I recently did something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I took my mother's wedding set and a pair of diamond stud earrings to a local jewelry store and am having them reset into something I can wear. I am so excited about this process. Not only will I have very special pieces from my mother to wear, but I am having them restyled at a jewelry store where she went many, many years ago to have a piece redone from her grandmother. In a way, it is like a tradition.
My mother passed away in 1997. Since my father remarried and moved North, I have had most of her jewelry including her gorgeous wedding set - an oval center stone flanked by two tapered baguettes in the engagement ring and two more tapered baguettes on either side of a straight baguette in the wedding band. I have always loved this piece obviously as it is a symbol of my parent's love. It also has an amazing story. My father was serving in Vietnam when he decided my mother was the one. He had his mother shop for engagement rings and take pictures of the top contenders. My grandmother mailed the photos to my dad in Vietnam who picked the winner. My grandmother bought the ring for him, and mailed it to my mother. Can you imagine getting an engagement ring in the mail, then planning a wedding in the hopes that your intended is not killed in the war? Well, luckily, my father served out his tour, came home, and they were married about a month later.
I have had this amazing jewelry in a drawer for years. While the rings fit, there is really no way for me to wear them as I have my own gorgeous wedding set. I also have a pair of diamond studs that were given to me by my husband, so those were excess as well.
I took the jewelry to Jewelsmith and met Patrick. I arrived just before closing one afternoon, but Patrick was kind enough to talk to me about what I wanted and show my some pieces that they had custom made for other clients. While the work was beautiful, there was no idea that really spoke to me. We decided to have another appointment to discuss the transformation further. The next day, I have an idea (I was in the shower - it's weird that a lot of my great ideas come while I am showering). I was so excited, I could barely contain myself.
Patrick loved my idea - two pieces. We could not find a way to put all of the stones in one ring. It turns out that it is pretty tough to work with the tapered baguettes. I just didn't want to leave stones unused, but I also did not want to add additional stones. I felt like I would look at the ring and think "hmm - is that the original stone or a matched one?" Making two pieces, a pendant and a ring, would allow us to use all the stones without it looking like too much. And so, the design process began...