Hartley Jewelers Gives Couple A Second (And Third) Chance At A Custom Wedding Set
The first was a marquise-cut solitaire engagement ring, which was joined on their first wedding anniversary, in 1972, by a five-stone anniversary band.
Jan loved the set but the marquise stone, set at an angle, sat up high on top of a plain wedding band and often caught on things. “And, because it was such a high setting, it got dirty easily,” she says.
“Frank has always been very good about taste in jewelry,” Jan continues. He was the one who suggested they might have it reset.
By 1990, the couple – who met in 1966 in high school in Dallas, dated all through college, and then married and moved to Alaska for many years – had relocated to Olympia, where they heard great things about Hartley Jewelers.
“We went there and they designed a beautiful channel-setting style using the original diamonds,” says Jan. “That’s what I call ring number two.”
Rick Hartley designed the new ring, while Hartley Jewelers’ goldsmith DeAnn Hamilton did the actual gold-work and creation.
The marquise diamond was again set at an angle, with the anniversary stones flanking it. It was now a single ring, still using all of Jan’s original stones.
“The design mimicked my original wedding band and engagement ring, but in a more modern style,” says Jan.
Frank and Jan were now Hartley Jewelers devotees all the way. They both agree that the personal service is unparalleled. “They remember who you are,” says Jan. “You go in and you’re greeted by name.
In the fall of 1999, Frank worked with Hartley Jewelers again to design another anniversary band for the couple’s 40th anniversary.
“He worked with DeAnn Hamilton secretly,” Jan says, smiling. “He borrowed my ring one day when I wasn’t wearing it and she made a wax mold so the new band would nestle up against the original.”
Though Jan proudly wore her rings every day, at night she rested them in a ring holder given to her by her daughter for Mother’s Day. One morning, while she and Frank took their dogs out for a walk, their house was ransacked and all of Jan’s jewelry was taken – including wedding ring number two and its matching anniversary band, which Jan hadn’t yet put on for the day.
It was a heartbreaking loss.
Jan and Frank thought about getting a newly designed set – Jan even searched through design books at Hartley Jewelers, considering other options – but in the end, she realized she’d never find anything else she liked as well as the old design.
Because Hartley Jewelers created the custom pieces, they had wax molds and detailed photographs to help recreate them exactly.
“We had to purchase new diamonds, of course, and upgraded them a little in size,” says Jan. With larger stones, DeAnn had to modify the design slightly, to make it structurally strong.
“The final ring is spectacular, and it really helped us get over the trauma of losing the other one,” says Jan. “The new diamonds are beautiful and the slight modifications to the original design make it even more of a ‘wow.’” Jan laughs. “It had a very happy ending.”