Petoskey stone, 14 & 18 karat white gold
These rings are especially dear to me, as they were made for the occasion of my cousin Ian's wedding to his wife Nina, with whom I am also close—they're an amazing couple. The rings are white gold and inlaid with a band of Petoskey stone (a fossilized fresh-water coral indigenous to northeastern Lake Michigan). Rather than explain the significance of the inlay myself, I'll reprint here the text of what was read at the ceremony, which was held in a castle-like building on the southwestern banks of the Lake:
"Nina and Ian will now exchange rings, as an outward symbol of their inner commitment to one another. Additionally, these rings contain a significant amount of family history for both of them. The Petoskey Stone inlay through the center can only be found in one place: the opposite side of this Lake Michigan that we are now looking out into. Nina spent time every summer of her childhood over there, at Otsego Lake and sometimes hunting for Petoskey Stones, as her family has for over 150 years. These incredibly unique bands were entirely crafted with loving attention by none other than Ian's first cousin, Joshua Edelstein. It is with these powerful feelings of family that Nina and Ian now use these rings as symbols of their lives joined, and promise to create a family history of their own."
Beautiful, right? The guests thought so too. The embarrassing part is that they didn't actually have the rings to exchange. See, it turns out that inlaying Petoskey stone is ridiculously difficult to do, so although I'd budgeted a month for cutting the stone, it took my subcontractor three months. This is perhaps why if you search the Web for other Petoskey-inlaid rings, you won't find them. You can imagine me shrinking steadily in my seat as the description was being read. Nina and Ian did get married in temporary substitute rings that I made, though, which I speedily finished the night before I left for the wedding.