A Symbol of Committment

My wife, Lindsay, and I were married on June 13th, 2008. It will be three weeks as of this Friday.

I have been meaning to post some photos of our rings for sometime now, but I haven’t gotten around to it. So here they are.

We got both of them from a small local jeweler in Burlington, Vermont where I have been living for the past two years. It is called Designer’s Circle, on Church Street in downtown Burlington. I came to be pretty good friends with the owner, his wife-to-be, and this dude named Jesse. Great place. I liked it so much I brought in three of my friends to give them business.

Lindsay’s ring was designed by a husband and wife jewelry business out in San Jose, California called Eichhorn Imports, Inc. I think her name is Dotty. The crazy part about Lindsay’s ring is that Dotty herself traveled to the ruby mines to find this natural ruby, as well as the diamonds. She gets a better deal when she goes direct. (She cuts out the ‘middle man’.)

It was the first ring I looked at, ever. I had just told my parents, maybe 45 minutes before that I wanted to marry here (they were visiting me in Vermont), and my Mom was already nudging me into jewelry shops. This was the first place we stepped in, and the place we ended up. I put a down payment on it before they left for Minnesota.

As you see, there are 2 bands. The original ring had only the top band. When it came time to be married, I wanted something a little different. So I had them custom build the wedding band around the engagement ring so that it looked like the wedding band wove through the middle of the engagement ring. (What they in fact did was cut the wedding band in half, weld it on to each side of the ring, then cut the bottom of the engagement ring band, pry them apart, and reattach the bottom pieces to the cut & welded halves.) I’m sure that you can totally picture that in your head.

My ring was a different story. When Lindsay, my wife, came to Vermont to visit in April ’08, we went shoppin’ for man-rings. We searched several different jewelers in Burlington, but found nothing stunning or exciting. We wanted to find something as unique, simple, beautiful, and elegant as Lindsay’s ring, but with some man-style. No luck.

Until, we came to the Grannis Gallery on Church Street. It is more of an artists’ gallery than it is a jewelry shop, but it had a large selection of jewelry. So we checked them out and found two that I especially liked.

One was crafted by artist Namu Cho. (The one I liked was the big half round one in the upper right corner.) That cool thing about this ring, besides the way it looked, was the material and its process. It is called Damascus Steel. It’s a steel that is created through the forging/tempering process. Very cool.

The other ring that I was interested in was crafted by William Scholl. (The one I liked was the big thick one in the upper left.) Not a special crazy process or anything, just a nice design.

Lindsay and I were hoping that these rings would be in our price range after we had them sized down for my finger, and then changed the gold to 14k. Not true. They were both out of our price range, mostly due to the fact that Grannis Gallery is not a jewelry shop, it’s an art gallery. So the prices have to be higher to support the shop & the artists. I respect that, but it was a bummer for Lindsay and I. Oh yea, and the other factor was that gold is about $932 per ounce. Hoofta. When I got her ring, 1 year before, it was about $670 per ounce.

Lindsay and I weren’t able to settle on a ring before she left, after a weeks stay. So I was left deliberating, or stochastically speculating on my own. Eventually, one more morning I woke up with an idea for a ring. So I sketched it down in my trusty Moleskine journal, and made some notes about it. (I just posted that sketch, check it out below.)

The next day I took my sketch down to Designer’s Circle and chatted with Dave (the owner) about it. I was thinking that we were going to have to custom build this thing, wax mold, etcetera. Nope. Dave is the man. He told me they are about helping people get what they want without paying an arm and a leg for it. (We’ll save those for gas.)

So we ordered the stock ring from a jewelry company, and then did the custom design at the shop. Designer’s Circle has a jeweler upstairs that does all their custom work, retouching, re-tipping, buffing, polishing, etcetera. So in 4 days they had my ring built.

We went through about 7 different revisions to get the hammering, satin finish, and the scored line just right. But I really like it. In fact, its growing on me more and more. Lindsay digs it too.


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