Continuing our celebration of Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™, we are highlighting stunning engagement rings and the Stuller associates who wear them.
There is something special about a custom designed engagement ring. Infusing personal touches into a ring —an inscription, design detail, or birthstone — creates a piece that is truly one-of-a-kind and something that comes from the heart.
Three members of our Product Design & Development CAD team gave special attention and care to creating their wives’ rings. Filled with significance and unique features you’d expect from designers, these rings symbolize their lasting love.
These are Michael, Jacob, and Michael’s ring stories.
For CAD design manager Michael Bartlett, his wife Alexis is the strongest person he knows. Both originally from New Orleans, they met in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of their relationship, Michael feels they grew together through incredibly significant times in their lives that helped them know and understand each other. He wanted the ring he made for Alexis to reflect that journey.
His goal for the ring was to make something she would never have to take off. A teacher at the time and active with her hands, he wanted Alexis to be able to wear the ring everywhere and not have to worry about it.
The ring he created was a 14K white gold split shank bypass with a faux tension-set center. This securely holds the natural diamond center and ensures the ring doesn’t get caught during everyday use. To accent the diamond, he used channel-set sapphires because he knew she loved blue accent stones that were used in a former Stuller bridal line. Looking at the ring design, their beginning is represented with the shape of a hurricane and the functionality shows their ability to withstand anything together.
With such a beautiful and meaningful ring, the proposal had to be unique and significant as well. While the details of the proposal are something Michael and Alexis share privately with themselves, Michael did mention it involved thousands of glow-in-the-dark stars and one held the ring.
With the help of an old mentor and the Stuller model department, Michael was able to design the perfect ring for Alexis — one that has withstood everything during their more than 10 years of marriage. Michael and Alexis are now living their happily ever after with their two daughters.
Senior CAD designer Jacob Wright met his wife Emily at a friend’s wedding. While sparks flew during their first date, the timing wasn’t right because they lived in different cities and Emily was focused on law school. Two years passed before the two reconnected and pursued a relationship.
Knowing that ideal timing played another significant role in their relationship when it came to the proposal. Jacob had been waiting for the right time to pop the question, but nothing felt right once he finished the ring. That is, until Christmas Eve in 2018 where there came a moment in between family events, and he proposed in front of their Christmas tree for the perfect holiday proposal. Emily was surprised, delighted, and happily accepted.
Jacob and Emily had always enjoyed talking about jewelry together, so it was easy to know what she would want from an engagement ring. He designed a vintage-inspired, 14K yellow gold ring with a 14K white gold setting that holds a lab-grown oval shape diamond set east-west. Marquise diamonds set on either side of the center stone add to the overall shape of the center. The ring is complete with French-set diamond accents.
Jacob completed the ring with the help of the stone setting and model departments here at Stuller. Jacob and Emily are now enjoying their second year of marriage with a beautifully designed ring and the memories it represents.
Associate CAD designer Michael Gauthier met his wife Layna over 10 years ago through mutual friends on her birthday. In this decade, they experienced many milestones together and made unique memories. As a fan of symbolism, Michael made sure to incorporate some of their shared moments into the design of Layna’s ring.
Michael spent more than a year working on the ring design until the perfect design was made. There are a few features in the design that make this ring extra special for Layna. The first is the use of infinity symbols on either side of the shank. The first piece of jewelry Michael ever gave Layna was an infinity ring. When she graduated college, he also designed her graduation ring with this symbol incorporated in the gallery. The infinity symbols represent those past pieces of jewelry as memorable moments they shared together.
The second feature is truly hidden. Underneath the center stone is a bezel-set Aquamarine (his birthstone) that sits flush against her finger. This stone is to symbolize that he is always with her.
The ring itself features a 14K rose gold inner band holding his birthstone which is embraced by a 14K white gold exterior band representing the bond between husband and wife. A stunning oval-shape Moissanite sits at the center circled by round and marquise diamond accents.
Michael proudly completed the design and modeling of this ring himself. He proposed in Antelope Canyon while road-tripping through Arizona. They now add a new milestone to their lives as parents to their 4-month-old son Briggs. A second band is in the works including Briggs’ birthstone that will match the existing band and create a double-sided set of bands for the engagement.
There are a few thoughts that can be taken from the stories of these three designers. Primarily, you can never go wrong by putting your heart into the ring you give to the one you love most. From simple to intricate, uniquely designed rings are cherished and treasured for a lifetime carrying special meaning. However, the ultimate lesson to be learned is that if you marry a CAD designer, you can expect a stunning ring that will melt your heart where you can give the most enthusiastic “Yes!”