My engagement ring is beautiful.
Consisting of a fairly sizeable solitaire diamond sitting aboard an ‘S’ wave of teeny tiny diamonds, it sparkles away quite considerably whilst being completely subtle. And it’s old. I don’t know how old something has to be for it to be classed as ‘antique’, but it was my grandmother’s engagement ring and she got married in the 40’s… so this little thing I wear on a daily basis is at least 70 years old.
Those who have been reading my blog since it started (oh, how I love you) will know about my engagement ring wobbles when Paul proposed. Completely unfounded wobbles as it turned out, considering the barrage of ‘Don’t touch that ring!!’ noises I received when merely pondering the possibility of melting it down and using the diamond to make something a little more me.
Fortunately I didn’t, as the sentimental value was simply too great, and I’ve really grown to love the ring that I will hopefully wear my whole life. Unfortunately for me, it is the most difficult shape known to man when it comes to choosing a wedding band.
Now, I am a complete and utter fusspot when it comes to jewellery (especially the kind of jewellery that comes with the added pressure of having to love it forever), so the ring choosing process was never going to be easy. But the fact that the ring has such a deep wave has really put the kibosh on the Pandora-style stacking rings effect I hoped to build up over the years. And really, it’s put the kibosh on the whole choosing a ring thing, when actually, I have to get something specially made.
And here-in lies the problem: what one design to go for, when the possibilities are endless and my taste seems to change on a daily basis. Oh, and that eeny weeny thing we like to call a budget.
I know what I don’t want, and that’s a plain band. Whether it’s straight (thus leaving a big old gap between the two rings) or shaped to fit like the picture on the right (not very pretty on it’s own), I’m after something a little bit more… well, statement I guess. I want it to be a beautiful ring in it’s own right; not something to merely sit next to it’s bigger and better older brother.
To cut a long story short, I’ve been collating images of all kinds of bands and ring combinations for a while now, and a winning style has gradually begun to form…
I like texture, clearly. The rings above all contain some form of engraving or pattern or millgrain… and the odd diamond… if the budget can stretch that far. To me, these rings are bohemian and romantic and unique, and will compliment the age of my grandmother’s ring. I have long been a fan of Rust Jewellery and got very excited when I saw a ‘bespoke ring’ section on their website… only to be left feeling bitterly disappointed when I discovered they are not doing any commissions for the foreseeable future. Boo hiss.
So, it was after a quick google of ‘bespoke jeweller Kent’ that I found myself in Canterbury last Friday, having an appointment with Ortwin Thyssen, a German jewellery-maker making the most beautiful creations. His website doesn’t do justice to the stunning, stylish and unique selection of rings and other pieces in his shop window, but I knew I was in the right place the minute I walked in. The fact that the man was a cross between Ardal O’Hanlon (in looks) and Gepetto from Pinocchio (in nature and craftmanship), also sweetened the deal.
I spent nearly two hours in that little workshop of his, but came out feeling confident he was going to make me something very special, and pleasantly surprised at the price. I wanted platinum and I hoped for a smattering of teeny tiny diamonds… and I’m getting both for less than half of what I was quoted on a recent trip to Hatton Garden. There’s no CAD or computers for Ortwin as his jewellery is entirely made by hand, so the whole process is going to be a bit of a work in progress…
…But that’s what makes it so exciting.
Come on marrieds and engageds- who went bespoke? Care to share your finger adornments?