heirloom

Repost: Mom’s Diamond Gets a New Life!

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My mom was married back in 1963. She and my dad spent countless weekends camping, but that didn’t bode so well for her wedding ring. Within the first year of marriage, her ring somehow was lost at a campsite. (I completely think some squirrel picked up the sparkler and hauled it back to his home in a hollow tree where it still lives today, but that’s just my theory.) At any rate, mom lived the next 25 years with just her wedding band…no diamond.

Then one night in Carmel, dad surprised her with a new diamond ring for their 25th wedding anniversary. He had spent SO much time and effort researching just the right stone for the ring. To say she was surprised was an understatement. I remember her calling me on the phone, and she was so in shock she could barely speak!! Originally it was set in a traditional prong setting, but years later, she had it reset into this platinum design.

mom's diamond ring
mom's ring

Mom hasn’t worn her ring for a few years now, and it was just collecting dust in her safety deposit box. Then something wonderful happened. My brother met the woman of his dreams, his true partner and soulmate, and found himself in need of an engagement ring. Well hello, diamond! What can we do with you?!

ring sketch by atelier gigi

You may remember reading about Atelier Gigi a while back, and I knew she was the woman for the job. The first step was sending the diamond down to the GIA to have it appraised. Gigi then gathered photos of various ring designs. She wanted to find out what attributes my brother liked, and what he didn’t like. Using this information, she started sketching. She came up with a few options, but my brother and I both fell in love with this one.

With the clean, modern setting and the two half-moon diamonds on either side, it was just perfect.

I knew my sister-in-law to be would swoon! Gigi brought in some choices for the side diamonds, and I was able to help select the ideal set, as my brother doesn’t live locally. I’m impressed how we were all on the exact same page throughout this process.

A few weeks later, the ring was ready. Mom and I went up to the city to pick it up. It turned out even better than I could have imagined! Here are a couple photos Gigi took with her iPhone….

diamond ring by atelier gigi
diamond ring by atelier gigi
diamond ring by atelier gigi

Has your jaw hit the floor yet?!

Mom transported the ring up to my brother’s house, and he had to hide it for a whole week. I can envision him opening the box that week and peering into its depths; I know he could barely wait for the proposal to take place.

Fast forward a week, and my brother and his soon-to-be bride were off to Tahoe for a surprise over-nighter. I must say, she was NOT expecting to be proposed to on the gondola in Heavenly…but she said, “YES!!”

Scott + Tricia!!!

Just writing this story brings tears to my eyes. My family is extremely blessed to have Tricia and her son in our lives. I wish her, my brother and their three children a lifetime filled with love, happiness and adventure. Can’t wait for the wedding!! xoxo

Reposted from Jewelry Fashion Tips by Amy Roseveare: Mom’s Diamond Gets a New Life!

Got (Jewelry) Lemons? Make (Jewelry) Lemonade!

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Imagine this: you’re out shopping one day and you see a gorgeous blue sapphire ring that you are craving to possess. But wait! You already have a blue sapphire ring at home that you never wear. It’s not your style, but you inherited it from your Aunt Gertrude and feel like you can’t get rid of it for sentimental reasons. What’s a girl (or guy) to do? Now, close your eyes and imagine that beautiful gem surrounded by precious metal in a setting that suits you perfectly. Do you feel a warm and fuzzy feeling inside that brings a big smile to your face? I thought so…

If you have a beautiful gem, don’t let it gather dust in a drawer or safe… repurpose it! There are so many reasons to do this, and the potential to save money is just the tip of the iceberg.

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1.  You get a piece of jewelry that is custom-crafted with you in mind. All of your jewelry-related fantasies will finally come true!

2.  You get to actually like and WEAR the jewelry that was gifted to you (albeit in a different form.) This gives you the pleasure of remembering the special occasion the gem commemorates, or the person who loved you enough to pass their jewelry to you, each and every time you see your new creation.

3.  You are recycling! If possible, I use the metal from the jewelry you are repurposing. If not, I use purified and recycled metal for all of my client’s projects. So, instead of buying something new, you make use of things that have already been through the production process.

4.  Did I mention the part about saving money???

I’ve repurposed a lot of jewelry over the years, and I know a countless number of people who have kicked themselves for not doing it sooner. Typically, their hesitation stems from the following concerns, which I’ll also address below:

"I feel guilty about altering something that was gifted to me." Jewelry is meant to be worn, but everyone has their own style. Repurposing allows you to cherish your gift AND enjoy putting it on your body.

"I think the process will be incredibly expensive." Costs are directly correlated to the complexity of the project, its size/weight, and the materials you choose. A simple, sterling silver, prong-set gemstone pendant is much less expensive than a platinum, diamond encrusted tiara.

"I think the process will be incredibly time-consuming." The process can be as short as three weeks, or as long as you need to feel comfortable.

"I don’t know who to speak with about the process." (i.e., who to trust). I suggest checking out Yelp! or another review site. Does the designer have a Better Business Bureau seal of approval? How long have they been designing? Are they able to design in the style you are looking for? Most importantly, do you feel like they are listening to you and what you want? These are good questions to answer before you make your selection.

"I don’t think I deserve to have something made especially for me." I’m not a therapist, but I can speak from personal experience. Everyone deserves to feel special and people find meaning in both simple and complex expressions of art and emotion. If jewelry is your thing, don’t let the naysayers stop you from treating yourself!

Take action on your to-do list and celebrate your accomplishments with things that make you feel beautiful. It’s okay to be “selfish.” You are enjoying this life to the fullest, and make no apologies for it.

Still not sure? How about some before and after shots for inspiration...

If you are ready to get started,or need some more inspiration, contact me today to schedule your first complimentary design consultation. The holidays will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to start planning something special for yourself or someone you love.

Our Feature in Style Me Pretty

It was such an honor to have my work featured in Style Me Pretty this Fall.

The story behind this custom jewelry is so lovely. My client wanted her daughter to have a special wedding gift made from heirloom jewelry she inherited from her mother. The bride lives on the East Coast, so mom was the intermediary for much of the process, while I communicated mainly by phone and email with the bride.

The process for this one-of-a-kind necklace and earrings was a touching experience to behold, and it was great fun to have the final results captured in a well-known bridal magazine. You can just see how much meaning the one-of-a-kind necklace and earring set, created from a family heirloom, brought to the bride and her family on her special day.

In the mom's own words:

“Gigi created a necklace and earrings that incorporated stones from an antique piece. She honored my budget and preferences and created stunning, original designs that were amazingly versatile. I look forward to collaborating with her in the future!” - Katharine H., Marin, CA

How's that for "something old" and "something new"?!

Thank you so much to this lovely family for letting me be a part of their wedding day memories, congratulations!