Treasured Stones Transformed into Family Heirlooms
Article originally published on ThurstonTalk
When Mid Parmley’s mother passed away 11 years ago, Mid inherited her diamond wedding ring. It meant the world to her.
“I have two beautiful daughters, Stacii and Danah,” Mid says. “And I decided when my mother passed away that someday I would take some rings I had, and some their father had, and put it all together to make our darling daughters each a beautiful family ring.”
When her mother-in-law passed away this past January, Mid and husband Pat inherited several more pieces of jewelry. It was finally time to create those family rings: two for her daughters and one for Mid herself.
On the recommendation of a friend, Mid took the various pieces to Hartley Jewelers, to get an opinion on how best to move forward.
“I’d already been to a couple other places, but they made me feel overwhelmed,” Mid says. “Diana at Hartley Jewelers was a God-send.”
Mid showed Diana Bonen the various family pieces, including a ring that Pat had given Mid, with a larger diamond.
“That,” Mid says with a laugh, “I didn’t give to the girls!” (It went into her ring.)
Diana drew the design for Mid’s ring and her colleague Jim helped with the waxing and setting process. Rick Hartley cast the ring.
“It was a true team effort, and I really enjoyed working with Mid and her daughter Stacii,” says Diana. “It was fun listening to them list off the origin of the stones that were set into their rings.”
Many of the stones used in the three rings were acquired over the 48 years since Mid and Pat married; others are older. “I don’t even know how old my mother’s rings were,” Mid says.
She knew she was bringing irreplaceable family heirlooms to Hartley Jewelers, and entrusted them to create something fantastic.
“I didn’t even know at first if my mother’s ring had real diamonds or gold – and I didn’t care; I still wanted them in my ring.”
Mid admits she doesn’t have a deep understanding of jewelry. “I can’t look at a piece of jewelry and tell you if it was inexpensive or valuable, but I knew what I wanted and I didn’t want anybody forcing anything on me.”
When she walked into Hartley Jewelers and met Diana, she instantly felt relaxed and comfortable. “And I went on to find everyone at Hartley Jewelers to be the same: very kind and helpful.”
Mid admits that if she’d not met Diana that day, she’d still be waiting to finally create this trio of family rings.
“If it wasn’t for Hartley Jewelers, I’m certain I would not have pursued this yet, because I was feeling overwhelmed,” she says. “But then I met Diana, and it was like, ‘Okay, this is going to be just fine.’”
“She drew sketches we could send to my daughters in North Carolina,” Mid continues. “We sent ideas back and forth, as the girls participated in choosing the setting.”
It took some time to come to a consensus, but once they did, the process moved quickly. “Diana made it really easy,” Mid says, “and it wasn’t long at all from beginning to end.”
All three rings are similar. The settings are the same, with slightly different stones in each piece.
“We mixed and matched what we had,” says Mid. The finished rings are absolutely stunning, swirls of white gold wending around diamonds and sapphires.
“It’s not traditional,” Mid admits, looking down at her ring. “It’s very different. And it’s absolutely beautiful.” She loves it – and so do her daughters.
Mid wears her ring every day on her wedding finger, while her daughters wear theirs on the middle fingers of their right hands. “They wear them everyday, too,” says Mid with a smile. “And they just can’t quit saying, ‘Mama, Mama, this is so special.’”
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