A few weeks ago, I got a message through my website from someone I met about two years ago on Tinder. "I hope this isn't too awkward, but I'm in the market for an engagement ring..."
Ok--So maybe I didn't really meet Bob through Tinder, though the app is how we became friends. Bob and I both attended the same small liberal arts college and our overlapping acquaintances and shared experiences in the idyllic Purple Valley make him an easy friend and an even easier client.
Bob did meet Alison on Tinder. She is a vibrant woman with a playful imagination. He describes her as silly and fun. Each time he is about to see her, he is giddy with excitement, knowing that he will see her easy smile and experience her whimsical wit.
Bob loves that everything with Alison is exciting--She brings everything they do to life. Alison has subscribed to a service that finds "Extra Tickets" around the city, so whenever a random show has empty seats, they attend. They have seen a variety of New York's finest random acts, from comedy to cabaret, off-off-off Broadway plays to musical performances.
Last summer, Bob and Alison took a road trip down the West Coast en route to his friend's wedding. By the time they arrived, their chatter was in code and the connection they had formed was deep and intertwined. That trip made him know he had found something truly special and he couldn't wipe the smile off his face both at the wedding and in recounting the story.
With this playful spirit in mind, Bob and I set out to create the perfect ring for Alison.
Though her ideas and spirit are exciting, her tastes are not over the top. She loves family heirlooms and vintage jewelry. She wears her grandmother's diamond ring and her other grandmother's gold bracelet with intricate arabic letters scrawled discreetly into a pattern.
Our goal was to create a ring that is wearable, classic, and an instant fit amongst her family heirloom.
This custom designed 18k yellow gold engagement ring features a unique octagonal bezel holding a 0.68-carat E VS1 Old European Cut Diamond with Pear-Shaped Sapphires on either side.
The diamond is an elegant beauty. A unique, certified post-consumer recycled diamond, the Old European Cut is an antique diamond cut that maximizes dispersion, splitting light into the spectral hues inside the diamond. Flanked by two pear-shaped sapphires totaling 0.48-carats that have an uncommonly rich saturation and captivating brilliance, this ring is a subtle stunner packed with high quality gemstones that capture Alison's bright, colorful mind and spirit.
The ring includes a knife edge and handmade millegrain, which are small beads of metal detailing along the edge of the bezels (mille = thousand, grain = grain... Thousand grains!). Millegrain adds points of reflected light off of the metal. Traditionally, millegrain was created by making each individual bead by hand. Today, millegrain is often created by rolling a tool across the edge after a ring is finished or by printing the millegrain into the wax and casting it directly. Creating millegrain in these "new" ways tends to look like an add-on rather than a detail incorporated into the ring. The millegrain in Bob and Alison's ring was created by a jeweler who specializes in antique repairs and was trained in traditional methods. His skills allowed the details of this modern ring to take on the characteristics Alison is drawn to in vintage jewelry.
In the end, we have created a ring that is at once subtle, elegant, colorful, and wearable.
Bob and Alison are a playful couple--Bob proposed with a unicorn as well as the diamond. They have ongoing games of imagination, dreaming up all of the things they would put in their fantasy glass house in the woods. Someday in the future, I will hunt for this glass house they have built to take a look at the life they have built on whimsy and fun.