Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bling - The Story of Kait's Ring (mainly)

A few months ago, back in good ole 2011, we were talking a lot about our future and the topic of marriage came up fairly often. When Tom finally proposed, it was not with a shiny diamond ring - instead he used what he had on hand (literally! Ha ha... ha... I'm so sorry) and asked for her hand with his engineer's iron ring (and a promise of a better ring to come).

From there we worked together to design a ring, flipping between designs with aquamarines to diamonds, from yellow or white gold to mixed. We visited Bejeweled on King St. and we spoke with a friend, until finally we found a design that matched our dreams.

The basis for the design comes from this photo, which Kaitlyn found online. The simple design met Tom's minimalist standards and the ridge and pinch seemed to represent a mountain ridge and river; a nice tie-in to our natural sides.

Initially the material was a concern. Researching eco-friendly rings taught us a bit too much about the impacts of gold extraction and convinced us that recycled gold would be the only responsible way forward. Kaitlyn's mother, Diane, and grandmother stepped forward and very generously offered their wedding bands toward the cause, creating in the process a slight modification in the design - Diane's white gold would be used to build the ridge atop her grandmother's yellow gold base. Extra gold was provided by Diane in the form of gold nugget earrings and a necklace given to her by Greg after a trip to the Yukon many years back.

Diane's white gold wedding band over her Grandmother's yellow gold band.

Gold nugget earrings and necklace.

For the stone we went looking at Canadian diamonds through Brilliant Earth. Trading quantity in favour of higher quality we selected a diamond that made up for size in shear perfection of cut, quality, and clarity. (When it arrived there was an incident that I (Tom) am simply unable to put to words - ask someone else!).

I didn't risk removing the diamond from the case - trust
me that it's prettier than it appears here.

With materials gathered we commissioned Erica Sullivan to create our ring. Erica teaches jewelry at the NBCCD and is starting up a natural jewelry company, TerraInspirations. A bit part of her company mission is to minimize the use of harsh chemicals and develop environmentally-conscious accessories, and in her work she draws extensively on natural shapes and forms - in other words, she was perfect for the job.

Erica began construction on the ring, melting down the gold and reshaping it back at the beginning of March. Mid-way through the process we visited her to see the work-in-progress (and Tom got to pull some of the white gold through a die - oh yeah!) and shortly before Easter we had the opportunity to see the unpolished, near-completed ring.

Friday, April the 13th (the ill omens are offset by Kait's having been born on the cursed day) we picked up the ring and a bottle of red wine and, out on the back deck, we completed the 5.5 month proposal with the giving of a ring.

Final product.


What about the wedding bands, you ask? What do they look like, you also ask? You'll just have to wait and see!

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