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The most romantic proposal

Last night I was looking at videos on YouTube and as it seems to
always happen I end up watching videos that have nothing to do with
why I went there in the first place. I ended up watching a video
about how this young man, with the assistance of his mother and many
friends, tricked hisgirlfriend into planning a “surprise” birthday
party forhim. It was a setup so he could propose to her. So that got
me to thinking. I see posts about tools, processes, dealing with
customers, the list goes on. But I see very few about the good
things we see as jewelers. So what are the stories you have that
makes you cry? I have lost count of the times I have seen somebody
propose to that one person they cannot be without. So I thought I
might share the one story that always makes me cry every time I tell
it. It all starts with a young man walking into the store where I
was working as floor sales. As soon as he asked for help, everyone
fled the floor. You see, he had asked what it would take to get the
ring in his hand to look new again. It was a gold colored, plastic
likematerial, worn to within an inch of being unidentifiable, bad
kids ring with a small fake diamond. The kind you get out of the
quarter vending machines. When I told him that there was nothing we
could do, I asked why he was looking to restore such an old toy. It
seems that he had been dating a young lady who was about to graduate
with her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. They had met
when they were both freshman at the University. She had worn that
ring since she was 9 years old for a very special reason. It was the
last thing her mother ever bought her. The day after, her mother was
killed in a car accident. She wore it ever since then, about 15
years. He wanted to do something special for a proposal so he swiped
it when she had taken it off to shower. He played it off as the “cat
must have taken it for a toy”. So knowing that she would be
devastated by losing it, he was looking for someone to make it
pretty again so he could propose. I worked with him and together we
came upwith a cunning plan! So flash forward two weeks, the jewelers
had madean exact copy in gold with a real diamond that matched the
toy ring. About 40 points as I recall so not big, but we found one
that was a perfectly cut as we could find so it had some serious
’wow’ factor. He came in, picked up the original toy ring and paid
for the new ring,we put a stock tag on it, filled out a hold
envelope with the store owners name on it, and put it in the safe
for the next day. So on a very busy Saturday in early May I see him
stop by our window to look at watches. A few minutes later he drags
his girlfriend in and leaves her in the middle of the floor as he
makes a beeline for the few watches we sell. I approach the young
lady and offer to clean her rings for her. This makes her cry
because the one ring she wishes she had is now gone forever. I
offerto listen to her and ask her to describe the ring she lost. Of
course I have to drag it out of her because it was only a toy. I
suggest that we might be able to honor her mother’s memory by trying
to duplicate it as a real ring. I make a very basic sketch and then
I stop and say, "You know, I think that someone just sold a ring
like that=9D. I make a show of searching under the counter for the
hold bag and pull the ring out of the envelope. Her eyes went wide!
She would have paid anything to have had it but alas, it was on hold
for someone else. At this time another staff member makes a show of
coming by to collect up the sales, holds and repairs under the
counter (again just show for her). At this time she pulled over the
young man who started all of this andI introduced myself and asked
if he found the watch he wanted. He said he might wait and keep
looking. I swear he was so nervous that he was starting to stutter
from fear! So as he is encouraging her to find a ring or todesign
one, my co-conspirator has removed the tags from the ring and
slipped it into his hand behind his back. I distract her by pointing
out rings way to her left in the case and then I just step back and
wait. She looks to see just what is going on and turns to see her
boyfriend on his knee holding the ring. He said nothing. He was
crying. She was crying. She nodded her head. He put the ring on her
finger and then everyone was crying. I do not think there was a dry
eye in the place. So there you have it. The most romantic proposal I
have ever been a part of. Heck, I am crying just writing it down! So
please share with me, what stories have you help make?

Gerald A. Livings

I made matching wedding rings for a couple, and they gave me a worn
gold colored plastic ring to use as a model. They had gotten it from
one of those quarter vending machines while on a date, and they both
took it as a sign that they should get married someday.

The bride was a friend of my daughter, and I also made her wedding
gown, a medieval-ish lace creation with long trailing sleeves. The
day of the wedding was very hot, and hours before the wedding I got
a panicked call from m daughter, saying the bride was taking the
sleeves off her gown. I told her I was done with it, it was her gown
and she could do what she wanted with it. The gown looked lovely,
even sleeveless.

Janet Kofoed

Oh man, Gerald!!! Your story swept me off my feet. Not a dry eye

Thank you, that was such a beautiful story. Sigh.


OMG, Gerald! How could anyone top such a wonderful story! My eyes
are teary just writing this.

Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful experience.

Linda in central FL

Dear Gerald,

What a wonderful thread to suggest! Your story was wonderful. We are
so fortunate to be a part of helping people create memories and
capture sentiment!

One of my most important commissions came from a high school friend
I reconnected with on Facebook. Over the span of a couple of years,
we had encouraged each other in our professional development (she a
science teacher and my budding jewelry career after being a nurse
most of my life).

We watched each other’s children grow and life go on. Then,
tragically, her 16 year old son died. I wanted desperately to do
something to help honor his memory and ease her pain, but had no idea
what might be appropriate.

Then a couple of months later she contacted me saying she had always
wanted to have a mother’s ring made using her original wedding band
(her husband had upgraded her simple band with a diamond wedding set
for an anniversary). Of course I was honored and went to work
immediately on designing. Her son and older daughter were both August
babies and with her July birthday the ring felt like it practically
designed itself. I handcrafted a trellis to hold an oval ruby center
with pear shaped peridots set on each side. The sentiment being her
children were the leaves to the beautiful flower my friend is, as
well as the pear shaped stones indicating angel wings. I then saddle
set the trellis on her wedding band so as not to break the continuity
of the band. Since the death of a child can be so hard on a marriage,
I didn’t want the creation of this design to interfere with the
symbology of the unbroken circle of the ring. She was so
appreciative of the layers of meaning and tells me every so often how
much she loves her ring. It was such an incredible blessing to be a
small part of commemorating the beauty of a life in the midst of a

I look forward to reading other stories.
Best wishes,
Donna W.
Huntsville, AL