Would you have the guts to do THIS: Design and purchase a gorgeous $10,000 engagement ring. Fly to the Caribbean. Hire a boat captain to take you out to sea. Hide the ring under the ocean. Go back to your hotel. Wait til the next day. Invite your girlfriend to go snorkling. Wait for her to find the ring. And propose!
That's one of the stories that Lee Nguonly, owner of Princess Jewelers, shared with me yesterday. Isn't that just mindboggling?
You see, I stopped in to Princess to thank Lee again for designing two rings for me recently. (Photo above). I wear them every single day.
One is my wedding ring. It's not big or flashy. But it means the world to me. This year my husband and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary. We married when we were 21, just out of college and we did not have much money. But my husband scrimped and saved to get me a ring that had diamonds "all the way around". It was a surprise on our wedding day since we had picked out basic gold bands. I still remember crying when I saw the ring. And looking into his eyes and seeing how proud he was that he had pulled this off.
Over the years, the ring broke a few times. It was so delicate that it just wouldn't stay intact. Several times, I took it in to another jeweler in town. They fixed it, but eventually it would break again. So this time, I went to Princess.
Why had I not gone there in the first place? I'm not really sure. Location was not an issue. It's in an easy to access spot in the shops at The Village Green (at the corner of Maple Ave and Nutley St). But I think perhaps I was intimidated. There are not many stores in Vienna where you have to get buzzed in. And where there's a guard on duty. This isn't Manhattan after all. And I wasn't there to spend thousands of dollars.
My ring symbolizes so much of what is important to me. And I was determined that someone could help me. So I ventured in and met Lee.
Lee treated me like I was a princess. Literally. He was so patient & very skilled at his craft. I had brought with me my broken wedding ring, as well as some other diamonds I had from my mother and from my grandmother's wedding ring. I had always wanted to do something with them, but they were not substantial and I had never had the courage to ask someone to look at them. Lee spent time talking to me and together we re-created my wedding ring. AND created a second ring. The wedding ring incorporated my mom's diamonds. And the heart incorporates the chips from my original wedding ring and my grandmother's ring.
Marriage and family are important to me. And these rings remind me of my priorities every single day. Thank you Lee for your role in that.
As Lee and I chatted yesterday, he shared several other stories. One of the boy who used to come shopping with his Mom. He wasn't even tall enough to see the pretty jewels under the glass counters. And he would just sit on the floor and read while she shopped. Many years later, this same "boy" would come in to buy an engagement ring. And he's now happily married. This is a story that repeats itself over and over. Princess Jewelers has been in Vienna for about 25 years; and they see many second generation shoppers there.
Lee also told me about the guy who bought a beautiful engagement ring and took his girlfriend to New York. They went to a park and decided to go horseback riding. He volunteered to go get things arranged and left her on a park bench. Only to return on horseback and clad from head to toe as a knight in shining armor! And you know the rest . . . he got down on one knee and asked for her hand.
Valentine's Day is coming up. So whether you are looking for a $25,000 custom heirloom piece of jewelry - or something so simple as getting that wedding ring repaired so you can wear it again, stop in to Princess Jewelers and say hi to Lee for me! He will make your wife, mother, girlfriend (or you!) feel like a princess too!