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Remembrance Day Love Story

In Remembrance: A Soldier’s Love

The bright red poppy on the lapel of a coat is a common sight across Canada every November. The poppy is worn to honour the men and women who have bravely fought to defend our country. November 11th is the day we take a moment to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought in war, as well as those who lost their lives.

During WWI and WWII the Canadian soldiers were usually very young when they were sent over to Europe, and it is hard to imagine how fearful they must have felt leaving their families and friends. One surprising aspect of these wars was the number of romances that blossomed during the time of such horrors, and there are many books and websites dedicated to wartime romances. My very close friend’s grandfather shared with her his story of love in WWII, and she has passed on his tale to share.

Escape From a War Zone

He was born Haroutoon Hatchadorian and he was born in Armenia in 1911. Tragically the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire began in 1915 in which 800,000 to 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives. Young Haroutoon’s father was killed and he, his older brother and his mother escaped Armenia into Greece. His mother was very ill and his older brother unable to care for him, so he was sent to live in an orphanage. The Canadian government and churches worked together to help the children of the war, and in 1923 the first 50 Armenian orphan boys were brought over to Canada. Haroutoon was chosen to go at the very last minute, when one of the other boys didn’t pass the medical exam. When he arrived in Canada his name was changed to the English name Harry Hatch. These boys were brought to Georgetown, Ontario and raised on farms to be farm hands.

The Beginning of WWII

In 1939 World War II broke out, and Harry enlisted like many young men in Canada. He was stationed at a barracks in Hamilton and began going to the local Armenian center to hang out. It was here that Harry first met Roxie Eloian. After hanging out with Roxie a few times he said he “really went for her in a big way. But I never mentioned any marriage or anything before I left overseas”. Harry was sent to England where he became a driver for the Army Generals. Not too many people knew how to drive or had a chauffeur’s license, but he had learned how to drive on the farm.

Love Letters Across the Sea

During this time he wrote love letters to Roxie back in Canada. Not just a couple of letters, but hundreds of them… enough to fill an entire suitcase. In these letters Harry told Roxie how he had fallen in love with her back in Canada and thought of her all the time. Unfortunately while Harry was driving around the generals he was also training for the raid at Dieppe France. The day came to depart to France and Harry was getting on the truck to go, when one of the generals pulled him off saying, “Hatch is too valuable a driver to us, he can’t go”. This act could have very likely saved his life, as the Dieppe raid was one of the most deadly operations for the Canadian soldiers, with a 68% casualty rate.

An Engagement Ring from England

Harry now knew he wanted to spend his life with Roxie and start a family. He wrote asking her to marry him, but didn’t receive a letter back. He wrote again, telling her “I know that it is hard for you to make up your mind, you don’t really know anything about me and I don’t really know anything about you – this is quite true… It is not that hard for you to say no and it is not that hard for you to say yes… but if you say no I am not coming back to Canada, I am going to stay in England”. After that letter he said “Geez I got a letter from her in no time soon and she said yes!” From England he sent her a ring-sizing card to get the correct ring size and then mailed her diamond engagement ring to Canada. She sent him back a photograph of her wearing his ring.

A Loving Marriage

In 1945 Harry was discharged from the army and came home to Canada. Harry and Roxie married 18 days after he arrived. They moved up into the mountain in Hamilton and had three daughters. Eventually they opened up a convenience store and billiards hall and worked side by side every day. They were married for 36 wonderful years before Harry passed away in 1982. Roxie lived for another 20 years and watched their grandchildren grow up.

It was an amazing life, and an amazing love story. How did Harry know Roxie was the one after spending such a short period of time with her? What was it about her that even after years of being away at war he couldn’t get her out of his mind? And was it just luck that Harry was able to escape both the Armenian genocide and the raid at Dieppe? These are mysteries of life and love that we will never know the answer to, and I think that is what makes this story so very special.

Social Media Engagement Announcements

Engagement Announcements and Social Media

Your big moment has happened! It was a perfect proposal, with the most beautiful ring and now you can’t wipe that smile off of your face. You can’t wait to share your big news with the world! And the best place to share big news is social media of course! Whether you choose Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or all of the above, you want to post your news in the most positive light possible. By following certain rules of etiquette you can ensure that your post will be celebrated and earn you many ‘likes’.

The VIP List

Before you reveal your big announcement to the world, it’s important that you personally tell the news to the VIPs in your life. We are talking about parents, grandparents, siblings and close friends. You can tell them in person or on a phone call, but please don’t have your grandma find out you are engaged at the same time your old classmate from middle school does.

Ring Selfie – Do or Don’t?

Is it ok to post a photo of your ring? Absolutely! People really want to see what the ring looks like and you should be proud to show off such a beautiful piece of jewellery. However don’t forget the engagement is more than just a ring, it is about two people making a commitment to spend a lifetime together. A photograph of the two of you together while you show the ring, or a portrait of the two of you as a couple and a second photo of a close up of the ring are both great ideas. And if you are going to post an engagement ring selfie, remember the best photos have beautifully manicured fingers over a picturesque background.

