The world is starting to open up again- slowly but surely and, of course, cautiously. We’ve all endured a global pandemic and are beginning to embrace our new normal. For many, world travel was among the activities that were greatly missed during 2020’s year-long quarantine. But this month’s Featured Couple, a pair of travel lovers, did their very best to make sure 2020 didn’t interfere with their special love story.
After 8 years of friendship, Valerie B. of New York City and Jason R. of New Jersey, went on a few amazing dates. The budding romance was poised to be cut short when COVID-19 quarantine mandates were announced. But, it didn’t take long for Val & Jason to decide to take the necessary precautions to quarantine together as 2020’s lockdown began.
“We are so grateful that the past year had a silver lining for us. It was such an amazingly difficult time for New York and New Jersey, and we feel lucky that we had a Covid romance and came out of quarantine with an engagement.”
- Val B. of New York City
As their relationship blossomed, and travel restrictions initially lifted, Val & Jason were first in line to take a dream trip to breathtaking San Sebastián, Spain. San Sebastián is a destination for the world’s best beaches, Michelin-rated restaurants, and the perfect backdrop for a surprise proposal! “We found a table on the beautiful rooftop patio of the Akelarre Hotel, overlooking the ocean. Jason suggested I go stand against the patio’s perimeter so he could take my photo, but instead of taking my photo he dropped to one knee, presented the ring in its box, and proposed,” Val shared.
Creating the Perfect Custom Engagement Ring
For this couple, finding an ethical jeweler was very important. “I was looking for a custom jeweler with whom I could work directly to design the perfect ring,” said Jason. “In addition, I wanted a jeweler who could create a ring that felt classic and timeless while also being unique and original. Dana Walden continually came up in my Web searches and had tremendous endorsements from clients.”
Jason worked with Dana & Rad to create the perfect engagement ring for Valerie. “The process was simple and straightforward. It is unusual to find designers and artists who are both excellent at their craft and also savvy from a business and project management perspective. The process was explained clearly and the execution was flawless,” Jason said.
“I knew I wanted a large centerpiece stone, and was leaning towards aquamarine because it is Val’s birthstone. Originally I was thinking of an emerald-cut aquamarine, similar to the Princess Diana cocktail ring, with accent diamonds both to enhance the brilliance of the center stone and to ensure the ring had a more classic look and was clearly an engagement ring, not a cocktail ring,” Jason said.
“Rad suggested I consider an oval center stone as she felt this cut would better fulfill my desire to find an aquamarine stone with a brilliant sea blue color,” Jason continued. Together, the artisan-client design team also looked at a few options for accent stones, quickly ruling out a halo ring given the size of the center stone, and ultimately choosing to match two high-quality trapezoid-cut diamonds as the accent stones to add some angularity that Jason originally envisioned back to the ring. “Finally, we opted for double prongs to add some protection to the stone while also adding a subtle elegance to the ring setting,” Jason concludes.
More About Val & Jason
Our clients are truly wonderful and we are so proud to collaborate with them. Val is in software engineering and Jason works in organizational change management. They split their time between a NYC condo in the West Village and a home in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
This couple, as you've seen, loves traveling together. “Friends and family of Jason’s had been to San Sebastián and had wonderful things to say about the beauty of the beaches, its quaint old town as well as the amazing food,” Val explained. “We both love good food and wine, and felt San Sebastián would make an ideal travel destination when we could pursue international travel once more.”
When they aren’t traveling to gorgeous destinations together, the two enjoy some impressive solo hobbies: Jason is passionate about wine and is pursuing his WSET Level 3 certification, while Val sings with, not one, but two New York City choirs.
Val & Jason- It was such a pleasure to work with you both and we wish you massive congrats on your engagement. Have a beautiful life together, full of wanderlust and fantastic wine!
Top photo, courtesy Unsplash. All other photos, courtesy featured couple, Val B. & Jason R.
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