From Business Lunch to Antique Diamond Ring Restoration
It was a luncheon on a day of wind that blew a bird into our hotel ballroom.I was at this meeting to hear the wonderful entrepreneurial story told by Carole Topalian and her partner Tracey Ryder, founders of Edible Communities .
After their great talk I went up to meet them. In the process I found out that Carole had a very special jewelry project that I might be able to help her with.
An Amazing Story About an Amazing Woman
When we sat down to look at this antique ring that hadn't been worn in years, Carole told me she wanted to restore it as a gift for her partner. She told me, "there’s a story here."
When Carole's father came back from the war, he gave this ruby and diamond ring to her mother and they married in 1946.
As the kids came along and the house grew too small, they demolished part of it to re-build a larger version of it.
Carole’s mom helped with the demolition. Then there was this enormous mountainous pile of rubble in their front yard. Her mother looked down at her hand and realized she’d lost her wedding ring.
The Woman Who Moved a Mountain
Carole tells me, “she decided she was going to go through the huge pile and find it. It looked hopeless, ridiculously so. But that was my amazing mom."
Carole continued with, "She decided things and then she did them. She got into the mountain of rubble and sifted and persisted until she found her ring.”
"I never forgot that. This ring means so much."
With a Story Like That This Ring is So Much More Than a Piece of Jewelry
Carole is a successful entrepreneur with her partner and I imagine her mom smiling down at her.
So Carole showed me this ring that was now hers. It was well loved, well-worn and in need of a lot of work.
I love to see challenging rings like this. The workmanship, the design style and the time period it came from can mean it is timeless in style or a trend that is too dated.
Fix it or Restore it?
I could just replace the Diamond and fix those prongs and call it a day as she asked. But as I looked at this ring and its interesting design I knew I wanted her to see how it looked when her father gave it to her mother.
Carole OKed my restoration work and I joyously leaped forward in my mind.
I’d re-tip all the prongs to help the gems stay in longer. Then I’d find a matching older cut diamond and re-set it for her. Then careful hand engraving in the style of the original would bring back the original beauty of this ring with a story.
It's a Joy to Restore an Antique Diamond Ring
Carole had tears when she saw it finished. (Me too.) She said, “I’m so grateful for what you have done.” It was truly my pleasure to work on this meaningful ring.
There's More Kinds of Value than Monetary Price
Carole's piece is what I call a priceless ring. It evokes memory and love and beauty.
How can you measure the value of a meaningful piece of jewelry? How can you quantify love? You can’t, you just take good care of it. Thanks Carole for choosing me to care for your amazing, storied ring.
Santa Barbara Jewelry Restoration