I often talk to people about making sure they actually wear their jewellery. There is simply no point investing in pieces that you take out of the jewellery box so occasionally that you hardly remember the last time you wore them. I'm a big believer in wearing special pieces everyday - ensuring maximum enjoyment from each item of jewellery you own is at the core of the service I offer.
A new client came to me recently as she had inherited two three-stone diamond rings, one had belonged to her paternal grandmother and one belonged to her own mother who, very sadly, she had recently lost. She made it clear to me that she had no desire to wear multiple rings and loved simple, classic styles. I suggested to her that we could create a contemporary five-stone ring using the diamonds from both rings whilst retaining the original settings so that, in the future, she could reunite them if she chose to do so, or possibly even pop in some other stones to be able to give her children rings using the original settings. She was thrilled as had worried that to get something she wanted to wear she'd have to trade them in or sell them which would have been too painful.
Firstly, I wanted to give her a few suggestions then some time to mull things over. Given the nature of her bereavement we didn't want to rush this job.
So, with no pressure for a decision from her I worked with her over a period of a few months, looking through images of rings she liked, spending time getting to know her taste and what she wanted to achieve from the project. Subsequently, with collaboration from the particular workshop I knew was best suited to this particular project, I put together a collection of designs that she could choose from when she felt ready to do so. My workshops also understand the importance of sentiment in jewellery and I trust them to grasp the instructions I can translate from my client on an emotional level to them on a practical level. When she advised me of her final choice the workshop very carefully removed five diamonds from her two rings, ensuring the survival of the originals, and work commenced on this very important jewel.
I'm pleased to say the client is thrilled with her five-stone diamond ring and the sentiment of having both her mother and her grandmother's stones mounted in a ring together just feels right for her.
When I returned her mother's setting and the remaining sixth stone (the centre stone of her Grandmother's ring) in a condition that means they can be reused she was very touched and reiterated that she was delighted to have got the ring itself back and is pleased that there is scope to create another ring in future with her Grandmother's centre stone - in time she may decide to add her own daughter's birth stones in it and present it to her as a gift.
Sentiment in jewellery cannot be overstated. I am pleased to say that with over twenty years of experience in the field I have a very clear grasp of what is important. When I started in the business, I noted how my jewellery hero (he knows who he is) always ensured every client feels that the financial aspect of their piece was the least important part of the picture. It is the story and sentiment that mean the most and it is a privilege to help people with such an emotional purchase or reinvention. Jewellery helps mark the most significant moments in our lives - births, marriages, deaths - and I want to ensure the right piece is found for every client for those moments.