The Rings

By Wayne Gerard Jr.

It all started when I told my girlfriend, Heidi Henry, now turned wife I was going to buy her an $800 ring as a joke. The reply to the joke was “you’re not putting a cheap ring on my finger and it has to take up space.” At that point I thought how can I set up buying/making rings at a decent price without her knowing what I was planning?

So I called up some friends and we went ring shopping. Our first stop was the Tropical Bracelet Factory to see my regular jeweler Gautam Vaswani.

After looking at a few designs of rings, my friends helped me come up with an interesting concept. They told me since I’m a Rastafarian, why not come up with a Rastafarian concept. So I started to think of the Lion of Judah and the Lioness and how they could be incorporated into an engagement ring and both wedding bands.

Based on my knowledge, the lion is known as the king and the lioness is known to take care of her family. The designs of the rings entailed a lot of detail which made my jeweler excited to take on such a unique project.

So much thought was put into the placement of the diamonds and gems, that I received calls from Gautam while at home.

My answers to Gautam were limited because my wife to be would be right next to me. I told my jeweler that my girlfriend worked with her hands a lot, so the diamonds and gems were placed so they would never fall out. The lioness design was done as the engagement ring with diamonds for eyes and a marqueecut diamond in the mouth.

The wedding band was in the shape of a tiara that would be placed directly on top of the lioness’s head, with the colors of the Ethiopian flag that is also a symbol for Rastafarians. The lion and crown were made as one ring which also incorporated the colors of the Ethiopian flag: red, yellow, green, black and rubies for eyes and a diamond in the mouth to match the lioness.

My vision was to have a custom made one of a kind rings which Gautam did a beautiful and beyond exceptional job. The last thing on the list was to pop the big question which I’m happy to say was a memorable “yes”.

Photo top left – Wayne and Heidi’s wedding bands. Photo top right – Wayne and Heidi. Photo middle – Wayne and Heidi outside of St. John’s Episcopal (Anglican) Church (Established 1760) in St. Croix. Photo bottom – Heidi’s engagement ring.

All photo courtesy of Denise Bennerson.

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