Progress Report

Wedding rings: designed and ordered.

The guy who is making them has kept my engagement ring in order to make sure that the wedding band co-ordinates exactly as I plan to wear the two rings together. J and I have both gone for rings which are a combination of white and yellow gold. Mine is about 3mm thick to match my engagement ring; J’s will be 6mm thick and have a Celtic knot design inlaid in the central (yellow gold) band.


We went to the Jewellery Quarter, an area of central Birmingham which is absolutely crammed full of jewellery shops and workshops. As well as being convenient, it felt appropriate personally as well. I will have one ring from Durham, where we met and had two happy years of being together – and one ring from Birmingham, where we are starting up a new life together, and is of course also where I come from.

For the 3-4 weeks it will take for the rings to be made, I have dug out a rather delicate and rather lovely ring that used to belong to my grandmother to wear on my fourth finger instead. It’s partly that I like having a ring on that finger for other people to see, but it’s mainly because I’ve got so used to wearing one now that my hand felt naked without it!


An Early Wedding Present

The engagement ring 2

L and I have similar tastes and can usually see the attraction in something the other likes, even if it isnt something we would choose for ourselves. Where the ring was concerned, one of the reasons I wanted to get one made was to get something that she liked unconditionally rather than suprise her with one I’d bought. As it happens, the design she came up with was very similar to one I would have chosen but different in subtle details which in fact make it a better ring anyway.

For example, my instinct would have been for Palladium rather than white gold (which has a yellowish tinge rather than Palladium’s full silver); a clear, rather than champagne diamond; and to set the stone flush in the band rather than have it raised from the surface. What L has got is actually nicer for having put her own mind to it than anything I could have come up with!

The engagement ring

It’s arrived!!! (In photo form at least).

In a move that has been described as “very us”, we arranged for a engagement ring to be specially made for us by a local craftsman.

Andrew Ashcroft has a workshop in Durham and was brilliant. We went in only to have a look and a chat but were so impressed by him and his work that we ended up ordering something on the spot. He spent half an hour talking to us and answering our daft questions without a hard sell. L and I went for lunch, went back and spent another half hour designing the ring in the smallest of detail for him to make.

About a week later we went to choose a stone from a selection and now it’s ready!!

It is (*ahem*) an 18 carat white gold band, 2.3mm wide with a rounded cross-section. The stone is set in the ring, raised slightly in a cylyndrical setting. The stone itself is a champagne diamond (slightly bronze tinge).

L can tell you more but because she designed it herself it is exactly what she wants. And it was made in the the place we spent 4 years and met so it means loads to us both. AND we’ve been able to support a local craftsman to boot.

I can’t recommend going local enough. Yes, it’s slightly more expensive – but we were given a large range of price options and were never encouraged to go over budget – but the designers out there are creating some really beautiful things (in contrast to some of the really hideous stuff available on the highstreet). There’s also lots of chance for a connection to a place. In our case, the connection is with a person, but things like Blue John stone from the Peak District are from the land itself.