PW Reader Ring: Hope & Nick!
The couple: Hope Jones and Nick McGrath from Philadelphia.
The ring: My ring features the center stone from my mother’s three-stone engagement ring set in yellow gold, with faceted baguettes on either side. She offered it to me during our first discussion about my possible engagement to Nick.
I had grown up completely mesmerized by her ring, and had noticed that in recent years she had only been pulling it out to wear for special occasions. I was more than happy to take it off her hands. I was so thrilled I could hardly contain my excitement when talking about the project.
My mother and Nick and I brought her engagement ring to our jeweler, Austin & Elkins, in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, to discuss what could be done to set this beautiful center stone for me. I have always loved and regularly wear yellow gold, so we quickly decided that it had to be a yellow gold setting, but none of the options we were looking at felt just right for me.
At one point, however, the jeweler pulled out a ring she had had in stock for years and never sold because of its cracked garnet center stone. But when I saw the setting, I pounced! It was yellow gold and had long faceted baguettes stretching down from either side of the center stone It had a very Art Deco feel, but also the streamlined look that both Nick and I immediately fell in love with.
The backstory of this ring only sealed the deal: It was made by Honora the year I was born and garnet is coincidentally also my birthstone. We wasted no time pulling the garnet out and depositing my mother’s diamond into the setting and cheered because we had found the one!
The proposal: Nick proposed this June after dinner while walking along the National Mall in Washington, DC. It had been a long time coming—he even forgot the ring a few weekends before that; he was going to pop the question when we were apartment hunting in Philly. But it was a beautiful night and an incredible moment seeing him get down on one knee and tell me, “I would be so lucky if you would marry me.” I think I said yes 20 times!
The band: Again, my most generous mother has passed onto me her own wedding band. It is a Gemveto diamond infinity band that she and my father bought together in New York City in 1977. She hasn’t been able to get it on her ring finger for years and could not get it resized, so we sent it to Gemveto and had it reset in yellow gold to coordinate with my engagement ring. (And then for her birthday, I had the platinum from her wedding band’s original setting melted down into a simple band with my parent’s wedding date engraved in it. She wears it every day!)
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