Seven-Year Itch

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about infidelity. Or at least not about infidelity with my husband, Andy. It’s about my longing for something newer and different, to have and to hold forever and ever, on my ring finger.

That’s right, folks, I’m redesigning my engagement ring. And I’m bringing you along for the ride, from start to finish, in several installments.

Here is:

Part I – The Inspiration

I got engaged in 2013. Andy and I worked with a lovely consultant named Ellen at Steve Quick Jewelers in Chicago to design my original engagement ring. You’ve seen it here before: it features an oval diamond in a halo setting with a thin micropavé band, all set in platinum. It is feminine, sweet, young, and pretty vanilla:

Over the last seven years, I’ve had to resize my ring several times as my fingers expanded with pregnancy and the seasons. Following my daughter Sloane’s birth in 2019, my ring just didn’t fit anymore at all (for reference, I went from a size 4.5 at the time of my engagement to 6+ now!). Rather than re-size it yet again, I started wearing a single diamond eternity band in its place:

Apart from the sizing issue, I also started to feel a bit…disconnected from the ring over time. My jewelry style evolved to be less dainty and more bold. I began to covet rings that made an impact on the finger and reflected a stronger point of view. Frankly, the halo look also started to feel somewhat dated.

I have hated seeing the ring relegated to my jewelry box, unworn and unloved. I figured someday I would gift it to my children, but until then, it would just lay dormant.

And then, over the summer, I had brunch with a friend from high school, Kaya, whose dad is a jewelry designer. Kaya started telling me about how she was working with her dad to redesign her engagement ring using the existing diamond, to create an entirely new setting. This possibility had never occurred to me, but the thought was thrilling! Kaya encouraged me to reach out to her dad for a consultation.

I immediately raised the idea with Andy to gauge his feelings. He was initially saddened by the notion of changing something that carried so much sentimental weight, but then quickly agreed that I should have the ring I love that suits me now and, most importantly, that I will actually wear.

I scheduled an appointment to meet with Kaya’s dad and started to pull together inspiration photos. I already had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted, especially after having spent months writing this blog and studying literally thousands of ring designs.

My key parameters were this: I want to flip the orientation of the oval to horizontal (or “east-west,” as we say in the biz); change the band to plain yellow gold with a highly rounded profile; and set the diamond in a blackened gold collet. I also want a matching plain gold band that I can stack with the engagement ring and my existing diamond eternity band.

Perhaps my most loyal readers won’t be surprised to know that the primary inspiration for this look comes from my all-time favorite jewelry designer, Jessica McCormack. (As an aside, this style is an homage to Georgian jewelry, which is the subject of a future post.) Here are some of JM’s rings that inspired my new design:

I also found these Fred Leighton rings with a similar design:

This look is so different than my existing ring and just feels more sophisticated, unique, and bold. I think the change from platinum to yellow gold will be an exciting one, especially since I find myself wearing mostly yellow-gold-tone jewelry these days. I also think the east-west setting will give the diamond new life and a less traditional feel.

Stay tuned for the next installment…The Consultation. Coming soon!


3 thoughts on “Seven-Year Itch

  1. I gave my diamond, which actually was originally my grandmothers, to Carrie. My ring (I still have my setting). I had yellow gold. She had it re-set in white gold for her engagement ring.


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