing on me didn’t help. I had to focus on creating something we’d both cherish that was a reflection of OUR story.
The final result — an adaptation of my Nauti-Art Deco ring — is something we both love and one my sentimental guy calls “our ring.” I also discovered a deeper appreciation for the engagement ring journey along the way.
Designing “Our Ring”
I wanted one ring to serve as an engagement ring and wedding band, something wide and low that didn’t snag or spin. A touch of nautical is definitely my style, and I love aspects of art deco: old-school bead setting, rows of tiny diamonds, and hand-engraved frames.
I have spent thirty-five years designing engagement rings and I’ve learned that choosing a diamond with your partner can reveal a lot — your values, lifestyle, traditions, respect for one another, and your financial compatibility. With that in mind, I had five diamonds in a wide range of prices brought in for us to evaluate. With my trained eye, I could see the differences. They all looked pretty much the same to Jerry, except for the price tags, but he valued my expertise and wanted me to choose whichever one I loved. I was touched.
He wanted me to be happy, and I wanted to show my respect for his hard-earned money while still selecting the perfect stone for us. I chose a beautiful European-cut diamond with a gorgeous white color and slight imperfections. It was not the biggest or highest quality stone, but it is the one I fell in love with due to its special cut, color, and personality which would fit perfectly with the design I had in mind.
With a smooth, safe, platinum bezel chosen for the main, round, antique diamond, I considered doing rope sections in yellow gold but decided that would be too busy and stuck with platinum. I added touches of yellow gold around my signature tropical-colored diamonds picked to represent our birthstones.
I love wearing it, and Jerry loves looking at it. It has become a part of me, of us.
Jerry's band was designed to repurpose an old thin band of soft, 22K yellow gold. He always liked the look but it was too soft to wear. We sketched and tweaked ideas together, and loved the idea of making it more substantial by setting the band in 18K white gold with a subtle wave edge. The contrast of the rich, textured yellow gold against the white gold is beautiful. His ring has a strong, rugged elegance and pays homage to his love of the sea (and me).
Our rings are a perfect example of a wedding suite that doesn’t match, but coordinates well and allows us to express our individual style.
We had a magical, relaxing elopement/honeymoon in Grenada, an island we love. We’ve been surrounded by love and support, and we’re still riding that wave as we shift our focus to our daughter’s wedding this summer. What a year it’s been with so much to look forward to!
On a final note, for those wondering if my permanent residence is changing, the answer is no. I’ll still be commuting between Lancaster and Stonington for work and family. You can always check my schedule to find the right time to pop in to say hello!