Love Stories told through Jewelry
Queen Victorian received a serpent engagement ring from Prince Albert that bespoke continuous and eternal love and created an iconic symbol of devotion of for centuries to come. Jewelry told the stories of equally famous couples such as The Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Elizabeth Taylor and the two loves of her life, Mike Todd and Richard Burton as well as many other great romances throughout time.
Here are six modern day short, sweet and sometime humorous loves stories and that might make your heart skip a beat –not to mention the jewels that could make your knees go weak.
Sofia Kaman, owner, curator and designer of Sofia Kaman
“I remember when I found this double heart ring. My husband who handles all aspects of my website saw it as he was uploading new styles and called me over to the computer and said, “You can’t sell that—it’s so, well, you!” As we all know when we find pieces that are ‘us’, it takes all we have to part with it and I told myself when I was purchasing this ring, that it was definitely one for sale. Still my husband persisted and I continued to resist. It was a bit strange for him since he always tried to help me with the willpower to sell the pieces I fell head over heels for. Part of him was proud that I displayed that willpower with a piece so close to my heart and part of him wanted to make up for it. And so he did. He pulled a different ring down that was equally beautiful and meaningful from the website and bought it for me. I have my own new favorite ring… and always my favorite man. Additionally, I have this gorgeous ring still available for anyone who wants to ‘say’ to their loved one ‘our two hearts beat together as one.”
Elizabeth Doyle, co-owner of Doyle and Doyle
“A locket may be the most romantic, sentimental gift there is. Before I gave birth to our son, my husband gave me a Victorian black enamel locket with a diamond set fly on it. It came on a long Victorian chain with intricate links and a granulated clasp. It was one of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry I had ever seen. My husband found a way to make it even more special. When I opened it, I saw that he had put the ultrasound of our son on the inside. I still look at that ultrasound when I wear my locket and it brings me back to that magical time. The locket necklace below could be an equally amazing gift of love. It suspends three monogrammed lockets, which held significance for whoever owned them before and for the person who walks in the shops and sees that his/her family initials match these. That would perhaps match my story in sentiment and romance.”
Susan Cohen owner/designer Circa 1700
“I want to preface my little tale- I love getting jewelry. But as a devotee of sparkly things from almost the moment I could breathe, I have very specific loves of the gem variety. So when my husband handed me a jewelry box a year ago in the morning, I heard the theme music from Jaws. I started to panic and wrack my brain. What store could this box be from? I’m a terrible liar – I turn bright red when I lie. And my husband hasn’t purchased jewelry for me in years – knowing that I’m not the easiest person to buy jewelry for. So, the last thing I wanted to do was disappoint him. He’s the best kind of nerd and I knew a great deal of thought would have gone into this purchase. I worked myself up into full panic mode because he had this awesome smile. That’s until I opened the box and saw the perfect Victorian snake hoop earrings from Samantha Knight Jewelry. I totally freaked. I have been on the search for the ideal snake hoop earrings for some time now. I mentioned them once to my husband and then had completely forgotten that I had even mentioned them and I was planning on purchasing the earrings for myself. These beauties are truly perfect—the size, the chased work on the gold and the symbolism – eternal love!”
Martine Howard, Healthcare Professional
“I had been trying to purchase one of the French love tokens based on the poem that Rosemonde Gérard wrote to her husband Edmond Rostand, author of Cyrano de Bergerac in 1890. A line of the poem, translated from French into “each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow” was the source of inspiration for Lyon jeweler Alphonse Augis, who created his first medallion in 1907 with part of the verse engraved on it. It soon became a coded message in which the French words plus and moins were replaced by a diamond + sign and ruby or a sapphire – sign. There were many versions and styles designed throughout his years and afterwards in his factory, but every time I would see on for sale on an online site or in a post from someone in the jewelry community on Instagram, another buyer had gotten there and scooped it up first. I was discouraged but was not going to give up. I continued to search for one, with more of the same results. And, then on my 25th wedding anniversary, my husband and I went to Paris to celebrate. On the day we arrived, we checked in to our hotel and freshened up and off we went to explore and within the first two hours of being there, I found this bijoux of a boutique in Le Marais and there one was sitting in the window — the exact size and style I was looking for. And it was much sweeter to find it in Paris where it originated, and for my husband to purchase it for me to mark our special milestone and represent the years of love we share.”
Julie Gamble, co-owner and designer of Baltera with Husband Rudy Baltera
‘From the first time Rudy met me, he realized that I was not, nor would I ever be a traditionalist, so the poor guy was very stressed about proposing to me. He planned a ‘business trip’ to Paris to work with a client. I had previously traveled with him on several occasions. Since Rudy doesn’t know a lick of French, my role had been to help with translation as well as with aspects of the jewelry. On this particular trip, he booked a large, corporate hotel (for personal trips we always stay at small off the beaten path places) The office booking our flights, ‘screwed up’ and we had to sit separately on the flight there in addition to other minor ‘inconveniences’. We were to meet a rep from Rudy’s client at this restaurant, which was one of the last original Art Nouveau restaurants in Paris.We waited and waited, Rudy was so nervous and anxious, he blamed it on the multiple espressos he had for breakfast. Finally a call came and the rep had to cancel the lunch. We stayed, ate lunch, and when we got to dessert the waitress came out with a platter with a small strange, beautiful box. It had a platinum ring inside with a gorgeous Burmese ruby. He got the stone just before the embargo! He designed the ring just for me, my mother originally wanted to name me Ruby and I have never wanted a diamond engagement ring. Rudy got on his knees and asked me to marry him with all the staff watching. I answered, mais oui! Poor Rudy just looked at me and asked ‘what? What?’ He thought I was saying ‘maybe’, which was when I decided he needed to learn French.”
Lene Vibe, Lene Vibe
I went to Vienna with the man who was my husband at the time. He wanted to show me the sights of such a beautiful city. I ended up going to see diamonds. I actually did see many of the sights but also found an antique quarter where I met an old world diamond dealer. He explains that the Danish people had helped many Jewish people escape to Sweden during World War II and he was one of them. He was such a humble and good soul and I loved talking and spending time with him. He showed gratitude towards me, a Dane, by selling me an old rose cut that was over a carat for an amazing price. I created a ring with the diamond and a client purchased it almost immediately. I regretted it the minutes she walked out of my door. Recently after six years, she came back in with the ring and wanted to trade for something else of mine she saw. I was thrilled and so touched that it had come back to me and I would never let it go again. I turned into a pendant set in a South Sea Pearl that I wear everyday in rembrance of the city of Vienna and the man who taught me the importance and beauty of people of all nationalities, races and religions helping each other and acting always in love and kindness.