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Custom Design Stories

  • Real Proposal Stories: Jessy and Stephania’s Vinyl Record Player Engagement

    record player engagement

    It was not an easy feat for Jessy to find his girlfriend Stephania an engagement ring.  To add on to the typical nerves one experiences when making this purchase, Stephania is not a jewelry wearer.  She did not have Pinterest boards with rings or other trails of breadcrumbs for Jessy to follow.

    Eventually, Jessy’s friends gave him the final push he needed to get engaged and took him to a jewelry store, which mostly had traditional engagement rings.   “I didn’t really like anything they had to offer, but it was a start,” Jessy said.  “Spending a lot of money on something she typically doesn’t like didn’t sit well with me,” he explained.

    Jessy left the jewelry store determined to get Stephania something special, a piece she would love even though she doesn’t love jewelry, a ring that was uniquely her.  He started doing research online, searching for antique, vintage and alternative engagement rings.  He found inspiration that he felt was right, and after getting confirmation from his mom and sister, knew he had the perfect ring idea.  Now he had to begin the journey of getting it made.

    Jessy spoke to a friend of his who went through the same struggle and had recommended Greenwich Jewelers.  Jessy came in to meet with our jewelry specialist, Lee Terranova, and brought his inspiration photos.  Together, they began to design a custom ring with the help of one of our designers, Megan Thorne.  The exquisite jewel featured a rose-cut center diamond set in a satin-finish white gold setting.  To add a personal touch to the ring, Jessy designed the band to mimic the paisley tattoo Stephania has on her shoulder.

    record player proposal

    Now that he had the perfect ring, it was time to plan a proposal to match.  Jessy started by recording a song of himself singing to Stephania, and had it printed on a vinyl record.  He took the record with him as they left for their trip upstate, where they went to watch the Lyrid meteor showers.  Jessy and Stephania had been waiting almost 10 years to see this celestial event.

    Once inside the home they were staying with Jessy’s family, Jessy took out the record player and a group of vinyls.  Stephania put one on the player, and Jessy waited eagerly with anticipation as she listened to two full albums before discovering the one he had made.

    record player proposal 2

    record player proposal 3

    Jessy designed the album cover with the original engagement ring sketch from designer Megan Thorne.  As soon as she heard his voice, Stephania knew it was Jessy singing.  She began to cry and asked “what’s this all about?” as Jessy told her to listen to the song all the way through.  When the song ended, he asked her to stand up and kneeled down as he asked her to marry him.  Jokingly, Stephania said “no” at first and embraced Jessy in a giant hug, followed by an enthusiastic “yes.”

    After celebrations with Jessy’s family, the group went outside to watch the meteor shower.  They ended the night with an incredible show of fifteen shooting stars, adding a magical touch to their dream proposal story.

    View our Custom Design page for more information on creating a ring for your love story.

  • Custom Design Stories: Julia and Stephanie's Hammer and Nail Engagement Rings

    julia steph 1

    A while ago, we had the pleasure of meeting a woman named Stephanie who came into our store to commission our master jeweler, Gavin, for an especially romantic custom design project.  Stephanie’s story and her vision were so inspiring that we knew we had to share it with our customers.  Read on to find out about Stephanie’s inspiration behind these awe-inspiring, creative engagement rings for herself and her now fiancée, Julia.


    “If I had a hammer” by Peter, Paul & Mary was always a favorite song of mine, which I reminisced about and sang with an old childhood friend on the evening before my first date with my now fiancée, Julia.  Later that night, my friend posted on my Facebook wall, “if I had a hammer- theme of your life!”  At the time, I didn’t realize how true this statement would end up being.

    Well, it turned out that my date, Julia’s last name was “Hammer.”  Upon her seeing my Facebook wall, I had to immediately explain the song reference so she did not think I was making her the “theme of my life” after a first date!  “If I had a hammer” became a joke in our relationship, and two weeks later, Julia surprised me with something spectacular.

    It was my first time visiting Julia’s apartment, and she handed me a small jewelry box.  I thought “wow, it is a little soon for a ring,” and opened the box to find a nail bent into a circle.  I awkwardly tried the ring on different fingers, and it turned out to only fit on my ring finger.  “I want you to be the nail to my hammer,” Julia said, then explained that the nail was not meant to be a ring, merely a token of her affection and a circle shape representing continuity.  I was so happy with Julia that I never removed this ring from my finger until the day we had our official rings made at Greenwich St. Jewelers.


    hammer Hammer ring featuring round brilliant diamond and two gemstones, reflecting Stephanie and Julia's birthstones

    When I decided I wanted to ask Julia to marry me, it was the month of her 30th birthday.  At her surprise party, I told a friend I was planning to propose and she was so excited she emailed me a list of custom jewelers the next morning.

    I made an appointment and went into Greenwich St. Jewelers with friends (for moral support) the next day, and I fell in love with Jennifer (the store owner) and the personal attention and care she gave me.  She was so determined to turn my dream ring into a reality, but shortly after meeting Jennifer, I found out that I would have to leave town on business for three months, so the project was on hold.

    When I returned, I contacted Jennifer and she informed me that her master jeweler, Gavin, who was skilled in custom design, had already prepared sketches based on my original drawings and invited me in to meet with him.

    During the custom design process with Gavin, I appreciated that he was realistic about what could and could not work in regards to the ring design, but he never disappointed me.  He always told me “anything is possible” and didn’t stop working on the ring until I was completely satisfied.

    nail 2

    nail Nail ring featuring a pear-shaped diamond

    After Julia said yes and it was my turn to get a ring, I had no desire to take the nail off my finger.  It had too much sentimental value to me.  So I spoke to Jennifer and Gavin, and we decided to have a wax cast from the structure of the actual nail.  My new, white gold engagement ring featuring a pear-shaped center diamond, is modeled after the ring that Julia gave me when we first started dating.

    Julia and I are two unique people and I am so happy we now have non-traditional engagement rings that reflect our story.  I remember how we met and all the times we’ve had every time I look down at my finger, and I’m thrilled that I’ll be wearing this ring every day for the rest of my life.

    To read more about the Greenwich Jewelers custom design process, email to schedule an appointment with a custom design specialist.

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