I am very lucky that I know an exceptionally amazing jewellery designer. She crafts exquisitely beautiful, silk route-inspired pieces using bright, shiny gemstones in settings, hand embellished with intricate enamelling applied by an artisan craftsman in India.
Her name is Alice and she’s as beautiful inside and out as her creations are. She’s my best friend and Godmother to my daughter, Lula. She studied at Central St Martins and has built a career on the purest kind of talent and old fashioned word of mouth. Those of us who are lucky enough to own a piece of her work, fall in love so completely and helplessly, we can’t help but show it off everywhere. And so her following grows.
Two years ago, I gave Alice my diamond ring. Bought for me by an ex-husband that didn’t love me, it had been tucked in a drawer ever since the day we finally escaped each other. An antique art deco affair, I’d thought it was gorgeous when he gave it to me on Portobello Road one sunny Saturday. But unhappy years stripped any beauty away and eventually I couldn’t bear to even look at it.
My brief to Alice was a simple one. “Make it beautiful?” I told her. “Make it a happy thing?” And she did just that. Planting the sad, lost old stone in a new secure and stable setting, she unleashed her genius and worked its magic. Lula now has a one-off, striking, head-turning heirloom with a sparkly diamond that shouts out from the centre and oozes joy, not sadness and regret. It’s all about the love.
No divorcee should ever cast aside their old engagement ring. It’s a souvenir from the past that should instead be reinvented. Like an old crumbling mansion, some things just needs restoring, so they’re glorious again.