Monkey Bars to Building Plans (and a Diamond Ring)

A couple we met recently gives the idea of “high school sweethearts” a whole new meaning. Hannah and Johnathan first met when they were about eight years old, fast forward 16 years and the couple are ready to tie the knot. We had the privilege of working with Johnathan to custom design a truly bespoke engagement ring; when it was presented to Hannah her first words (other than “yes” of course) were “WOW YOU CAN SEE ALL OF THE DIAMOND!”. It’s a thrill to meet people who all have such special love stories, they provide so much inspiration. Find out more about Hannah and Johnathan’s custom bespoke journey with The Village Goldsmith below: 

Hannah and Johnathan celebrating their engagement in front of their building lot

Words by Hannah: 

Johnathan and I first met in 2004 at 7.5-8 years old. I transferred to his primary school and we ended up in the same class. Johnathan had an interesting fascination with my last name and would follow me round on the monkey bars saying "PERRRRRYYY" over and over. Little did he know then, that 16 years later he'd be vowing to change my last name. 

We became friends and as we shifted schools we drifted apart, as friends do, but being in a small town we always knew of one another. Johnathan popped back onto my radar 8 years after meeting him in primary school. Aged 16, we started talking and catching up on life as if we were meeting again for the first time.  

Eventually he invited me to a mutual friends gathering and we have been inseparable ever since. We have finished college, moved cities, completed tertiary studies, flatted, graduated, secured our first jobs, travelled, started a new build and gone through all of life’s ups and downs in between TOGETHER! My most favourite part of growing with Johnathan is that we know each other so well but continue to learn more about each other as we continue our life together. 

Over the past few years with Johnathan, I had been making it very well known that I was ready to be engaged, but I knew Johnathan would do it on his own terms. He explained to me recently how it all began, what made him feel it was time, the process of having a custom bespoke ring made, working with Ian from The Village Goldsmith etc. Ian listened to Johnathan tell our story and worked with Johnathan to create a beautiful ring. Johnathan has a particular standard of detail on anything he does. He knew that what he wanted to create would need to be unique and challenging. 

After weeks and months with back and forth communication and visits to the store, the ring was finally created just in the nick of time before our anniversary.  The weather for our anniversary was not looking good so he took me out the day before. Johnathan woke up that morning with an extra hop in his step. He told me to wake up as the day was too beautiful to waste and that we were going out and about for the day to enjoy the sunshine while it lasted. I assumed that Johnathan was just excited for our two weeks of time off together, and had no idea what had been going on behind the scenes. We ended up heading out to the new subdivision where our house is due to be built, to remind ourselves what our future holds together. After a few snaps of our section, a conversation about how I love him, and a not-at-all-subtle comment about a proposal from me (with absolutely no idea about what had been planned), Johnathan got down on one knee in front of our muddy section and asked me to marry him. I couldn't say YES any faster!  

After basking in the joy, Johnathan took me through the journey he had been through with Ian to come up with the design. All the late nights and research had finally paid off. Johnathan’s main focus on the ring was to enjoy all of the diamond, to appreciate all its beauty from every view. Ian accepted this challenge and pulled it off seamlessly. When I look at this ring, I see the way it shows ALL and how Johnathan and I have shared all our big life milestones together. It is simple but so complex in its beauty and Ian has done a wonderful job to design a ring that perfectly represents Johnathan's love for me. 

Designing Hannah and Johnathan’s Engagement Ring: 

The ring Johnathan had in mind for Hannah was like nothing we’d ever crafted before, but it was no problem for Ian and our excellent team of craftsmen to bring the design to life. 

When Johnathan sat down with Ian on a beautiful morning in June to discuss the idea he had in mind for Hannah’s engagement ring, Ian was instantly hooked. Johnathan wanted to create a diamond solitaire ring which showcased the diamond in its entirety, so that you could see all its bright white shine no matter which angle you viewed it from.  

Ian found a design we had crafted in the past featuring a pear cut diamond, which held the diamond in place high above its setting, making the entire diamond visible. He described it as holding the tradition of a solitaire diamond ring but features a twist, presenting a ‘window’ under the setting so the diamond can show itself off. Johnathan loved the concept and was completely enthralled by the pear cut design, he was close to having the same ring crafted for his engagement ring, but he was too set on updating the design to feature a round brilliant cut diamond. 

Our CAD team then got to work updating the details of the original design, adjusting it to meet the specifications of holding a round brilliant cut diamond. Upon seeing the updated design Johnathan was very conflicted, he had grown to love the original pear design even more, but was struck with how stunning the setting looked with a round diamond. After a few days of comparing images of each design, the round brilliant cut design grew on Johnathan just as fast as the pear cut design did. Ultimately Johnathan chose the round brilliant cut design, after all this was what he originally came searching for. 

After sourcing a variety of beautiful diamond options for Johnathan, he chose a diamond which seemed destined for the ring, and the crafting process kicked off. Placing a diamond in such a delicate claw-but-tension setting requires a vast amount of experience and skill. To hold the diamond in place while curving the claws to clasp the diamond is incredibly impressive, and our master setter, Adrian, achieved this beautifully. Between our setter Adrian, and our talented craftsman, Luke, the ring was crafted to perfection just in time for Johnathan and Hannah’s 8th year anniversary! Come Sunday, the day before their anniversary, when the pair went to view the section where their new house is going to be built, Johnathan popped the question. He later told us that after she said yes, Hannah’s first comment was “WOW YOU CAN SEE ALL OF IT!” which is exactly what we wanted to achieve with Johnathan’s unique design. 

Hannah and Johnathan celebrating their engagement in front of their building lot

We are so honoured to have been a part of such a remarkable love story, we always love being able to craft our client’s stories into jewellery designs which perfectly represents the memories they want to capture and hold onto forever. Each piece we design and craft has a special spot in the heart of The Village Goldsmith, and it makes us so happy to know that our company and jewellery designs often hold a unique place in our client’s hearts too. 

At The Village Goldsmith we believe capturing stories and crafting memories is the true meaning and purpose of jewellery. If you are looking to have your own unique piece of jewellery crafted please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We would love to guide you through a special and meaningful journey. 

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"We’d like to thank Ian and the team at The Village Goldsmith for the amazing service they provided.  We value the care they have shown us and how their standard of service really goes above and beyond what we had expected."

- Hannah & Johnathan, Wellington