Jane's Garnet and Diamond Cluster Ring
A garnet and diamond ring that began with a cocktail napkin sketch
JANE S | CONNECTICUT
JANE’S STYLE INSPIRATION
If I had to pick an actress it would be someone like Audrey Hepburn for her classic elegance. I always like tradition and simplicity in life.
JANE ON HER ORIGINAL PIECE
What is the story of the original piece that motivated this project for you?
I’ve always loved the story. My parents became engaged just before my father went to World War II in the early 40’s and they were at a local restaurant in North Eastern Connecticut where he proposed to her after dinner in the lounge of this restaurant and she accepted! They must have spoken about a ring and she drew a picture on a cocktail napkin of what she would like. My mother had quite a lot of style. She was an interesting woman and she was able to come up with something like that immediately. She didn’t have to ponder it and she knew what she liked, so she drew a picture and said she wanted four garnets of some size – she probably knew they would be inexpensive stones which would be good for him because he didn’t have any money – with some little diamond chips in between them. So he took this cocktail napkin to a small jeweler in Norwich, Connecticut. The jeweler created this ring for which my mother told me many years ago, they paid $80 and it was 14 karat gold and a simple bezel with little diamond chips in between the four stones.
On my 40th birthday – my father had died a few years prior – my mother gifted this ring to me. We were having lunch together and in a card, she had placed this ring – which was her engagement ring – which she had always worn with just a simple gold band and she said, “I want you to have this. I don’t want you to argue with me, I’ve loved it for all these years, your father has passed now and I want you to have it.” Garnet was my birthstone and she gave it to me for my 40th birthday, so it was very meaningful to me in many, many ways plus I thought it was an exquisitely beautiful ring. I loved it. I loved its simplicity, I loved the garnets, I loved everything about it.
So I wore it, not always, but interestingly, I always wore it at times - I ultimately became a library media specialist, I didn’t work while raising my children but then I went back and became a library media specialist and whenever I had to do anything taxing, make a presentation or present to the school board or do something special, I would always wear this ring because I felt that it gave me extra strength or something from my mother who I adored. She died the same year she gave me the ring which made it more special. Subsequently, we had a theft in our home and I lost many many many things, many pieces of jewelry and silver, household silver and I didn’t feel upset about the loss except for the garnet ring. It wasn’t a valuable ring but it was so special, and ever since that time, ten or twelve years ago, my husband always said why don’t you find something else that reminds you of that, suggests that or something. I started following you guys during COVID, [which] was like my salvation. I loved all your posts and I followed you guys and I thought Aha! I can do this, I can do something different.
What were the visual records you had of your original piece?
I had worn that ring for 30-ish years and I had no pictures of it except for one on my daughter’s hand, a very grainy picture and the trompe l’oeil painting on the jewelry box that was a quick rendition of it which was a wonderful thing. That’s a wooden box that my husband bought for me many years ago as a birthday gift. He bought it at an antique shop in our little town and I think he was told it was for type-setting. It had lots of little spaces in it and he thought I would like it because I like old things and I loved it. Some years following, my very dear friend had the idea of, she always came up with clever ideas for gifts and we had a local artist who would paint things, and she said why don’t you choose some of your favorite jewelry, the jewelry you use a lot and she painted them on the top of the jewelry box. I still have the jewelry box and I love it.
JANE ON SPUR
What was it like working with Spur?
I really didn't feel I had any right to duplicate [the ring]. I thought it was special and it was of another time and I was lucky to have it and that I would just sort of make a nod to it in some way, of course the ring I’ve ended up with is very different - much more dramatic. I was glad you folks were encouraging that garnets and diamonds were okay - it seems silly to have valuable stones and not valuable stones together in a ring but I really liked the combination. I really just wanted to pay homage to it but not not copy it, it didn’t seem right to copy it.
The thing that I absolutely love about it is, it’s so different from anything I’ve ever owned. I’ve always had such traditional, linear, balanced, symmetry – even in the things that I’ve inherited, they were all symmetrical and this is so crazy.
“I mean it’s like a lightning bolt and I love it and I thought, I’m 75 years, what the heck, who cares? If the next generation doesn't like it, they can have it remade. I’m really enjoying it and my friends go, wow, that’s quite a departure but they’re sort of dazzled by it - I mean if you’re not going to do it now, when are you going to do it?"
When I got the designs that you made, I really liked the ones that were asymmetrical and I’ve looked at everything I could ever find on your website or Instagram, I went through all of it in preparation for this, getting ideas and I just loved and loved and loved a ring that you did that's similar to this that’s diamonds and emeralds for someone and there were little earrings that were similar as well and they were sort of like sprinkled and I thought that’s just beautiful and different - it’s fun for me.