Article from the BEYOND magazine, Edition 30
An engagement ring that can be worn as a piercing? The Beyer Goldsmith’s Department fulfils out-of-the-ordinary wishes too.
By Marion Genetti
Photos: Annette Fischer
A charm bracelet for a Scandinavian royal family, a ring with precious stones in the colours of the rainbow, complete sets of the most precious emeralds: Carlo Mutschler, the head of the Beyer Goldsmith’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 gemstone 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 penchant 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 smallest possible screw with which a solitaire diamond 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 relatively easy. “When it came to the setting for the diamond, we quickly agreed on a flower 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 watchmaker’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 noticing. 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 disappears 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.
«I DID BRIEFLY WONDER ABOUT THE SCREW ON THE INSIDE.»
Einen Monate später löste sich das Rätsel von allein. Da lag unter dem Weihnachtsbaum, schön verpackt, das dazugehörige Piercing. «Ich habe mich mega über das Geschenk gefreut», sagt die 30-Jährige, die seit ihrem 15. Lebensjahr einen Bauchschmuck trägt, der schon in seiner Urform eine Massanfertigung vom Goldschmied war. Und sie ergänzt: «Im Nachhinein habe ich mich erinnert, dass ich früher einmal gesagt hatte, wie schade ich es finde, dass der teure Stein am Verlobungsring nur bis zur Hochzeit getragen wird und dann irgendwo in einer Schatulle verschwindet.»
Scherzhaft habe sie hinzugefügt, wie cool es doch wäre, ihn später am Nabel einsetzen zu können. Der zukünftige Gatte hatte aufgepasst: Ihr Wunsch war ihm Befehl – und etwa den Kaufpreis eines «sehr gut ausgestatteten Kleinwagens» wert. Wobei rund 80 Prozent der Summe auf den 1,2-karätigen Diamanten zurückzuführen sind.
NO HURRY, STYLE GALORE
Currently, the high-carat sparkler can be admired on the finger of the future bride, and only switches to her navel on holiday. She thinks that it could go on this for a while and laughs: “It took eleven years for us to get engaged. It’s been three years since the proposal. I think we need a little more time before we walk down the aisle.”
But one thing is certain: on the big day, under the white wedding dress, there will be a sparkling stone that no one can see, but which is a special sign of the bond between the couple. And naturally this won’t remain the only one-off creation in the jewellery box. “I don’t like to buy off the peg, I prefer to have something made specially,” says the gallant fiancé, choosing his words carefully in the presence of his beloved. Presumably he already has something in mind for the next slightly different piece of jewellery.
Picture1: Flexible engagement ring: the diamond can be fixed in the piercing with a special screw.
Picture 2: Special requests inspire him: Carlo Mutschler, Head of Department.
Picture 3: The idea takes shape: Goldsmith Jonathan Gafafer’s speciality is complicated clasps and movable elements.
Picture 4: A look over the shoulder of goldsmith Jonathan Gafafer.