Love is a beautiful thing, and we see it daily at David Gardner’s Jewelers. Often, when a couple chooses an engagement ring, most want to pick something timeless. Sometimes, however, they can’t see past the excitement of the moment or trends of the era, and 20 or so years down the line, they’re ready to try something new. This is exactly what happened with April and Jay Graham, who celebrated their 20th anniversary this year. While their love remains steadfast, April said she’d been mulling over an upgrade for some time. “We talked about upgrading my engagement ring for at least 4 or 5 years, but I didn’t know what I wanted or where to begin.” Just as proposals are often a surprise, an upgraded engagement ring is a perfect surprise anniversary gift. Jay surprised April with a visit to David Gardner’s for their 20th anniversary to have a new ring designed and their story is an inspiration!
There are countless ways to redesign an engagement ring, and David Gardner wanted to make April and Jay’s dream a reality. April recounted that the decision to go with David Gardner’s was simple: “Because it is something so personal, we didn’t want to go to just anybody, like a big store where you are just a customer. One of the reasons I felt most comfortable going with y’all is because when I have been in your store in the past, I would always see the jewelers working and get to see what you’re working on – the drawings and custom pieces –that’s one of my favorite things. It makes you feel comfortable to really see that you all are definitely a custom store!” That said, April still didn’t know what she wanted or where to start.
David met with April and Jay to discuss what they wanted and to sketched out his artistic vision for April’s ring. He draws on years of experience crafting one-of-kind jewelry that makes a statement for each of his clients. David knows that it is an honor to design a ring that reflects the devotion between two people. So, when doing the CAD edits, he took in all of April’s preferences and noted that she responded well to the ribbon motifs and the movement in certain drawings. David knew that this retired teacher was fun, and the ring needed to be fun too!
April recalls, “in the very beginning, when we looked at diamonds, I got to see lots of options, and that’s kind of what I wanted… to see options. I ended up going with an oval, and when I showed my friends, they were very surprised. But it’s because of the process that I realized – oh, wait, I do like this!”
Jay was even surprised by the process at Gardner’s – he thought you go in, give your ideas and the next time you go in, the ring will be there. Not exactly. Jay remarks, “I’m not a creative person, so I didn’t know how the creative process worked. Now I know – we give our ideas, then you give feedback, then we give feedback, and then drawings can be made. The way y’all guide people through it, I don’t know that it’s possible to end up with something you don’t want.”
Celebrating 20 years of marriage was an important milestone for this busy couple. They have a tight-knit family with a “divide and conquer schedule” as they juggle two sons who play football. It was essential to explore all their options and decide what they truly wanted. The “editing to perfection” process proved to be fun for them; as April recalls, “It was fun each time I got a new drawing because I got to see so many creative ideas I would never have thought of. I couldn’t picture it, so seeing the drawings really helped.”
Ultimately it was April’s decision to pick out what she liked, but Jay also enjoyed the creative process. Jay, who is the CEO of Spur Energy, knows that meetings are not something people usually look forward to, but he enjoyed them at David Gardner’s. As Jay points out, “For me to be able to go in there, sit, relax and drink some champagne for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or even an hour… That is not usually easy for me to do because I don’t have a lot of patience.”
In the end, David used a split-shank that actually goes partially underneath the half-moon side stones and attaches directly to the center stone. David recalls, “It was hard to explain this idea that was in my head, and then to execute it was tricky… but in the end, I thought it turned out to be a very fascinating home run.” The ring is truly something to behold, and April is delighted with the end result, “I love the sides of it and how everything sparkles. I mean, there are just diamonds all over. Any way I look at it just sparkles.” And it does sparkle indeed, just like her.
At David Gardner’s, we make upgrading your engagement a fun adventure for you and your partner. Stop by David Gardner’s Jewelers to discover how the DG Team can reinvent or upgrade your diamond engagement ring that best symbolizes your relationship now and for the next chapter in your love story.