Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Ring

It's Tim so of course, a plain old engagement ring with a big rock in the center wasn't going to do it so he had a ring custom made. It was about a month in the making and as if the process were not stressful enough, he had the unfortunate timing of trying to get the ring designed and finished while he and Chris were crunching to get theit short pitch completed.


Tim really wanted to find a way to incorporate our families into the ring somehow since the marriage is really more than just the two of us, but all of our families so he translated of all of our family names: Wong (my mom's maiden name), Holzhauer, Keenan, and Vogel (his mom's maiden name) from their native launguages into English -- Wong=King, Holzhauer=Wood Cutter, Keenan=Ancient, Vogel=Bird -- and then took those English translations and found the corresponding Chinese characters. To do that, he enlisted the unwitting participiation of my aunt and uncle by making up some story about how Tim wanted to give me a poem in chinese and needed those specfic characters. After getting all the characters together, he wanted to add something to the ring that was representative of him and his not-so-chinese background so he added the Celtic eternity knot in the center to balance it out and literally tie it all together.

Armed with his concept for the ring, he then had to find a jeweler that could actually make the thing which became more of issue than he had expected. To give some context, the ring is about 5.5mm from top to bottom and the characters are well under a millimeter in thickness. He went to several jewelers who claimed they would not be able to make it less than 8-13mm which would be a pretty manly sized ring esepcially for my Holly-sized fingers. He finally ended up going to one of those big megachains (thing Jared or Kay) which he was reluctant to do because quality is just not something you generally associate with big-box stores, but they had an old chinese master jeweler who claimed he could do it at half the size of the other jewelers so Tim went with them.



To make it even more nerve racking, they weren't going to be able to show him a wax model of the ring so he was going to have to just plunk down his money and wait for the real metal. The characters are too find in detail to be cast in wax, so the only option was to do it directly in platinum, also the only material they though that would be strong enough to pull it off, and sauter it to the ring.

A few days before out big trip, Tim went in to look at the characters for the first time and give his approval, but there was a problem with the Celtic symbol in the middle so at the last minute, they had to recreate that symbol. Luckily, the jeweler was chinese, so the other four charaacters looked great. In the end, round two looked great and the craftsmanship on the piece is amazing.


The Ring Itself
The ring is all platinum and will also be my wedding band. The back of the channel the characters sit in is sandblasted so it has a subtle glittering quality to it which also makes the characters really sparkle in the light. The sides are tapered and beveled to make it look more feminine and despite the weight, it's super comfy to wear.

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