An Extraordinary Journey From “I Do” to a Portrait Cut Natural Diamond Engagement Ring
How one bride-to-be made her engagement ring dream come true.By Sam Broekema |
Only Natural Diamonds celebrates every engagement but when the affianced are basically family and we are invited in for a firsthand view, well, it is especially poignant. The happy couple in question, Sophie Hauptfuhrer and Anthony Petruzziello invited OND on their journey from commitment to the unique natural diamond engagement ring that represents their decision to marry. They chose a natural diamond as individual and extraordinary as their love: a portrait cut diamond in a spectacular angular setting from Eva Fehren. Here’s the scoop:
Can you share your engagement story?
Sophie Hauptfuhrer: We were visiting Tuscany for a wedding, and after the celebrations, we went for 3 days of R+R at the magical Il Borro, a medieval town that has been fully restored by the Ferragamo and Medici families. It is now an agritourism hotel. I had an inkling “this might be the trip” and when I was told to wear something nice but comfortable shoes on our last night, I immediately booked a blow-out, facial and most importantly a manicure at the hotel spa. We drove for about an hour to the remains of a Medici fort with views of all of Tuscany. We did not know it was also an art museum and was currently showing a photography exhibition of Americans dressed like their cars, which we thought was hilarious. Anthony popped the question at the lookout tower with a natural diamond eternity band from Cartier. We had previously discussed picking out a ring together, so this was our “placeholder.” After touring the exhibition, we went back to our car only to find out it had broken down! We had to hike down the mountain which took almost an hour, definitely happy I went with the flats. We finished up with an amazing dinner in a Michelin-starred osteria in town before heading back to Il Borro for our final night.
How did you meet your now fiancé?
SH: On a dating app, like everyone else these days!
Was the engagement ring a collaboration between the two of you?
SH: 100%. Anthony set up a fabulous day for us to tour all the big names the weekend after the trip. We started with brunch and Cartier and made our way through Harry Winston, Tiffany, Van Cleef and Marissa Perry (with a stop for drinks at the Plaza, of course). We tried some great stones and shapes, but I didn’t find “the one.” Everything was feeling a little samey to me. We continued the search over the next few months at Anna Sheffield, Nak Armstrong and Jessica McCormack as we looked for something more unique.
What led you to choose a portrait cut diamond for your engagement ring?
SH: A good friend in the industry had suggested I check out Eva Fehren for something a bit more contemporary and I was completely blown away, especially by the portrait cut diamonds. I had never even seen one before and I liked how they sat so close to the hand (I’m not one for fussy or large jewelry, and really wanted something “wearable”). As I researched the cut more, I fell in love with its origin story (even though it looks modern, the portrait cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts originating in India, and was traditionally used to protect miniature drawings of your family or lover). Anthony is an engineer, and he was drawn to the simplicity and geometry of the portrait cut. We both liked how rare and special they were.
What drew you to Eva Fehren’s work?
SH: Initially her innovative work with the portrait cut diamond – I have come to learn that if a portrait is what you are looking for, Eva is your first call. I like the tension between her work feeling very modern, but is based on much older cuts and styles. There were many rings and settings at Eva Fehren that we loved.
What was the process with Eva to design the ring?
SH: We had been into her studio a few times to try rings and had a good idea of the settings we liked and that we wanted the ring to be Eva Fehren, but we hadn’t seen the perfect diamond for me – either not the right size or shape. Eventually, she found the most magical green-grey colored kite-shaped diamond the likes of which I had never seen, we knew immediately it was the one. From there, we met with the lovely Eva and looked at the diamond against different settings including the unusual blackened gold. Once we had decided on the setting, Eva and her team mocked up the ring in platinum, yellow gold and her signature blackened gold. The blackened gold looked truly striking, however, given I wear exclusively gold jewelry I went the more traditional gold route to match my personal style. The drawing process took about a week and from there it was another 8 weeks to receive the final ring – however, the team moved heaven and earth to get it to us right before Christmas break. We went to collect it on December 23rd on our way to Boston, where we spent Christmas with family. We had a great time with Eva in the studio celebrating the epic ring.
Do you get a lot of questions about the unusual diamond in your ring?
SH: Tons! Often people grab my hand and say “what is that? I’ve never seen anything like it?” Because of its unusual color people can’t typically place what stone it is. I also get a lot of comments on the graduated hidden halo which is an interesting take on that traditional design.
Does this engagement ring express your personal jewelry style? Does it spark inspiration for shaping your next jewelry purchase?
SH: Yes! I have been wearing a lot of sage green to bring out the color. We are already talking to Eva about the future “stack” that will go with it – we are thinking a thick gold “claw” ring would look great for a wedding band. Because of the diamond’s unique shape, it would have to be custom made by Eva.
What is your favorite thing about the ring?
SH: When I decided on a portrait cut, I thought I would be trading sparkle for uniqueness, but the ring is A LOT sparklier than I imagined. The edges, but also the entire front face of the diamond sparkles. It looks different from a traditional diamond sparkle, more like a dazzling sheen across the entire stone. I also love the color, its story, and the fact that it is completely unique to me and Anthony.