Sentiment, Not Size

Your ring is supposed to represent a lasting love, not how much money was spent. It is never ok to share the cost of the ring or the carat size of the diamond on social media. That information should be kept to yourself. If someone comments on your ring asking questions about cost or carat, just give a sweet but vague reply such as “it’s priceless” or “it’s the perfect size for me”.

Don’t Steal my Thunder

Think about how disappointed you would be if someone went ahead and announced your engagement before you had a chance to. With that in mind never share someone else’s big news on social media. You may be excited for them but it is their special moment and when and how they choose to announce it is up to them.

Ready or Not

Don’t post your announcement until you are ready for the whole world to know. Although you may only communicate with a handful of people through your social media accounts, when you post a BIG announcement a lot of people will like and comment on it. Social media is huge these days and you will be surprised who comes out of the wood work to offer their congratulations.

The Most Important Rule

Enjoy it! It’s a special time in your life and people are genuinely happy for you. Before you start stressing with wedding planning sit back and enjoy the moment. There are only a handful of moments so special in a person’s life so cherish the happiness of being in love.

Engagement Ring Trends

Engagement Ring and Wedding Band Trends for 2015

Here at Kimberfire we spend each day surrounded by diamonds… in rings, earrings, necklaces and every other style of diamond jewellery you can think of. We love diamonds so much that it doesn’t really seem fair to call it work, does it? A lot of our clients come to us to help them create the engagement ring or wedding band of their dreams. Working one-on-one through the design process has provided us with insight on what the top wedding jewellery trends of 2015 are.

I See Your Halo

While this is definitely not a new trend, the halo design has shown it has staying power. A halo setting is one where a larger center stone is surrounded by very small stones, which go all around the stone like a halo (so that’s why it’s called that!). This style of setting is very intricate and feminine and also creates the illusion of the center stone being larger than it is, which is definitely a selling point. In the beginning this style of setting was usually created around a round diamond, but these days we regularly create halos around all the various diamond shapes.

Your True Colours

While the classic diamond engagement ring will always be in style, we have seen more people opting for coloured stones in their engagement rings. There is a lot of interest in fancy coloured diamonds, with a rise in people looking to have a yellow diamond in their ring. Sapphires are also a popular stone to have in engagement rings, as they come in many different colours and are the second hardest gem next to diamond. A coloured gemstone in the center can be a great option for a couple on a tighter budget, and this looks beautiful surrounded by a white diamond halo. Coloured gems are also a great option for side stones, as they create a unique accent and help the center diamond really pop.

From Here to Eternity

It’s not only engagement rings that are following certain trends, but wedding bands as well. While in the past it was common to have a plain gold band as the wedding ring, these days anything goes. These days ladies (and men!) are opting for even more sparkle by adding diamonds to the band. Our most requested style of wedding band for ladies is the eternity band, in which the gold or platinum band is covered in a row of diamonds that circle the entire ring. This style of ring shows minimal amounts of the metal, and the diamonds constantly sparkle as the different facets hit the light. The eternity band is also a sentimental choice as it represents unending love and commitment.

Tickled Pink

While many couples are still asking for rings in white gold and platinum, we have seen a boost in people asking for rose gold. Rose gold is created when yellow gold is mixed with a percentage of copper to make a new alloy. Rose gold is a great choice for people wanting a warmer metal and it looks great on many different complexions. The pink colour is also very romantic and can be a great choice for a more feminine style of ring.

Through Thick and Thin

The last trend we will look at is that of the thin band. No matter what the style of the ring, what kind of diamond, or what colour metal, all across the board clients are requesting a thin band for their engagement ring. For the most part these thin bands are covered in pavé-set diamonds, and from afar appear as a thin line of sparkles. The thin band helps the diamond look larger and looks great when paired with an eternity wedding band. Stacking multiple rings on one finger is another trend, and some people are opting to have two wedding bands, one below and one above the engagement ring. The thin band makes wearing multiple rings a more comfortable option.

While some trends come and some go (thankfully!), we believe the above trends are beautiful and carry a timeless appeal. If you are looking for a custom engagement ring or wedding band in one of these popular styles, or even something completely different, then we are here for you. Contact us today and we’ll walk you through the entire process in your free consultation.

Engagement Ring Design Screenshot

Our Custom Engagement Ring Manufacturing Process

Every one of us has admired the flawless beauty of an engagement ring, whether lined up in rows in a glass case in a store, on the hand of a friend or family member, or maybe even on your very own finger. But while we are all familiar with the finished ring, not everyone knows what goes into making it. In fact one of the most asked questions I receive from friends is “how is the ring made?”. In this article I take you behind the scenes to follow a Kimberfire engagement ring from concept to creation.

What Do Engagement Rings and Computers Have in Common?

