6 October - Initial consultation with Guy at GUY&MAX. Decided on a bangle using Antonia’s birthstone, aquamarine, with a smattering of diamond to add sparkle. 18ct Rose Gold to suit my girl’s lighter skin complexion. Still undecided on Birdcage or Digital Nature Collections though.
9 October - What a difference a weekend makes. Drawn towards the organic cellular form of the honeycomb in Digital Nature. Seems far more romantic to me, dripping honey and all that, despite my selfish love of all things motoring. Inspiration from the Tipo 61 Birdcage Maserati will have to be next year’s treat, to match the sumptuous engagement ring.
14 October - snuck back to G&M, while A was enjoying a girl’s lunch. Guy showed me some beautiful aquamarines. I’ve gone for the punchy deeper blue variety as it looks absolute dynamite with the rose gold. A little bit more spenny but we reigned in the diamond sizes to keep things to budget. A five grand half deposit, to secure the stones and crack on with the designs, was parted with.
20 October - Max has worked his magic. Received an email with six microscopically accurate designs of the bangle from different angles. It seems strange that the bangle doesn’t exist because they almost look like photographs, despite Guy’s warning that they lack the sparkle and colour of stone, polish of metal and finesse of stone setting of the eventual reality.
23 October - Asked those Shepherd Brothers to do a couple of minor tweaks. In retrospect, I prefer the slightly more random cellular form than the strictly regimented honeycomb in a few areas, especially around the biggest aquamarines.
28 October - back to the Saturday jewellery routine as Max has got the 3D resin print of the bangle complete so that I can visualise the scale accordingly. Far bigger than I expected! We have pressed the green button to make the reality. I’ve asked to be kept posted on the various stages now.
17 November - Guy sent me a pic of the raw metal back from the bullion company. It looks strangely yellow at this stage but I’m reassured that the rose colour jumps out at the polishing stage.
28 November - He was right! It looks pink now. Latest pic shows the bangle cleaned up by hand, pre-polished, with a beautifully disguised hinge and clasp section, ready for stone setting.
7 December - The stones are in! The larger blue stones have all been set in the random cells for ultimate impact. Some of the regular honeycombs have a branch like line of pavé diamonds snaking along them. It is all done by hand and eye with a little bit of ‘microscope cheating’ to enhance the smallest diamonds. It is mind boggling to think that these 1.2mm stones all have 57 facets polished onto them, just like bigger ones.
12 December - The bangle is back from polishing. It looks amazing but Guy has given me the option of rose tinting the metal further. Not something they recommend on rings because plating wears off, especially at the back. I think it is stunning as is but will give A the option to add in the New Year if so desired. Just very pleased I started this bespoke project in time for Chrimbo.
16 December - Another clandestine Saturday meeting at GUY&MAX although I think A was glad to be rid of me as she was nursing a shocker from her work do last night. The bangle is perfection. My only disappointment? It is too wide to fit in their standard bangle box so I have had to settle on it be wrapped in tissue in the outer sleeve box only. Still, that’s super cool navy blue ‘crocodile’ with chequered inner. Even the invoice/valuation and final payment is more palatable with their smart black and white sleeves.
25 December - A happy Antonia is a Happy Christmas! Loves the bangle as is. No tinting needed. Sadly for me, has cottoned on to the fact that there are plenty of empty cells for future stone additions. A man’s work is never done...