Opinion

Leo Ingwer Redesigned My Mother-in-Law’s Engagement Ring and This Is Why

My mother-in-law's redesigned engagement ring from Leo Ingwer

Flourtown, Pa. Nov. 20, 2018. When my mother-in-law Gretchen decided that she wanted her engagement ring redesigned, we had a lot of decisions to make!

First, there was the look. Gretchen knew she wanted her traditional-looking prong-set round-brilliant diamond center with a trio of side stones flanking either side remade into a more modern ring. Plus, she had a slender band of tiny single-cut diamonds that she wanted incorporated into the new style. Gretchen had acquired her engagement ring at Christmastime in 1958 but stopped wearing it more than 20 years ago after the center stone fell out. Even after the center diamond was replaced, she was fearful of another loss and tucked it away.

My mother-in-law's old wedding set circa 1948

My mother-in-law’s old wedding set circa 1948

After so many years of not wearing it, though, and after the loss of my father-in-law nine years ago, she started getting sentimental; she wanted to wear it again but with a newer mounting. We talked about what she wanted and who among my jewelry friends would make it. Gretchen wanted all the stones bezel-set into a sleek band with a low profile for daily wear, and she wanted all the tiny stones scattered like a constellation, seemingly rotating around her half-carat colorless center. With such a specific look in mind and old diamonds to work with—not every jewelry designer will work with old stones—who would we connect with to do the job? It didn’t take me long to answer my own question: Danielle Ingwer-Cohen of Leo Ingwer.

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My friend Danielle Ingwer-Cohen of Leo Ingwer working on my mother-in-law's remount.

My friend Danielle Ingwer-Cohen of Leo Ingwer working on my mother-in-law’s remount.

Danielle is a treasured friend with whom I have worked on the board of the New York Metro Chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association. She was our chapter president a few years ago, and now I am in that spot. Her family founded Leo Ingwer in 1939. I knew she would work with Gretchen’s old stones and that she would be open to our ideas for design. I adore, respect, and trust Danielle, so it was logical for me to trust her to restore Gretchen’s ring and the memories it inspires. This jewel packed a lot of meaning!

I brought Gretchen’s rings to Danielle’s office in the Diamond District. I also showed her my father-in-law’s band so she would have an idea of the look we had in mind. Gretchen wanted a wider version of his yellow gold band with her diamonds inset. Danielle took some notes, took the rings, and went to work. I was so excited for Gretchen to finally be able to wear her jewelry again! I also knew that Danielle, her sister Ashley, and cousin Todd, the next generation leading the diamond house into a new arena of bespoke jewelry experiences, would do an outstanding job. All of Leo Ingwer’s jewels are made right in New York City, even when so many other firms outsource jobs all over the world. Leo Ingwer keeps its diamond jewelry experiences all in the company’s local family, which includes upwards of 20 employees—most of whom have been on staff for at least 15 years.

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The finished piece? Well, you can see in the photos that it’s fabulous! Gretchen loves it! It’s exactly what she had in mind and also what she has on her finger almost daily. Family heirlooms can only be entrusted to those who will treasure them as much as the owner, and the Ingwer family makes that happen in every client interaction.

My mother-in-law's redesigned engagement ring from Leo Ingwer

My mother-in-law’s redesigned engagement ring from Leo Ingwer

 

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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