My engagement ring was custom made of diamonds from my husband’s family.
I found a diamond ring guard to go on either side of the engagement ring, making it a larger piece. The custom center ring and the outer guard were shaped differently and never quite fit together properly. But I figured I’d have it reset someday.
Fast forward a few years. I got fat. Really fat. I gained 20 pounds in three years. In 2011, I vowed to take the weight off once and for all.
I worked hard and managed to lose the weight I’d gained after my wedding, and then some, a total of 35 pounds. My ring no longer fit. I didn’t wear it for almost a year. When I did wear it, I had to put it on my thumb so it wouldn’t fall off.
As an anniversary/weight loss congratulations gift, Adam told me to get my ring sized and reset the way I’d always wanted.
My excitement was short-lived, as I started talking to jewelers in the St. Louis area. I visited five different jewelers in four months. Some told me they couldn’t do what I wanted. Others said they could do it for far more money that I intended to spend. Three weeks ago, I was on my way home from a jeweler on Olive Blvd. after another disappointing consultation, when I saw a jeweler I had never heard of – Genovese Jewelers.
The store is only accessible via a security locked door and you have to ring a doorbell to get inside. I felt instantly embarrassed by my gym shorts and sneakers. The decor reminded me of the inside of a home belonging to a mob boss whose wife had a passion for interior design. Every piece of furniture conveyed a sense of wealth. I knew I had made a bad decision. I couldn’t afford this place.
Reluctantly, I followed a woman named Jill to a desk, and sat in a luxurious high-backed chair.
I explained my situation to her and told her what I wanted.
She went over to the display cases and returned with a simple, sparkling halo setting. She described how they could customize this piece to be exactly what I wanted. She also came up with the idea to take Adam’s uncle’s diamonds out of their current place set deep into the band and set them up onto prongs instead.
I was intrigued, and the idea sounded wonderful. But I knew I couldn’t afford it. “How much?” I inquired.
She told me the price of the ring. It was less than I had expected.
“And how much extra will it be to customize it with my stones?” I knew from pricing out other places, that simply resetting stones could cost as much as $40 each. I had five.
“Nothing,” she stated matter-of-factly. I couldn’t believe it. Was I about to get a custom ring for less than half of what some other places had quoted me?
Jill put me at ease. I felt I could trust her completely with the family diamonds that had come to mean so much to me. “Let’s do it!” I beamed.
She sized my finger. I was at least two sizes smaller than my old ring. She congratulated me on my weight loss. I gushed.
Then she weighed some old and broken gold jewelry I had brought for trade in value. The scrap price she quoted me was three times higher than what another jeweler had offered. The scrap gold brought the price down even further. The ring would be ready in 12 days. I could hardly wait.
This Wednesday, I called to see if it was ready.
“Where are you?” Jill asked. I could sense the excitement in her voice. “It turned out more beautiful than I even pictured. It is gorgeous!”
“I’m turning around and I’ll be there in 20 minutes!” I said. I was wearing my gym clothes again. This time I didn’t care.
“When you see it, you are going to cry, it’s so beautiful,” she said.
“Well, I didn’t cry at my proposal or my wedding, so the bar is set pretty high.”
I arrived to a smiling Jill. “Are you ready?” she asked.
She opened the box. I beamed. I had never imagined something so beautiful.
“I love it,” I said, several times. I got the feeling Jill was as thrilled as I was. It fit impeccably. It sparkled brilliantly. It made my day.
Although I didn’t cry, I did hug Jill – something very uncharacteristic for me. I have never hugged a salesperson in my life.
My ring is complete. It feels like mine now. I somehow managed to maintain the integrity of Adam’s family heirloom, while making it my own. I’m a very lucky lady.
I don’t plan on ever going a day without wearing my ring again. That is, of course, unless I lose some more weight.