Notes from Brittany: Giving Heirlooms a Fresh Start

Update heirloom jewelry with custom design

It’s been a month since one of my custom design customers came in to pick up their finished ring and left misty eyed with the warmest feeling in her heart. She was so happy.

When I met Betsy, I immediately felt like I was working with a close friend. Her brother has been a customer of Zachary’s for many years, and when he brought her in to talk to me about a custom design idea, I connected with her immediately. We talked about the significance of her stone and that she was looking to get it made into a cocktail style ring.

Her main concern was that years ago she had this meaningful stone set into a pendant, and the over stylized silver design completely overpowered the stone and because of its oddities, sat collecting dust in a drawer. The stone came from her Grandfather who she absolutely adored, and she wanted it showcased in something she could wear to feel close to her grandfather.

Tigers Eye Cameo

To start the process, I drew up two distinct ring designs, both very simple and practical, leaving the tigers eye stone to be the focal point. One design offered a simple thin bezel set ring in yellow gold with a simple band, while the other was a multi-prong set design with a tapered band similar to the signet style in yellow gold. We both agreed that the second design added a bit of spark and added support to the ring, giving it a little flair.

Signet Style Custom Gemstone Ring

When the computer-generated design was created, it was emailed to her for her approval. She loved it! No edits were needed – but of course I understood when she told me she was still a little nervous at how it would turn out. “What if I didn’t like it?” she said. “It would end up just like the necklace - stuffed into a drawer and never worn.”

Well, the day came when it was finished and she could finally reunite with her Grandfathers stone. When I pulled it out of the envelope and placed it on her finger she was overwhelmed with joy and started to tear up. At that time – everything came into perspective for me. This ring wasn’t just a piece of materialistic collateral. This ring completely embodied the love she had for her Grandfather. Every time she wears her ring, it allows her to feel all the love and memories in their relationship. A part of being a custom jewelry designer, my favorite part in fact, is not just designing something aesthetically pleasing but really trying to encapsulate the meaning behind the piece. The reason why I love my job is because it’s not about selling jewelry, it’s about touching people’s heart.

She said to me after she had taken her precious ring home, “I was beyond thrilled when I saw the ring they made for me. It was PERFECT. I started to cry, I was so happy! It was like being reunited with an old friend.” Now when she gets stopped and asked about the ring, she is able to tell her story through this talisman, creating an eternal bond between her and her Paw Paw.

Custom Designed Signet Style Heirloom Cameo Ring

Betsy had a wonderful time working with Zachary’s on her piece. She said that we really listened to her and translated her desires. If you’re looking for a jewelry store to not only execute your wishes but treat your heirlooms with great respect, book an appointment below and we would love to speak with you!



Brittany graduated from Florida State with an BFA in Graphic Design. Now, she uses her knowledge of design to create custom jewelry pieces for one-of-a kind clients. Find Brittany, at the Zachary’s Jewelers in Severna Park, MD or on Instagram @Brittany_ZacharysJewelers

“Being able to do two of my passions in one job is truly a dream; offering happiness and love for customers and creatively putting pen to paper.” -Brittany