When my fiancé, Received, and I first began speaking about our engagement final 12 months, I knew I needed to design my very own ring to make him really feel particular and fabulous. I’ve all the time liked the thought of toi et moi—French for “me and also you”—due to its two-stone look. Historically, a hoop options double brilliant-cut diamonds, however I needed to get my perspective on this, which was simpler stated than carried out. In hindsight, the journey of making my very own customized and distinctive engagement ring took time, analysis, and a gathering of minds, as I labored with a jeweler in Los Angeles. Catherine Kim received on the piece.
In case you’re additionally contemplating a customized model, or just wish to hear about my design course of (personally, I really like a great funky ring story), learn forward to see how I approached this specific undertaking. Alongside the way in which, you may discover sensible recommendation on tips on how to create a one-of-a-kind, perpetually piece, whether or not or not it is impressed by traditional toi et moi.
Attempt (plenty of) loops
My first tip on the journey is to attempt on as many rings as potential – seeing them in your precise finger will both verify your preferences or make you rethink your alternative. For instance: I liked Emily Ratajkowski at toi et moi Piece and thought for positive I’ll get the identical precise design. Nonetheless, once I tried on a duplicate of it, not solely did the diamond look very shiny to me, however it did not Really feel Like one thing I am sporting. In complete, I went to seven totally different areas round New York Metropolis to not solely attempt on the rings, but in addition to see if I attached with the designer or the model. It was vital for me to discover a designer that I’d contact to implement my imaginative and prescient. A few of my favourite in-store experiences embrace Greenwich Road Jewelers and… clear cut.
Though the Emrata model wasn’t for me per se, I used to be nonetheless dedicated to the thought of toi et moi. I performed with pairs of gems to see if I needed any of the opposite mixtures: I attempted a pear with a sq., two pears facet by facet, and a sq. with a spherical. No one fairly spoke to me, and I wasn’t positive why. Trying again on this now, I understand that despite the fact that I needed a two-stone piece, I simply did not know tips on how to make it look distinctive to me design-wise. I wanted to search out somebody who may assist me pitch my concepts and principally information me by the artistic course of. Ultimately it ended up being Kim.
Outline your artistic imaginative and prescient
Doing all of your analysis pays off when you’ll be able to categorical your wishes. “Earlier than your preliminary session[with the jeweler]it helps to have a transparent imaginative and prescient of your design,” says Kim, explaining that she recommends this recommendation to all of her shoppers who wish to make a bespoke creation.
One One of many best methods to personalize your piece of knickknack? Incorporate emotional particulars. “Discover inspiration out of your shared experiences, pursuits, or fond reminiscences,” suggests Kim, noting that objects comparable to an vital stone, customized engraving, or different symbols can be utilized within the ring. “And that might make it actually distinctive and deeply significant.”
With this in thoughts, I assumed in regards to the factor that issues most to me when it comes to crafting my perpetually article: Working with an Asian-owned firm and utilizing yellow gold tops my record. I additionally needed the jewellery to really feel significant, so I toyed with the thought of incorporating jade into an engagement ring, which I have never seen on anybody I do know. I grew up sporting the stone on a protracted pink string—in Chinese language tradition, that is given to kids for “safety”—and I’ve a sesame-colored jade ring that I put on on a regular basis.
Jade additionally holds significance in Asian societies, which additionally felt particular to the Korean received. “Jade has taken on many meanings within the historical past of Chinese language tradition,” says the jewellery designer. Ashley Chang. “Significantly used as an emblem of prosperity, success and good luck.”
Jeweler: “Jade is believed to have powers to carry good luck in addition to keep at bay evil spirits” Grace Lee Add. “Some consider that when a chunk of jade that you’re sporting breaks, the jade takes away the misfortune that might befall the wearer.” In Korean tradition, the identical beliefs are true. “Jade is believed to embody the options of politeness and design within the Korean character,” he says. Chloe Zhao, founding father of Sequence. “Furthermore, jade is utilized by the Korean royal household as an emblem of energy and wealth.”
my design course of
As soon as I obtained the thought of a pear-shaped jade and diamond pairing, I knew I wanted assist brainstorming the precise design. The model I saved coming again to was Katkim. The identify is thought to her Trace collection And Kim did a Toi et moi monitoring loop, which I liked. I reached out to her, and in our preliminary e-mail conversations I requested mockups of pairs of jade and diamonds on tracing tape, so I may think about what the rings would appear like. As soon as I noticed the choices—see a few of my favorites beneath—I knew I used to be one step nearer to discovering perfection piece.
Nonetheless, I used to be hesitant to decide to something with out first attempting an everyday dimension monitoring ring. So for February 2023, I booked a visit for Woon and I to LA to go to the Katkim showroom in individual. There, I performed with totally different sized diamond and jade stones to see which one complimented my finger greatest. I’ve additionally experimented on the Hint ring in numerous sizes so I can see how apparent or not the curve is. Ultimately, I landed on a extra delicate curve, a darker jade inexperienced coloration for my bezel, and a half bezel setting for my stones as an alternative of the prongs for a cleaner look. (The latter was one thing I would not have thought-about if I hadn’t seen it on Kim’s monitoring ring that day!)
Additionally throughout our consultations, I appreciated that she listened to me and answered all of my advanced questions with out judgment. “Your stylist’s function is to not level you down a customized path, however relatively to satisfy and display your aspirations for customized rings,” says Kim, in regards to the collaborative course of between you and the jeweler. “By presenting your concepts throughout a session, a stylist can deftly collaborate with you to breathe life into your distinctive creation.”
As soon as we had the design in thoughts, Kim then sourced a wide range of diamonds for us to think about that fell inside our price range. I had requested for each the mining and lab choices, as I hadn’t made up my thoughts but as to which camp I fell into. To be sincere, it was the collection of the stone by a digital portal the least The romantic half about shopping for a hoop – and likewise the toughest buy. I saved weighing the 4Cs (carat, minimize, coloration, readability) towards one another to search out the “good” diamond and had an inner battle about lab or mined. Ultimately, I went with the latter, after discovering a stone inside our price range. Had I needed it to be bigger, like a 3-karat pear, I might have gotten a lab-grown one to get extra bang for the buck.
From right here we targeted on the ultimate touches. I selected a excessive polish end to present the metallic that shiny glow versus a satin end, which makes it look much less shiny. As soon as the ultimate pitch was confirmed and manufacturing began, I eliminated myself from the e-mail thread Woon had been engaged on all this time too, so I would not know when The precise episode will likely be full. (He handled the deal and secured the ring – bless him). That method, the proposal will nonetheless be considerably stunning.
On June 17, throughout a calming cabin journey to Maine with our canine Willow, Received popped the query. And me lastly I obtained to see the episode IRL, which we have been engaged on for half a 12 months at this level. The creation of our treasured toi et moi was even higher than I may have imagined, and it felt actually particular to see our piece rework from laptop graphic right into a wearable piece of artwork. I do know nobody else has this precise factor, which added to the individuality that an Aquarius coronary heart wishes. For sure, this ring is well the piece of knickknack I’ve worn up to now.