Last week, Miley Cyrus told talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres that she doesn’t like wearing her engagement ring because it’s not her style.
I was like, “Um, hello, Miley!!!!!!!”
One of my specialties is redesigning old or unloved jewelry, including engagement rings. I’m also a long-time supporter of Miley, so I’d be perfect for the job.
In my experience, there are two reasons women don’t think of changing their engagement rings. (I don’t know if this applies to men because I haven’t done a mangagement ring yet, though I would be delighted to do one.) The first is that they don’t want to hurt their fiancé’s feelings. They think the design means something for him, but unless the man is an artist himself, he probably doesn’t care at all. Trust me on this. I’ve been involved in more proposals and engagement rings than Elizabeth Taylor. As I wrote in 2010:
“The typical straight guy has no idea what to get you. He picks the safest option and hopes for the best. He’s not emotionally invested in the ring setting, only in your happiness. If you tell him that you don’t like the ring, he’ll be bummed that he guessed wrong, but ultimately relieved when you have something you love.”
Clearly, Miley isn’t fretting that fiancé Liam Hemsworth’s self-esteem is based on her enthusiasm for his ring, because she announced her feelings on national television. But I doubt he was surprised if she wasn’t wearing it often. My very first engagement-ring redesign was a situation like that. Judy — who preferred bold accessories — hadn’t worn her petite ring since her wedding, and it’s not like her husband didn’t notice that. But then we come to the second reason people don’t consider redesigns: They don’t know it’s possible! When I met Judy and her husband, they realized it could happen. They were thrilled with the outcome.
I’ve done my best to make people aware of this option, and it looks like I’m having some success. In Yahoo’s story on Miley’s ring, I was mentioned as a go-to person for redesigns.
I’d rather have a couple collaborate on a ring in the first place, as I’ve written previously:
“… I prefer that the woman becomes involved with the design. If she’s not personally meeting with me because the man is trying to maintain some element of surprise, I want him to come in with pictures she has torn out and/or specifics she has written down. My attitude is: let’s be adults. You two have presumably discussed your lives together. You should be able to discuss your ring options. Seriously, ladies, you wouldn’t have a man surprise you with a wedding gown that you only wear once, so why should he make a decision on an item you’re going to wear every day for the rest of your lives together? The fairy-tale moment of the surprise proposal is going to be ruined anyway if he opens the box to reveal something you hate.”
But if that’s not what has happened, I’m your redesign woman. Tell me your budget and I’ll tell you what I can do for you. As far as aesthetics, I’m happy to do a simple solitaire, but I’m even happier to go wild. Remember my mom’s original engagement ring?
I turned it into this award-winning 50th-anniversary extravaganza.
So if Miley wants an engagement ring that reminds her of gummy bears or unicorns, I would be happy to create that for her. MILEY, CALL ME!
Of course, you don’t have to be a celebrity to get a jewelry redesign from me. If you’re interested, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com and we’ll talk.
Thinking about Miley’s ring got me musing over my own ring redesign. I originally designed my engagement ring in 2001 — before I was in the jewelry business. I let myself get talked out of what I really wanted to do because, supposedly, I would get tired of something that was too untraditional.
Five or six years later — when I was in the jewelry business — I redesigned the ring according to my original idea. (If it reminds you of Judy’s ring, that’s because Judy asked for a ring that looked just like mine.)
What is interesting is that my style has changed so much as a jewelry designer. I started out with bold, abstract, but fairly simple designs like my engagement ring. I’ve evolved into incredibly intricate, figurative work as seen in my Maneater collection. I’ve realized that if I were to do the redesign of my own ring now, it would be more like the Maneaters than what I did a decade ago, just because that’s the style I lean towards for my own inventory these days. But that fact doesn’t lessen my satisfaction with my engagement ring as it is now. I’ve always had eclectic taste! I’m glad it worked out like it did.