Ali Galgano is a natural diamond girl through and through. Starting her own brand, Serpentine Jewels in 2016, Ali wanted to create an in-between for women: a beautiful piece of jewelry made with craftsmanship and high design, but also at a good value. She began with designing engagement rings and wedding bands, creating unique designs to be a part of many of her friends’ special moments.
Customizing pieces for clients is Ali’s specialty. Having just opened a brand new atelier in Greenwich, Connecticut, Ali connects with each and every client in the cozy townhouse, asking them questions about their interests, backgrounds, and ideal designs. She works with them over the course of weeks, stating no customization process is the same. “I have an in-house head designer who sits with the client and me, and live sketches the client’s description, so they can picture their ideas and that guides us through the process.” She explained, “After the back-and-forth discussions on what the piece will look like, what the scale is, we then go ahead and begin sourcing the diamonds or colored stones, and we go through and build the piece with a CAD model and once approved the piece gets built and delivered to the client.”
Ali’s favorite pieces to customize are different than a traditional design. “I love a 3-stone ring. I think that is the most classic setting.” A client, and friend of hers, was about to get engaged, and she told Ali, “If my boyfriend ever reaches out, I want a big emerald-cut diamond ring.” Ali added, “Now she is so fashion-forward, it didn’t seem fitting to just have a solitaire diamond, so we came up with the idea to place the emerald-cut diamond in between two baguette-cut diamonds, and added the most avant-garde detail: a jacket of little diamonds, that surrounded her ring.” Ali continued, “Her boyfriend proposed with the ring, and later in the evening surprised her with the ring jacket, which just transformed it into the coolest piece.” Reflecting on the process, Ali called that project a “true labor of love” explaining, “It was all hands on deck to get this ring completed in the time he wanted to propose, and seeing how happy she was with the finished product made it all worth it.”
Ali’s family played a significant role in her becoming a jewelry designer. Her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother inspired her through their own jewelry and taught her about the value of natural diamonds. Ali’s first memory of a natural diamond is her great-grandmother, Electra’s, diamond ring. Ali explained that Electra was quite a jewelry lover, “I always identified with her,” she said. “I just picture her in her pink satin sheets, with a full face of makeup on, wearing natural diamonds.” Now, Ali and the women in her family pass the ring around for special events and occasions.
Ali continued to talk about the power of a natural diamond saying, “I love that it came from the earth. I love the symbolism of a natural diamond.” A piece of jewelry Ali never removes is her own engagement ring. “It is not your traditional engagement ring. It’s an oval yellow diamond, surrounded by scalloped pave diamonds and pink sapphires.” She added, “12 years later, it reminds me of my husband, our love and how much we have grown, and now my 2 children. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”