Now it’s official, Trista has a real engagement ring. We had gone shopping to just a few jewelry stores in the Flint area and hadn’t gotten a chance to really dive into true ring hunting before Trista started school and work and a new nonstop on-the-go lifestyle. About a week or so after Trista started working at the jewelry store, a new ring arrived there and Trista loved it. She called me up and made me drive over there to come and see it.
[Obviously pictures of the ring after the diamonds were removed]
[but you still get the idea]
Apparently the ring itself is an antique from the 1940’s which made Trista fall in love with it even more (She loves old stuff that has a history. I guess those things have a name… which is… antique) Trista tried it on her finger and it fit sort of screwy because the edge of the ring had a pointy ridge that pushed into her knuckle.
We really liked the original for the most part, but there were a few things that we wished could be changed. So we decided to have our friend (and Trista’s boss) Wendy hand-make us a new ring with the same look but with an updated style using those antique diamonds. The first thing we opted to change was the ugly yellow gold (I hate yellow gold. *yuck* sorry for those of you who have it,, um… on you… it looks nice) to 18k white gold. We could have gone with the platinum but were advised that it tends to cloud up and scratch easier than gold reducing the shine. And platinum just isn’t as awesome as people think it is (that’s what I say anyway). In addition to changing the color we had to reduce the pointy sides so the ring would fit on her finger. As it was, the ring itself was simply too wide for Trista’s bony fingers, but on top of that, you add the pointy sharp ridges and it was simply obnoxious. And finally, we added 4 more diamonds to the top of the “basket” that the main diamond sits in.
[Isn’t it awesome]
What’s really cool about this ring is that the smaller diamonds are “floating” instead of being held up by a shelf. Take a look, you can see how the diamonds are held up by little prongs bur aren’t supported by anything else below. I am told that the reason that she went with this design is that the quality of diamonds was high enough that it would look right. Whereas a lower clarity level wouldn’t have been right for that style of mounting.
Now you can see that this ring fits much better. It was brought down a whole size, the “table” was reduced to the width of Trista’s finger and the edge that was formerly a pointed edge is just a huge wide band that looks super sweet.
[Trista’s fingers are red because she just came in out of the cold]
[And she is a freak]
The ring came in this super stylish bamboo box.
[Wendy is especially proud of the box]
But wait, there’s more. This is just the engagement ring, there’s another ring, the wedding band, that goes along with it. (I guess you could figure that out but some people choose to only have one ring. i.e. Katie French.) I have pictures of it in it’s current unfinished state and will now proceed with showing them to you. Yay.
I’ll try to explain to you how the ring was made. I am doing this from memory and I really don’t know what the heck I’m talking about so keep that in mind.
– The ring is hand carved using some sort of Dremel tool grinding thingie that I like to imagine looks like a dentist’s drill. It is carved out of some sort of wax that is somewhat hard but quite fragile. The ring would look something like this. (I WOULD have a REAL picture of the REAL ring in wax but SOMEONE (Wendy) didn’t take a picture of it before the next step.) It’s ok, I forgive her. So I found a picture of what the wax looks like but ours was red.
– After getting the wax set. It is then placed into some sort of thingie where some sort of cement (I wish I knew what I was saying) is poured around it and left to harden.
– Next there is some sort of process where the wax melts out the bottom leaving a cement mold to be filled with gold.
– After the gold cools, the cement is broken to retrieve the ring so it becomes truly a one-of-a-kind.
– When the gold comes out, it looks all crude and nasty.
– You can see that the holes and grooves are still filled with the cement.
– You can also see where the gold had to be broken off from the “tree” like if you remember Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, the weapons would come on a plastic tree (I’m informed that any Barbie playset does as well) that you had to break them off leaving a stupid plastic burr to be pointy and annoying. It’s like that only metal.
– Next step is to “tumble” it in what I like to think of as a rock tumbler for jewelry. Wendy says that I’m about right with that description. The point of this is to clean it up and remove the remaining cement and to smooth it out a bit.
– After that, it gets polished up and sent off to have the diamonds set and *boom* you have yourself a hand made ring.
I’m sure that if I missed a step or have something completely wrong, Wendy will tell me and I’ll change it. But that’s what I know about the ring making process.
I’d now like to point out something that Trista and I thought was an extra special touch that Wendy added. If you’ll notice that on the wedding band there are little diamond shapes just like the one on my tatoo.
[We REALLY thought that was cool]
Now there’s a story about how I gave this second ring to her. Wendy had been working on this ring for almost 2 months and we were in no real hurry to get it. We then made plans to have Trista dropped off to visit her family before Thanksgiving on my way to New York. I thought that it would be nice if she could have her ring to take with her and show her family. I talked to Wendy and she told me that it would be a nightmare but it could possibly be done but we wanted to keep it a secret from Trista. Actually, I think that Wendy was more excited about the idea of surprising her than I was. So I had Trista ask Wendy (not knowing that I had already made arrangements) about weather or not she could get her ring in time. Of course, Wendy said there would be NO WAY it could be done. So according to Trista, that was that and she didn’t think about it again after that.
Earlier in the evening of the day we left for New York, Trista had to drive up to Fenton to give Marlena and Travis their painting that she did for them, so I went and secretly picked up the ring and made it back home acting as if I had never left the house. Now from this point on I had the ring in my pocket and I wanted to have a silly second little engagement story since the first one was… well… read and you’ll see. (Here’s the original engagement story)
We ate dinner like nothing was going on and during, I kept bringing up little things about weddings and proposal stories (like our friends Amy and Taylor) and stuff like that to get her to start talking about it. While she was packing for the trip, I came in the bedroom and said, “Man, you know what would have been awesome? If I had secretly picked up the ring for you to have before we went away.”
“Yeah.” She said, continuing to pack and not really giving it a second thought. And I continued to go about my business of packing and getting ready. Then I came back in the room and said, “Yeah, you know how you think of doing something after the fact wishing that you had done it. Like when you get in a fight and think to yourself that you should have said this or that.” And she sort of looked at me like I was retarded and continued on. I then came back into the room a final time and said, “Yeah, wouldn’t it have been awesome if Wendy had worked like crazy to get the ring done by today and I had gone to meet her today while you went to Marlena’s. And wouldn’t it have been awesome if during dinner I would have brought up awkward conversations about weddings and proposals. And wouldn’t it have been awesome if I had secretly had your ring in my pocket all night and then during the time when you were packing, I came in and started making no sense about ‘I should have done this or that’. And wouldn’t have been awesome if I had come into the room and knelt down (as I’m saying this I’m kneeling down) and opened up this box (as I pulled out and opened up the ring box) and said “Will you marry me?”
Now I thought this was very clever and afterward so did Trista, but at the time she was sooOOOooo excited to see I had gotten the ring that she snatched it out of the box and ran it over to the lamp to get a good look at it. Leaving me in the middle of the room still on my knee with an empty ring box. I said “HEY! It’s not about the ring, it’s about the fact that I gave it to you.” She laughed and came back to me and gave me a hug (while I like to imagine still looking at the ring on her finger over my shoulder). It was a nice moment and I told her how Wendy worked on it with little to no sleep for 2 straight days just so Trista could take it to New York with her.
So now I have 2 engagement stories (sort of) and the second was better than the first but both are just like us, we like to ruin tender moments with awkwardness because neither of us really know how to act in serious situations. So that’s what WE do