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The Pearl Engagement Ring

This project will always be a very special one for me, both because of the unique design I worked with Alex and Penn to create & because of the joyful process of collaborating with this beautiful young couple.

"Penn and I met when we were 21, in the summer. I think connecting with people is difficult for both of us, but with her, it clicked from the word "hi." We would spend lots of time walking and sitting outside in the warm evenings in Atlanta after thunderstorms. We would just talk and talk and talk. I was afraid that we would run out of things to say, but we never did, and we still haven't. One thing I learned about her then was that Penn is not a materialistic person, but when she does want something, she internalizes it into her being, and it becomes an expression of her.

So naturally, after a few years, I had been thinking about the engagement ring, a little more and more as time went on. Getting the engagement ring right was extremely important, and I was more than a little intimidated by the process.

The only thing that I had to go on at the start was that Penn was obsessed with the website of this jeweler from Maryland named Stacey. I noticed (Penn made it very easy to notice) that Stacey had a booth at a show in Atlanta, where we live, and so I went, bringing my mom for backup. Mom and I were both extremely impressed with Stacey. As I said, the process can be really intimidating, but she made me feel comfortable and confident moving forward, and she made the planning process much easier than I had anticipated. I loved seeing her work in person because it flowed so well. The way she makes the metal look alive and dynamic was something that I knew would speak to Penn. Moving through the process, Stacey was so supportive and easy to work with, which was a blessing because I had no idea what I was doing, and we had to do the project over distance. She made it feel less like a task and more like an opportunity to create something.

We decided on the center stone being a pearl, which I know is an odd choice, because of how fragile they are, but rather than being scared off as expected, Stacey was actually excited about the idea. It was important to me that Penn be a collaborator on the project, because, for the ring to represent us, I felt like it had to involve both of us. So, Stacey sent me a pearl and, one day, on vacation in Portland, Oregon, I proposed with it.

Bringing Penn in on the project was great, and the ring that Stacey made for us, I think, is everything that we were looking for. I remember showing Penn the mockups, and she didn't want to change a single thing.The metal wraps around the pearl in such a flowing way. We love how there are no straight lines, and how it all centers on such a unique stone. I feel like every time you look at it, you notice something you never did before. Stacey's work accomplished what I think all material things that Penn chooses to keep must. It is a microcosm of her: beautiful, dynamic, and unique.

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