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A Grandmother's Touch

We may be from the Emerald Isle, but the Clarkin Clan is a family of blue people. My mom always told me it was genetic: We believe things are better if they are blue.

The love of blue is consistent across family units. Inside our houses, nearly everything is a shade of blue. The bedspreads are blue, our drinking glasses are blue, the mantel is littered with blue vases, and other blue glass ornaments. The granite is flecked with blue, along with the dishcloth that wipes it down. The plates, wall colors, boxes of tissues, and, of course, our jewelry: all blue. If it's not blue, you may not get a reaction, but if it is, you will often hear an audible hum of approval.

This familial love for blue is credited to my grandmother, Dot.

When my cousin Kerry came to me with a brilliant blue aquamarine ring that belonged to our grandmother, I knew the only option for a redesign that was true to Dot and true to the most prolific characteristic of our family was to amp up the blue.


As the youngest in the family when my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimers, I never really got to know my grandmother. By the time my memories were starting to stick, hers were long gone. She was making up words and flushing her jewelry down the toilet. The ring Kerry inherited is one of the few pieces my grandfather purchased to replace her jewelry.

In this heirloom redesign, we took the aquamarine that sat in a 14k white gold setting and elevated it with materials to match the importance of this piece as one of the few pieces of jewelry left that honors my grandmother's legacy.

The aquamarine has been reset in platinum with a split band setting. A second shade of blue is introduced into the ring in vivid Sapphires that pave the split band. There are two bezel set sapphire "dots" on either side of the aquamarine: a clear nod to our blue-loving grandmother, Dot.

Bookending each side of the split, princess cut aquamarine gems echo the bright blue of our grandmother's oval stone. When viewed from the top, the princess cut's bezels create an X on either side of the ring that tie the ring--and the generations--together.

This ring was worn by my Grandmother. It is now worn by my cousin, Kerry. It will someday be worn by Kerry's daughter--my goddaughter--Kate. It's a cross-generational memento and the redesign reflects not only that connection, but the strength of the relationships between Dot's legacy in her absence.

Dot's love for blue, along with her beautiful blue aquamarine, will continue to be passed down and loved by generations to come.

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