Redesigning and Repurposing a Diamond Engagement Ring
Giving your diamond a new life means falling in love with it all over again.By Jill Newman |
Till Death Do Us Part?
Who says you’re destined to wear the same ring style for the rest of your life? Just because you commit to one person, doesn’t mean you need to commit to one ring. Redesigning a diamond engagement ring is easier than you think. Take it from me; I’ve had three engagement rings and one husband.
The idea of wearing any single item for the rest of your life is limiting, to say the least. But a diamond ring isn’t just any accessory. It’s a sentimental heirloom packed with symbolism. Yet as love and relationships evolve, so do our style and taste.
It’s worth questioning if the engagement ring selected in your twenties is still the ring of your dreams, decades later? I know mine was certainly not.
If Diamond Engagement Rings Symbolize Love, Shouldn’t You Love Yours?
A friend in her mid-thirties in New York City recently confessed to me that after just a few years of marriage, she was itching to redesign her classic prong-set, oval-shaped diamond engagement ring. “I want my diamond set in a chunky gold signet ring that feels more modern,” she said.
Afraid of hurting her husband’s feelings, she explained she was waiting for the right moment to tell him. But why hesitate? Giving your diamond a new life with a redesigned engagement ring means falling in love with it all over again.
Stylistic preferences may change, but what doesn’t change is the diamond’s inherent value and sentiment. This can be reimagined.
My Diamond Three Ways
My own story began with my husband’s grandmother’s toi et moi diamond ring. When my mother-in-law gave us the ring, we brought it to New York designer Michael Bondanza, who used the stones to create a streamlined platinum design with a 2.3-carat round diamond center, enveloped by baguettes. At 25, this was my first important piece of jewelry.
A decade later, like most people, my sense of personal style evolved. Suddenly, my classic diamond engagement ring didn’t reflect my newly discovered confident persona. At first, I was reluctant to redesign the ring. I wore a lovely vintage diamond ring that I purchased from the dealer Camilla Dietz Bergeron instead.
But I was set on wearing my family diamond. Turning to one of my favorite designers, Sharon Khazzam, we set out to create something new and unusual—something more me.
Redesigning a diamond engagement ring is a journey and Sharon made it worthwhile along the way. She surprised me with a sketch of a bold ring, featuring my round diamond surrounded by a delicate halo of diamonds and cabochon-cut Paraiba tourmalines, mounted on a scroll-like diamond shank. Now, in its new form, the piece is a fabulous cocktail ring with great sentimental value that I wear often.
Your Ever-Changing Love Story and Your Engagement Ring
The significance of the diamond engagement ring has evolved with an increased acceptance of individuality. More daring brides—and even some newly divorced—have reimagined their diamonds in unexpected ways. Italian designer, Antonia Miletto, shares that a few of her clients brought in their classic gold and diamond rings to have the stones reset in wood rings for a contemporary, understated look. Hemmerle has reset its client’s diamonds in iron and gold. And Brent Neale transforms delicate diamond rings into chunky gold cigar bands set with diamonds.
Read More: How Princess Diana Transformed Her Diamonds
Not every diamond needs to remain a ring. After my mother’s divorce, she gave me her marquise-cut diamond ring as a gift. I asked designer Jade Lustig of Jade Trau to transform the diamond ring into a pendant necklace. She set the marquise diamond on an angle on a skinny chain that I never take off. The quality of the diamond is mediocre, but the sentiment is monumental.
Now, I am usually wearing my mother’s diamond alongside my husband’s grandmother’s stone from a century ago. Love in that many forms must be good karma.