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I was so thrilled to be asked by Andy to help design and make the perfect engagement ring for Holly. I’ve known Andy & Holly for close to 15 years after meeting Andy at my weekend job at the local leisure centre whilst I was studying, so I was really honoured to be asked to create something so special for them.

Andy asked me to design and make a very special engagement ring for high school sweetheart Holly – and with a completely open brief! I actually think Andy said that he trusted me, that I knew Holly, and knew that I’d get it right! No pressure, right?!?

It’s always a bit nerve wracking designing and making something so special, but even more so for someone you know, plus with such an open brief and trust that you’ll get it right.

However, knowing Holly, I knew she’d want something contemporary that would stand the test of time in terms of style, have lots of sparkle and of course the wow factor. After confirming these key points with Andy, I got started collating and gathering ideas to show him.

To keep things under wraps, Andy set up a secret email account so we could discuss the design and how it was progressing without Holly knowing a thing. Mission ‘cloak & dagger’. 

Once we had a clear idea on the style, Andy gave me a budget to work with, so I started to shop for the perfect diamond.

Diamond shopping is one of those jobs every jeweller loves. It’s a bit like being a kid in sweet shop, and this trip was no exception! After visiting a few of my fabulous suppliers in Hatton Garden, looking through a huge selection of 1ct plus diamonds, in an array of shapes I had quite a good idea on the stone Andy was going to go for. From building a great working relationship with my suppliers, I was able to bring a selection of the best stones back to the studio to show Andy in person. A photograph never quite shows the stone truly.

Later that week, Andy and I met, and sure enough we both agreed on the impressive 1.32ct radiant cut diamond – the one I had ear marked as soon as I saw it.

With the central diamond found, it was time to start making. With this particular design, it lent itself to be produced accurately on CAD. Working this way, I was also able to share the CAD drawings with Andy, showing him the progress every step of the way. Once drawn up in CAD the ring was then 3D printed in wax, and was finally cast in platinum – sending photos of each stage to Andy. 

Once the ring was metal, it was off to the Assay Office in London to be hallmarked (a quality standard mark to show the metal, its fineness and the designer maker). The central radiant cut diamond was then set, along with diamond set shoulders, adding more sparkle and enhancing the overall look of the ring. The final stages involved a high polish to really make the metal and diamonds sparkle.

This was a really special commission to be asked to work on. I was truly honoured to be asked to design and make Holly’s engagement ring. I really felt the pressure to get this one right, and I had everything crossed that she would love it.

It was such an enjoyable piece to create though, especially shopping for a super sparkly whopper diamond! I’m so happy Andy trusted me, and I’m thrilled with the results. He was actually speechless when he collected the finished ring – super happy with the final result, plus a little ‘bunny in the headlights’ as the reality of proposal dawned on him! 

And of course, the proposal. . . Andy popped the question whilst they were away on holiday in beautiful Cornwall, and the answer was a huge YES! Big exhale of breath, Holly love love loved the ring! YES!

We’re already talking about the sparkly wedding ring!

“I couldn’t recommended Vaessen-Walker jewellery highly enough! From my initial appointment all the way through to picking up the finished ring, Louise was extremely supportive. The finished ring exceeded all my expectations (which were already very high) and my fiancée couldn’t be happier!

It was a pleasure to work with Vaessen-Walker and we are very much looking forward to working with them again soon on our wedding rings!”

Nikki & Will