Chief Designer and CEO of Wedding Bands & Co. Koorosh Daneshgar speaks of an experience he recently had during a family outing, and how important it is to make a strong impression with your proposal:
“This past weekend, my family and I visited the Chicago Conservatory in Garfield Park. If you’ve never been before, the Conservatory is a large greenhouse, filled and surrounded with thousands of beautiful and exotic plants from all around the world. It’s truly a breathtaking experience, and I highly encourage you to visit sometime. It was very relaxing to walk around with nature, observing and becoming inspired by it.
What was interesting, however, was what I found inside one of the greenhouse rooms proper. After following the spiraling path through the building, one comes upon a small waterfall-turned-wishing well. It was filled with coins, of course, but what really got to me was the fact that the coins were arranged, rather than randomly tossed. I’ll let this video I took speak for itself.”
“It’s simple, but unforgettable. Engagements can be big and flashy or small and private, and anywhere in between – but the important thing is that they are memorable. You only get one chance, after all! To me, the proposal is just as important as the ring you’re trying to wow your partner with. You need to be creative like this person, you need to have the kind of touch that makes that moment truly your own. It needs to be something that you’ll look back at for years to come. After all, the ring can always be changed or upgraded later – but you only get one chance for your partner to say ‘Yes!'”
Traditionally, an Antique-style ring describes any ring in a style that’s over 100 years old – so, the turn of the 20th century for us today. The early 1900’s saw a revolution of different design options for the traditional engagement ring, including the inclusion of what’s become known as piercing. Piercing is the practice of creating gaps and holes in the band for stylistic purposes, which itself would evolve into unique styles all its own such as split-shank.
Chief Designer Koorosh Daneshgar recently designed one such piece, a beautiful platinum band with dozens of small diamonds dotted around it. What emphasizes this ring as a vintage style, along with the piercing along the sides of the center stone, is the intricate nature of the hand engraving along the top and inside of the band.
“This piece seems like it would be difficult, but the challenge was a lot of fun actually,” says Koorosh. “It’s not often that I get to focus on the details of a ring on such a scale.” Antique style rings are typically wider than the ‘traditional’ solitaire engagement ring, as well as more lavish and luxurious. They reflect upon a time of beautiful detail when work was done entirely by hand, along with all the freedom and imperfections that comes with it, rather than by computer-aided design that most rings today are modeled with.
Love spans multiple generations, as anyone can tell you. And, when Eric came into Wedding Bands & Company to design a ring with Ring Master Koorosh Daneshgar, he had something special in hand and in mind. Eric wanted to build and design a special ring that would last through the ages, though one that incorporated the past as well as the future. In order to do that, he supplied a very special diamond, courtesy of his girlfriend’s family. What was created through Eric’s love and devotion to Jessica was a truly special and unique piece, a monument to their bond together.
It all started back in 1947, when Jessica’s grandfather (or, as the affectionate term she called him by, ‘Zaide,’) began picking out a ring for her grandmother. As a jeweler, he knew what to look for in terms of quality, and strove to give his future wife the ring she deserved; nothing but the best! It was a diamond and ring of great personal significance, one that later became an heirloom to the family. So, when the time came for Jessica to marry, her family made the decision to pass along this brilliant ring to be made anew.
When Eric and Jessica first brought the ring in, Koorosh was stunned by the design and quality of the diamond. “It has the whitest color, perfectly cut…nearly flawless interior and clarity. It really shows the passion and drive that Jessica’s grandfather had for his profession, as well as the devotion to his wife.” Jessica wanted this passion to carry on, not only within the ring but on the diamond itself, through a small but heartfelt engraving: “Zaide 1947.”
“When you buy a diamond or a ring,” says Koorosh, “you want the goal for it to become a cherished memory, an heirloom like this one has. You want for it to last for years, so you can pass it down to children or grandchildren and let it survive in your family as a treasure!”
As Jessica had supplied the diamond for her ring, Eric wanted to design the mounting to be just as beautiful and important to her. Like the diamond, he wanted something that would be a lasting symbol of their relationship, and something that they could similarly pass beyond themselves into their growing family. He succeeded in this respect by choosing a platinum-based band – which, being that platinum is much stronger and more durable than gold, fulfilled his requirements precisely. Furthermore, he sought to enhance and highlight the diamond through the addition of eye-catching sapphires.
This is where Koorosh, Wedding Bands & Co’s CEO and Chief Designer, stepped in. He had the diamond, the material and a general theme for the ring: that of a throne, something worthy of the beautiful stone set upon it. Now, he needed to find the right inspiration for the design. To do this, he began asking the important questions to Eric: What were the important memories they shared together? Was there anywhere special that meant a lot to them? Where did they meet at?
These questions all pointed to the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, a personal favorite of Koorosh. “There are a lot of young people in Lincoln Park, a lot of couples starting their lives together.” Films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding were filmed there, and a lot of Chicago’s romance buds from the area. Plenty of natural and man-made sights and venues hold special meaning. What Eric sought was strength, a solid foundation to build their lives upon, and the eternal, timeless devotion of their love. From all of these factors, and after a bit of personal inspection of the Park, Koorosh settled upon the masonry and architecture of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Statue located east of the Zoo. “The statue, like their ring, is a gateway that links past to present. It is a bridge between two different times, how they can all come together to form a lasting union.” When all of these factors came together, they produced a truly breathtaking, one-of-a-kind piece.