This is a post written by our very own buyer and beloved Hood River local, Leigha Andrews! You've probably met her around town or in the store (if you don't know Leigha, you are missing out!). She's so many amazing things that we can't even post them here - her brilliant character warrants its own post later.
Recently, Leigha found her perfect new engagement ring! And so, without further ado, here is what she has to say on finding the one:
This October I will celebrate being married to my best friend for 25 years! It seems to be the perfect time to replace my engagement ring. I have been on a relatively inactive pursuit for over a decade now. My search hyper-accelerated when I started working in the presence of all the remarkable talent at Chemistry Jewelry. Even more intriguing was the possibility of finding a ring that was made by one of the informed artists that we feature here at Chemistry, who use responsibly sourced and recycled stones and metals. That prompted me to start seriously considering my options.
I wear a small triple stack of sentimental bands that include my grandmother's first engagement ring and wedding band. They were a glamorous, however penniless, young couple starting out in Hollywood after World War II. Her engagement ring is a tiny sterling band that used to be adorned with the row of flowers that have been loved right off of it over the years. The wedding band is a vintage 18 karat white gold Belais band. I looked it up for the first time while writing this. Apparently Belais patented white gold in the 20s. I found an old advertisement of an art deco beauty touting "Belais Metal... The precious metal that has revolutionized the world!" Wow, big words, I had no idea I've been wearing a little revolution on my finger.
I wear a Saundra Messinger band she calls "Tiny Dancer". It was a gift from the lovely and generous mastermind of Chemistry. It is a band of petite sterling dots with a sandblasted frosty finish and one sweet little sparkling diamond dancer. (I will save all of my Saundra love, which is big, for another day and let this textured charmer speak for its self.) It is a beautiful addition to any stack.
I was doing a bit of research on one of my favorite artists, Ananda Khalsa, and there it was! This amazing, gleaming, rose cut black rectangular diamond, framed in 22 karat yellow gold with an 18 karat gold band. And if that wasn't stunning enough, in each corner is a shining tiny white diamond… I’m in love! And to just go ahead and make it perfect, Ananda is a member of Ethical Metalsmiths! Their mission and vision is to lead jewelers and consumers into becoming informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development and verified, ethical sources of materials!
I really love the raw and dark colored diamonds! Diamonds are a gesture of eternity, heritage and love. The black diamond, also called a Carbonado, is the toughest form of natural diamond. They can only be found in Brazil and the Central African Republic. The black color is due to inclusions of graphite and carbon and to a unique structure that affects how they reflect light, most of which is absorbed into the stone.
There is some very interesting controversy on how black diamonds are formed. There are inclusions of other minerals rare or nearly absent in the earths crust. Some geoscientists believe that the material source was a Supernova!!! How crazy cool is that? OK, so another theory is that the minerals could be from a meteorite impact and then the process of plain old pressure within the earth. I very much like the "Supernova Space Diamond" hypothesis myself!
It is both timeless and modern. I love the contrast of soft and feminine with a bit of edge. Regardless of origin, I finally found my perfect ring!