Our journey begins with the jewelry designer. Our designer works closely to the specifications for the client’s custom piece – taking all the features our sales team has discussed with the client and the details of the diamonds being set, our designer brings the vision to life. We exclusively use computer aided design (CAD) programs to create 3D models of our rings. Once the 3D rendering is approved by our client, we then create the model in wax using a 3D printer. The wax piece is an exact model of the ring that will be cast into metal. Before the invention of CAD programs a jeweller would either hand carve the ring out of a block of wax or fabricate the metal by hand. There are still jewellers today who use the traditional goldsmith techniques but they are becoming less common with the growth of technology.

Gold, Platinum… Whichever You Like!

Next we cast the wax model into metal. This is done by using a method called investment casting. The wax model is set up inside a watertight flask. The investment powder, which is a plaster which has been formulated to withstand very high temperatures, is mixed with water and poured into the flask to completely cover the wax model. A few hours later the investment has hardened into a solid plaster. This flask is then put into a kiln and heated to 1250 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which wax melts but investment doesn’t. There is now a perfect mold of the ring in the flask where the wax model used to be, and the flask is put into a centrifugal casting machine or a vacuum casting machine. These machines are necessary because they use force to make sure the metal will fill the entire mold. The metal to be used is then broken up into tiny pieces, placed in a crucible and heated with a torch until it becomes molten. The liquid metal is then poured into the flask and the casting machine quickly started. When the machine stops, the flask is removed and plunged into a bucket of water, which washes all the investment away, leaving only the metal ring. The ring still needs to be cleaned up as it is completely covered in a rough ‘casting skin’, which the goldsmith will remove to bring the metal to a high polish.

Time for Some Bling

Now the Ring is ready for its diamonds! Our gem setter collects the ring and any stones which are to be set into the metal. Our setter uses various techniques and styles to provide different looks. Most of our setting is done under a microscope, especially for the popular pave or micro pave styles which use very small diamonds, ensuring secure setting of centre stones and very close and fine setting of the small diamonds. Once all the stones are set and secure the ring goes back to the goldsmith for a final polish and cleaning.

Ready for Delivery

The ring is now complete, but not yet ready for game time! The ring is first sent to a third party appraiser who documents all the details of the ring and determines its market or replacement value. This appraisal is necessary if our client is planning on insuring their ring.

The rings journey concludes with being tucked into a little velvet box. The ring is now ready for its most important moment, when it is slipped onto a lucky someone’s finger as a symbol of love and commitment.

Engagement Ring Upgrade and Redesign Ideas

Upgrading or Redesigning Your Engagement Ring

Longing for Something New

A friend of mine recently spoke to me about upgrading her engagement ring for her ten year wedding anniversary. She and her husband had married quite young and didn’t have the money to spend on an expensive ring, so they ended up using an engagement ring passed on from his family. While she loves and cherishes the ring and the sentimental story behind it, she longs for something that would be just for her.

She is far from alone. Upgrading or redesigning engagement and wedding rings has become a huge trend in the jewelry industry. These ring upgrades are usually done for an anniversary between the 10 and 15 year mark. People have many different reasons for wanting to change their ring. Some, like my friend, find themselves in a new financial situation from when they first got engaged. Others didn’t really like the style of the ring they were given. Some just want a ring which is a more current design, or more reflective of their personal style.

Upgrading your engagement ring is not for everyone though. Many people are very emotionally invested in their ring and could never imagine changing it. Some people find it tacky to want a larger diamond than the one they were given. I however think that as long as the decision to upgrade is ok with both people in the marriage, and there are no hurt feelings from the one who gave the ring, then people should go ahead and get their dream ring.

Everyone’s New is Different

There are many options for upgrading, starting with the diamonds. The center stone can be changed to a larger or better quality diamond, or side stones can be added to create a three stone ring. For extra sparkle, pave diamonds on the metal band can create a more modern look for the ring. However if a much larger center stone is being added the setting will have to be altered to fit the new stone.

Many people want to put their original diamonds into a new style of setting. The halo style of setting is an extremely popular choice and will make the center stone look much bigger. Some people choose to change their yellow gold rings to either platinum or white gold which is a more contemporary look. Unfortunately if the original diamonds have some yellow in them, setting them in a white metal will only bring the yellow out more and is not recommended.

For those who don’t want to change the original ring there is always the option of getting a new style of wedding band, or adding a third ring to the wedding set as an anniversary ring. Stacking multiple rings on one finger is an extremely popular option these days.

What Are You Waiting For?

Upgrading your engagement ring doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the old stones or jewellery. A coloured gemstone could be set into the old setting and worn as a right hand ring. The original diamond could be made into a pendant or earrings, or held onto to give to your children once they reach a certain age.

While there will always be those who passionately love their original engagement ring and would never want to change it, there are many people who love the idea of upgrading their ring.

Are you interested in upgrading your engagement ring? We here at Kimberfire would love to help you create the ring you’ve always dreamt of!