Continuing our celebration of Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™, we are highlighting stunning rings and the Stuller associates who wear them.
Throughout this year, we have celebrated the beauty and uniqueness of engagement rings, wedding bands, and the stories behind them. Every ring, no matter the style, comes with a one-of-a-kind touch. While many stories involve custom rings with hand-picked details, how often do you get to choose the exact diamonds used in your own ring without even knowing it?
For Stuller’s Diamond Buyer Specialist Mindi, that is exactly what happened when her husband Brad worked to get her an engagement ring, and she could not have been more surprised. Not only did Mindi match the diamonds in her original bridal set, but she also picked the diamond she wanted to feature in her upgraded ring before even choosing the mounting.
Let’s dive into a tale all about beautiful diamonds specially picked by a diamond expert. This is Mindi and Brad’s story.
Sparks Fly With Young Love
Mindi met Brad at a bonfire in 2000 when they were in high school. Brad’s cousin was Mindi’s best friend, who helped make the initial introduction. There was immediate interest. In fact, when Brad needed to drive Mindi and her friend home that night, he made sure Mindi took the seat next to him. It did not take long for the two to begin dating and the future looked bright for these high school sweethearts.
After high school in 2002, Mindi started a job at Stuller with our diamond fulfillment department. Working with diamonds, she quickly fell in love with the popular stone and knew what she liked. Her job was to fill orders and help customers find matching diamonds for their pieces. Little did she know, she would one day be matching her very own diamonds.
A Match Made in Heaven
Even though Brad and Mindi dated in high school, they began to seriously think about their future once they became financially independent and entered the workforce. Mindi had learned a lot in her short time at Stuller. She knew that when it was time, she was looking for fancy stone shapes and accent stones in her engagement ring. She took a mountings catalog home to show Brad and gave him a few options to choose from.
He chose a two-toned 14K yellow and white gold flexible 3C design engagement ring mounting (69706) ready for an emerald-shape center stone and tapered baguette side stones. Getting the mounting was the easy part. The hard part was picking matching diamonds for the mountings without her knowing.
Mindi’s cousin Nanette was a manager in gemstone fulfillment, and she helped coordinate with Brad to get the diamonds for the ring. They had to be creative. They wanted Mindi to choose her own stones so they knew she would be happy with the quality of diamonds chosen. To do that, they had to put the order under someone else’s name so she would not piece together who the diamonds were for. Her manager helped as well by giving her the order and saying it was for a very picky customer. She chose the stones — a natural emerald-cut diamond accompanied by two natural tapered baguette diamonds equaling a ½ carat total weight — and was none the wiser to who the picky customer was until later.
Popping the Question
With the ring in hand, Brad planned to propose while they went on vacation in August 2003. Mindi loves roller coasters, so they decided to go to Astro World. Originally, Brad planned to propose in the theme park, but was worried security would ruin his plans as their bags were searched at the entrance. There came a moment as they were at their hotel and getting ready to go to the park that he could not wait any longer. He took the ring, got on his knee, and surprised Mindi with a question she had been waiting to eagerly accept.
A Modern Upgrade
Mindi and Brad’s wedding was in May 2004. After 17 years of marriage, Mindi was ready to upgrade her ring. She loves her original ring but realized she does not wear yellow gold as much as she used to. As a GIA®-certified Graduate Gemologist and now a professional diamond buyer for Stuller, she sees a large variety of diamonds and is always on the lookout for the perfect one for her. One day earlier this year, a beautiful 2.59 carat, VS2 clarity, E color, lab-grown, emerald-shape diamond crossed her desk, and she knew it was time. She bought the diamond then began searching for a mounting. Once she found a platinum emerald-shape diamond engagement ring mounting (122996:862:P) she liked, she worked with Stuller’s CAD/CAM department to modify the setting to fit the center stone size she wanted.
Mindi was not the only one that wanted an upgrade. Brad’s original ring was a classic half-round 14K yellow band (IRL12:125310:P). He works with his hands a lot so found that he did not wear his ring as much. He began looking for other rings he could wear that could handle his lifestyle without scratching being a major concern. He liked the look of a couple of white contemporary metal bands so he chose a tungsten beveled-edge satin grooved band (TAR333) as well as a tungsten half round band (TAR022). He regularly switches his wedding bands out depending on his mood and the occasion.
Rings With a Story
As you can see from Mindi and Brad’s story, the unique facts and features about engagement rings and wedding bands are as one-of-a-kind as the couple themselves. There are pieces of their personalities set in these rings, which makes them priceless. Seventeen years of marriage is a wonderful milestone for this happy couple and there are many more years ahead to add to the story. Mindi’s next plan is to find a matching band to add to her upgraded engagement ring and we cannot wait to see it!