Making Heirlooms

One of the things that I love most about my job is working with a customer to create a piece that they will give to someone they love. Our first initial meeting is always so exciting to me. When the piece is to be an engagement ring, I want to learn all about the soon-to-be bride-to-be. I think it is so fun to hear all about what makes her so special from the person who loves her most. Practically speaking, it’s also good for me to learn about her hobbies and work. I have even been known to stalk her on Facebook to learn a little more about her. I also like (and need) to hear about the customer’s ideas and vision. This is how we begin to build an heirloom. But what happens when we are making a piece for someone we haven’t even met yet?

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Recently, I had the privilege of designing just such a piece. My dear customer came in with a collection of diamonds, gemstones, and gold. The focal point was a diamond that had belonged to her mother-in-law who passed after a long battle with breast cancer. There were also smaller stones that had belonged to her husband’s grandmother. What is different about this piece is that not only will it be worn by my customer; it will, one day, be given to her son to give his future bride. Her son is the only grandson. He is also only 16 years old.
I thought it was such a sweet and lovely notion that my customer wanted to create a piece that not only would she love wearing, but that she would pass on. And by “pass-on” I mean that she will, when the time comes, take the ring off of her finger and give to her son to give to his “someone special”. I can’t imagine a more generous or sentimental act.  I just LOVE the idea that she helped design her son’s engagement ring. Obviously, we have no idea what the future Mrs. Someone Special will be like, but I’m certain she will love this ring. I hope that she loves it not just because it’s beautiful, but because it was made for her.

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We wanted to make a ring with an antique feel, incorporating elements from different design eras. We also wanted to use as many of the smaller diamonds as possible, along with the two oval sapphires. However, since she will wear it on her right hand, we didn’t want it to compete with her own engagement ring. My hope is that my sweet customer will love it while it is hers and then, one day, be honored to pass it along.

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