When it comes to an everlasting symbol of love, you want to get it right.
There’s a reason vows are sealed with the placing of a ring on a finger. The circle, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternal love that the bride and groom are pledging. And the ring finger of the left hand? The vein in that digit was thought to lead straight to the heart.
With so much meaning invested in that jewelry, you want to get it right. Jackie Read, co-owner with wife Delisa of Reads Jewelers in Fort Worth, Texas, remembers when he popped the question. “We got married six months before we opened our first store 33 years ago. We did it backwards: I asked her to marry me first and proposed with no ring.” He ended up getting it right: They designed their rings together, and they’ve been partners in life and business ever since.
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For Read, all of the “four C’s” of diamonds — color, clarity, carat, and cut — matter in making the best decision when picking stones. He also emphasizes the customer and the craftsmanship. “The wedding and engagement ring are pieces of jewelry, but they’re also a lifetime gift,” he says. To make it perfect, the Reads work with the couple. “From the guy, we like to find out about the taste and lifestyle of his bride. We take time to answer questions and make sure it’s a comfortable conversation that’s not intimidating.”
The wedding and engagement ring are pieces of jewelry, but they’re also a lifetime gift. —Jackie Read
They can talk people through what’s classic and traditional and what’s popular and trending. But ring decisions, Read says, should also take into account lifestyle, whether it’s riding or working with horses, skiing or fly-fishing, rafting or mountain climbing. “In that case, we’ll typically design a lower-profile setting for the center stone, while keeping the beauty and a unique, specially created look.”
For lovers of the Western lifestyle, there’s custom design work with engraving. “An engraving pattern on a ring is like a signature,” Read says. “I have three engravers who each have their own different unique look. You can come in and design an exquisite piece that has this special touch.”
Read uses 3D modeling software to help couples visualize what their custom creations will look like. Personalization with ranch brands, initials, and heartfelt ever-after inscriptions? No problem.