When my husband proposed to me in 2015, he proposed with the most beautiful 4.08 carat vintage emerald cut diamond ring. It was flanked with two tapered baguettes, dated from the 1930s-40s. He picked it out without me in order to surprise me. Like most men shopping without the woman’s input, he chose something from his own taste instead of mine since that is what he knows best. It was beautiful, stunning and everything I could ever hope for…
But it wasn’t my style.
Captain Redbeard likes classic, timeless styles that are not loud and obnoxious. He likes things to look contemporary, streamlined, and clean. So he bought me a ring that showed off the center stone and was exactly the contemporary, streamlined, and clean look he sought.
Except I’m loud and obnoxious.
My style in jewelry is loud and obnoxious. If I can wear a ring on every finger and have it look socially appropriate, I would. I like things to be giant, sparkly, and loud. My personality is just like that, so why wouldn’t my jewelry be? But Redbeard and I are both sentimental, and I am a bit of a vintage and antique jewelry purist. It sort of pains my heart to alter anything old. And it wasn’t like anything was inherently wrong with the ring… It just was a little basic for me. I still wore it every single day, and fawned over the stone’s beauty. And, to be honest, it was a nice change to not call so much attention on a ring when I am in a professional setting at work.
However, my engagement ring’s setting actually met its demise just a few months after being proposed to.
I was clapping, laughing, and having a jolly time in Las Vegas for my joint Bachelor and Bachelorette party after the JCK show with my jewelry lover friends. I felt the bottom of my finger get pinched. The shank of my ring had cracked. Cue the waterworks and anxiety attack. My wedding was in just a week!
Luckily, I had plenty of knowledgeable people right there alongside me to calm me down and tell me what to do to maintain the ring’s integrity for the following week. I had the shank repaired, only to have it crack again after a while. I had it re-shanked. Then a prong broke off. I got that fixed, and then another prong broke off and was pointed out by the jeweler at a holiday party. As much as I am an antique and vintage enthusiast and purist, I had to let it go. Redbeard had to let it go. We knew we had to reset our ring. But I knew I couldn’t rush the process or I would end up choosing something I would grow tired of eventually. So cue the hashtag…
Since my love for jewelry tends to gear towards the vintage and antique side, I was exposed to a few Victorian era convertible pieces. In fact, in my research phase, I actually purchased a convertible Victorian piece that moves from ring to stick pin to ??? not really sure what it is three-way convertible piece.
I love the idea of having multiple transformations using one center stone, especially since I have the world’s most fickle heart.
So maybe I can design something that is both my husband’s taste and my own? I contacted at least 10 different jewelers that would let me design this using my awful pencil sketches and inspiration pictures, and in the end, I chose to go with Sako from Cicada Jewelry Design.
I wanted something basic, something timeless for the everyday, something that is my husband’s taste. And I wanted it to convert to something extra af. I was inspired by Art Deco steps from a ring I found on 1st Dibs and from my friend Jocelyn of Gilded Lane‘s Zelda ring. But I also wanted it to be somewhat contemporary. I was terrified that my concoction would result in a Frankenstein ring, but I trusted my gut instincts (and Sako’s blunt words of wisdom) that it would come out amazing. And amazing it came!
I can wear it as basic as I want, for when I am in a setting that calls for a more demure look:
I can put on one band to create a tiara look and stack with other bands:
Or I can wear the whole shabang together for one very loud, very sparkly, and very extra look:
In the end, I am very pleased with how my ring came out. it is now very much “me”. The plain solitaire style fits my Monday through Friday work life in an educational setting with little boogery, germy kids. And the ring jackets altogether create a look that is perfect for nightlife and weekend affairs for this retired beauty pageant princess.
It’s the perfect day-to-night ring.
So now I am on a mission to #bringbackthejacket. Ring jackets paired with solitaire rings are perfect for changing up an outfit easily or to upgrade your ring without breaking the bank. Instead of upgrading your whole ring every whatever-anniversary you planned for, you can make yourself a new jacket.
Jeweler friends, I would love love love to collaborate on a The Jewel Diary x [YOUR NAME HERE] line of jackets. Please email me if you’re interested!
platinum solitaire and jackets | Sako from Cicada Jewelry Design
18k carved bark band | Anueva Jewelry
18k orange blossom band | vintage
4.08 carat vintage emerald cut diamond | Jewels by Grace
velvet ring boxes | Marcia May Designs