Recently I experienced one of the most incredible ‘firsts’ of my entire career. A new client, Mia, contacted me about making a custom engagement ring. After a few preliminary back and forth emails, we decided to set up an appointment to meet in the studio and discuss designs. Her boyfriend, Joel, came with her to the appointment; they worked together on the design, choosing a gorgeous ruby as the focal gem with a small brilliant white diamond accent, set into white gold. I had already warned them that I was leaving soon for Italy for a month, and would not be able to finish the ring until after I got back. They had made plans to leave on their own vacation just a couple of days after my return. We managed to get to the finished metal stage the day before they were to leave, with the only remaining step being the setting of the gems.
The plan was for Mia and Joel to come to my studio Monday evening after work to see the finished metal and have a final sizing. When they arrived my 6 yr. old daughter and her best friend were playing in the studio, but thankfully they graciously indulged the kiddo’s intrusion. I was very excited to show them their all-but-the-last-step finished piece. I took the ring out, gently laying the ruby and diamond on top of their settings, and carefully handed it to Joel for him to place on Mia’s hand. As he took the ring I noticed his hands were trembling a bit. He turned to Mia and slowly, quietly asked, “will you marry me?” An incredible electricity seemed to charge the air in the room for a moment – she looked up, startled, thrilled, and said ‘Yes!’ She gingerly put the gems down and they hugged and kissed each other giddily. The girls were so excited they were cheering; I looked at Joel – incredulous – and asked “is that the first time you asked?” and he said that yes, it was…
It was the most amazing thing, and I felt like the luckiest person in the world to have a job that lets me witness such incredibly powerful moments.
Life is good.
For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. The birthstone for July, it is the gem most often associated with passion and fire. Along with sapphire, it is from the corundrum family, and is one of the hardest gems known to man, second only to diamond. The only thing that separates a ruby from a sapphire is trace elements within the crystals, but only red corundum is entitled to be called ruby, all other colors are considered sapphires.