When I heard Kate’s story, some details stuck out for me, namely the struggles that Kate and Rebecca experienced during the early days of their relationship as well as the sacrifices Kate has made over their 40 years together. These were on my mind when I sat down and started brainstorming ideas for the design.
Because this is a wedding and anniversary present, I knew I wanted to make a ring. Kate and Rebecca had intentionally waited to make their commitment legal until gay marriage was an option for all people in the U.S., so I felt it was important to focus on that most traditional symbol of betrothal. In addition, I also thought it would be nice for Kate to have something she could look at and admire any time without needing a mirror.
I wanted Kate’s interests and style to be reflected in the ring’s design and I came up with a jagged upper shape that I thought was representative of both Kate’s love of hiking as well as the figurative mountains they’ve had to climb in their relationship. Since Kate’s tastes run more avant-garde, I made the mountain peaks asymmetrical, and, to represent their years together, I sprinkled 40 flush-set accent diamonds throughout. To echo the shape of mountains and give the ring a more modern twist, the outline of the shank is an inverted V-shape.
I tucked the gorgeous ruby away inside the “mountains,” as I imagined Kate finding a beautiful lakebed of crystals after a long and determined hike. I decided to create the ring in platinum because it’s durable, mirroring the strength of Kate’s relationship with Rebecca. I also thought the platinum would have a bolder and more edgy contrast with the vibrant red of the ruby.
I gave the outside of the platinum ring a matte finish to symbolize the idea that the course of true love doesn’t run smooth. To the inner bowl surrounding the ruby has a smooth, polished finish to contrast with the rougher outside. For me, this represents the idea that Kate and Rebecca have finally reached what they struggled so long to achieve.
Gigi Gruber is the owner of Atelier Gigi Inc. in San Francisco.