This is the story of a sapphire engagement ring commission that may just be our most romantic commission to date. We were lucky enough to have a recent visit from the couple who are based in the US. While they were here we were able to photograph the ring and can now share their story with you.
In our customer Ryan’s words:
“When I decided to propose to my girlfriend, I knew that a traditional engagement ring wouldn’t work. I wanted something that matched her style, that she would truly love, and that would be unique. I also wanted to incorporate a sapphire that had been in my possession for several years. This meant that ordering a standard ring style and stone from a big online jeweller was out of the question, and also meant that the big name jewellers weren’t workable either.
I scoured the internet looking for goldsmiths with a style that matched what I was looking for. I found none locally and widened my search. After looking at what seemed like 1000 rings, I stumbled upon a piece made by McCaul Goldsmiths, which led me to their website. I knew I had found the style I was looking for.
McCaul was based half a world away from San Francisco, in London, but through a twist of fate I had been planning a trip to London in the near future. I saw from their website that McCaul did custom pieces on commission, so I sent an email to them and heard back from David shortly thereafter. He said that working internationally was no problem and that we could work via email on sketches, then I could bring the stone with me to London and he’d make the ring while I was there.”
Ryan explained to us that the sapphire was one he’d found as a child in Montana, USA. It was a rough stone which he’d had cut into a 1.08ct round stone and had held onto for nearly 20 years. When it came time to find an engagement ring he knew that the sapphire was the stone he would use.
David sketched a series of designs based on Ryan’s ideas for the ring, together they worked to develop the ideas. After sending several sets of sketches back and forth the final design was ready and it was almost time for Ryan’s visit to London:
“A few weeks later I walked into the shop at Exmouth market, carrying the sapphire I was sure I was going to lose on my voyage. I met David working on a traditional gold smithing bench with traditional tools–a true craftsman. He stopped what he was doing to take a look at the sapphire and talk to me more about the ring. He showed me some diamonds that he had picked out based on what we talked about on the phone, and I chose one based on his recommendation. He also showed me a paper model of the ring that he was working on, to get a sense of the overall design.
At the end of the week, I returned to the shop to see a fabulously set and beautiful ring that perfectly brought to life the sketch I had see weeks prior. I was stunned both by the beauty and by the faithfulness to the design we had worked on.”
“The sketches and photos of the ring in progress David sent me, along with the sapphire, worked to create a wonderful story about the process and design of the ring. It was wonderful to see David work by himself from start to finish on this unique piece, in a small shop on traditional tools. So much of what we buy and own is made by machine in great quantities, and it was fantastic to see a true craftsman at work. David spent so much of his own time, not just on the metalworking, but making sketches, talking to me via email and phone, and spending time out of his workday talking to me in the shop. I felt important and heard, and based on the ring he eventually made, I knew he listened careful to what I asked for. The ring also came out within the budget I had asked for – a not unimportant factor!
A few weeks after returning home to San Francisco, I proposed to my girlfriend on the waterfront over looking the bay. She said yes and loved the ring immediately. After telling her the story of the design and the construction, and the time David spent on the ring, she was stunned. She’s kept the sketches and the photos David sent me as part of the whole story. She cherishes the ring. We couldn’t be happier.
I went half way around the world to find someone who could help me bring the idea I had for a ring to life and McCaul did so wonderfully. It was absolutely worth the trip!”
To learn about commissioning a bespoke engagement ring visit our bespoke page or contact us to find out more. For more ideas browse our inspiration galleries to see designs selected from our collections and commissions.
Browse sapphire engagement rings from our collection
- Rings, Wedding & EngagementThis striking ring combines 18-carat rose gold with a vivid orange sapphire and two white diamonds. The oval orange sapphire is enveloped in a wide bezel of brushed rose gold. Two round white diamonds set into the bezel add a little sparkle. The bold lines of the bezel taper delicately down into a slim ring band. Part of our Arris ring series, this unusual ring is carved by hand to create fluid curves and balanced proprtions. The size of this ring makes it perfectly suited to wear either as a dress ring or an alternative engagement ring. It can be paired with a matching hand carved wedding band if desired. Arris is a series of hand-carved statement cocktail and engagement rings. Each p