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

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A while ago, we had the pleasure of meeting a woman named Stephanie who came into our store to commission our master jeweler 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.



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, 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, 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.

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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 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 St. Jewelers custom design process, email support@greenwichstjewelers.com to schedule an appointment with a custom design specialist.

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