A charm bracelet for a Scandinavian royal family, a ring with pre- cious stones in the colours of the rainbow, complete sets of the most precious emeralds: Carlo Mutschler, the head of the Beyer Gold- smith’s Department, is used to extravagant customer enquiries. But when a young man came to him and shared his particular request with him, he had to take a deep breath before his eyes began to sparkle, as they do now when he talks about it.
The customer described his wish for an engagement ring in white gold, with a gem- stone that his future wife would alternatively be able to wear in her navel. “I was just thinking: extraordinary – but interesting! Such a challenge would be a good opportunity to demonstrate our expertise,” Mutschler recalls. And so, after scarcely a moment’s hesitation, the experienced goldsmith said yes. After all: “If you have to fiddle about a bit, that’s what really makes our work fun.” The client, a graduate engineer with a pen- chant for all things mechanical, had already researched possible implementations himself. He laughs: “As a watch fan, I had a rough idea of what was technically possible.”
In practice though, Carlo Mutschler and his team still had to rack their brains somewhat to develop the perfect holding mechanism. Because besides the diamond being firmly anchored in place, the customer was very concerned that no-one should notice that the jewellery has an extra function. And so the professionals at Beyer developed the small- est possible screw with which a solitaire di- amond can be fixed securely both on the inside of the ring rail and in the piercing.
Popping the Question
The decision for the design was then rela- tively easy. “When it came to the setting for the diamond, we quickly agreed on a flow- er shape, like the one used in Beyer’s ‘Tulip’ line,” says the 31-year-old customer. “Then for the piercing, the choice fell on a wreath of leaves for the solitaire to nestle in.” A couple of months after the initial conversation, Carlo Mutschler presented the young man with his custom order. He enclosed a watch- maker’s tool set, so that the buyer would be able to switch the location of the diamond himself with a little dexterity.
The object of his affection had no idea what her partner was up to. He managed to ‘borrow’ her navel piercing to measure the exact size and return it without her notic- ing. And even when he had popped the big question over an intimate dinner at home, she didn’t realise that the new ring on her finger had a dual function. “I did briefly wonder about the screw on the inside, but immediately forgot it again,” says the young woman in the elegant skirt-suit, stroking her long hair back.
A month later the mystery was resolved. Under the Christmas tree, beautifully wrapped, lay the piercing. “I was over the moon,” says the 30-year-old, who has been wearing an item of jewellery in her navel since she was 15, which in its original form was also custom-made by a goldsmith. And she adds: “Looking back, I remembered once mentioning how I found it such a pity that the expensive stone on the engagement ring is only worn until the wedding and then disap- pears into the jewellery box, never to be seen again.”
She jokingly added how cool it would be to be able to wear it later in her navel. Her future husband was paying attention: her wish was his command – and price-wise set him back about the same as a “very well-equipped small car”. About 80 percent of this sum, it should be noted, is the cost of the 1.2-carat diamond.
Text: Matthias Mächler