Being a jewelry designer to me is so much more than just making tangible shiny objects. This field has been incredibly healing for me, and hopefully also to the customers I have worked with. Every project is extremely special to me - from initially meeting the person and getting to know them, to hearing about how they met their partner, fell in love and now are taking the next step, to creating a special piece of jewelry for them.
Lately I have been so busy making engagement rings. It’s continued to open my heart to love and just gives me a glass half full kind of outlook on the human race. I don’t know if I’m just extremely lucky or what, but I seem to attract the most special people each that have a beautiful story to share. This is the start to a series of engagement stories, giving you all a chance to hear about these incredible people and their proposals, as well as the process of crafting a ring.
To start I would like to introduce Jill Mumie and her partner Karlis.
Jill and Karlis walked into my shop one early evening before drinks. They were in town visiting from Charlottesville, Virginia to do a Pin-Up photo shoot for Jill by Celeste Giuliano. During the shoot Karlis made a surprise proposal to her with a big costume ring. This was an incredibly cute scenario considering her hair and makeup were done for the shoot and she was all dressed up when he surprised her and popped the question. The photographer captured all of it. Jessica Saint, the makeup artist for the shoot, happened to know of my jewelry and when Jill asked for her recommendation on a female Philly jewelry designer, she said,”If I was getting married, I’d want a piece by Angela Monaco.” Karlis knew it would be better to propose with something fun but temporary so that Jill could eventually get something made that would be exactly what she wanted; her dream ring.
I met with Jill and we played with designs for her dream ring. She had an heirloom diamond from her mother and wanted to incorporate it. She knew she wanted an opal to accompany the diamond so we got drawing and came up with a two ring design as shown below.
Jill picked up the ring mid-July and told me about their secret elopement plan to be married by Wayne Coyne, frontman of The Flaming Lips, at their upcoming concert in downtown Charlottesville, Va. Although neither they nor Wayne knew exactly how the ceremony would unfold until the day of, Jill and Karlis approached the day with minds open. For their part, the Lips approached the planning with care, and the end result was pure magic. Karlis and Jill exchanged “I do’s” on stage under an inflatable rainbow with maestro Wayne and the Flaming Lips’ keyboard rendition of “Here Comes the Bride” and “The Wedding March,” in front of an audience of thousands, joy overflowing. The band closed the show with their famous and fitting song, “Do You Realize?”
Karlis and Jill felt that this ring was the perfect symbol for this special moment and their love story. Synchronistic, cosmic, powerful, confident, elegant and beautiful. A visual reminder to see the possibilities and to dare to live life to the fullest.