“The piece is probably about sixty years old,” says Ellen Jennings. But looking at the ring Plante Jewelers crafted for her, you wouldn’t know it. This piece of custom jewelry is white and yellow gold with a constellation of small diamonds arranged in the center around a single central gemstone. The new ring is fascinatingly ornate, yet has a practical shape and a pleasingly simple symmetry of design. “I didn’t want a plain ordinary ring,” said Ellen. “I wanted something where I put it on and people say ‘Oh my God!’”
“And that’s already happened several times,” she adds.
Originally this ring began as two pieces. One was her mother’s old ring, given to her mother by Ellen’s father. This ring had a single center diamond (which became the center diamond in the new piece) and two smaller diamonds on either side, which Ellen’s father was awarded by the oil company he worked for. The other piece Ellen got from her mother-in-law: a pair of diamond earrings.
When asked why she started thinking about a jewelry redesign, she explains, "The piece that my mother gave me was not my forte. And I already had diamond earrings. So I wanted my mother-in law’s diamond earrings put into the piece as well. That way I have a single piece that I can wear for sentimental value. And also for appearance.”
“We are all wearing these diamonds in different pieces at different times,” she continues. Having diamonds from her mother, father, and mother-in-law gives her a sense of connection to these family members that spans time and place.
The process of creating the ring “moved along much quicker” than she thought it would. “I thought it would take months and months,” she says. “But when you see what you want and know what you want, it doesn’t take that long.” In actuality, it took only “six or eight weeks.”
First her pieces were evaluated at Plante, and then began the affair of working out a jewelry redesign that she would love. This was a process that Ellen found enriching. “I went online,” she recalls, “and sent them ideas I would possibly like. And then Pam, the designer, created several different designs. We finally got it down to three, and then I decided I didn’t want it white gold, I wanted it two-toned. I thought it would work better and it did. It popped!”
When it was finished, Ellen recalls being delighted by the end product. “A picture of the ring was e-mailed to me so I could see what it looked like,” she says, “but of course that didn’t do it justice. When I saw it in person it was sparkling and beautiful and I thought ‘Oh my God, I’m glad I did this.’ I’m very very pleased with them. They bent over backwards to find out what I wanted and they did a fabulous job with that.”
“I love the piece,” Ellen concluded. “I love it. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I wear it when I’m shopping. I wear it when I’m going out to dinner. They did a great job.”
Plante Jewelers is a family-owned Jewelry store located in Swansea, Massachusetts. It is owned by Pierre and Nancy Plante.
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