When Chris Jeffries proposed to Melissa on a wooded trail in Ancaster, Ontario, he gave her a ring unlike any other, one that he designed to befit the woman he loves.
The couple had shopped around for engagement rings from Australia (where they lived for a time) to Canada, before Chris decided to work with an independent jeweler to create something truly unique.
“I could just never find what I was looking for” in a store, he recalls. “She’s just really special, she’s a unique person, so I wanted to have something unique for her.”
“I had a good idea of what I wanted, a good picture in my mind. There were different things I wanted to incorporate.”
Chris’s first conversation with Moe Coutu of Lessard Coutu Custom Jewellers was “refreshing,” he says. He had talked to a number of other custom jewelers previously and found “they had limitations or sort of didn't let me express what I wanted to do.
“Moe was open to my ideas and just let me spitball at the beginning and, over time, he offered the idea of using the marquise diamonds, which was actually a brilliant idea and also the configuration of them. Then, he just worked with me to go through the whole process.”
Melissa’s ring features a filigree design and tree and heart imagery that reflects the engraving on a memory box Chris made for her before she travelled to Australia early on in their relationship. The band is inset with rose gold and series of marquise diamonds. Moe also designed Chris’s wedding band to have a more rustic, natural, earthy feel.
Chris had seen pictures of the ring design beforehand but seeing the real thing was an incredible moment. “I was really blown away,” he says. “I was just like 'wow, it turned out so amazing.'”
“The first time Melissa saw the ring, she was just shocked to the point that she was about to cry because, for one, she didn't even think I had a ring, but I’d had a ring made. And secondly, when she saw it, she was blown away. She loved it so much and I was just so happy because I actually designed it myself. I was so happy she loved the design. She was lost for words.”
Chris’s creative approach came as a surprise to both families as well.
“My family didn't know how I had this idea in my head and ended up making a finished product,” he says. “They were blown away that I could make something like that. Her family was as well. They just loved it – to see that I cared that much. Everyone said that it was really beautiful – something that is very different and unique.”
The Engager app didn’t yet exist at the time Chris designed Melissa’s ring; he was driving back and forth from Hamilton to St. Catharines for work while fitting in consultations with Moe.
“I was very privileged to even be able to work with Moe. I was just lucky that I was working in St. Catharines on a few contractor jobs at the time. To be able to work through the Engager app would be a huge help to get through that process. It would be absolutely amazing. To be able to exchange ideas and work with Moe, no matter where you are, would be great.”