I loved everything about Lila and Mark’s story, and one of my goals was to utilize as many of the stones that Mark had sourced as possible. Rings are one of my favorite things to design so I created the piece as an anniversary ring that I imagined them exchanging at a vow renewal celebrating their five years of marriage and the new addition to their family.
I wanted to create three layers to the piece. The hyalite opal represents their new family unit and is at the center. The denim sapphires are three-prong set to echo the petals of bitterroot, Montana’s state flower. And the row of Padparadscha sapphires nestled between the two pays homage to where they met and is the bridge between Lila’s life as a girl and where is now as a well-traveled woman and mother-to-be.
I opted to design the ring in yellow gold because I like the way that the yellow sets off the Padparadscha sapphire melee. It offers a bit more contrast than a white metal would, and the rich, warm yellow color feels more ceremonial to me, which seemed appropriate for this piece.
The ring is asymmetrical, as I imagined Lila might be drawn to a more unique design. The flag of Malawi, where Mark and Lila met, is beautiful with a half sun rising, which I drew inspiration from as well. I added a small path of Padparadscha sapphires leading away from the hyalite opal that represents the adventures that await Mark and Lila. I get a sense that their real adventure is just beginning.
Jillian Sassone is the founder and lead designer of Marrow Fine Jewelry in Solana Beach, California.
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