Upcycled Engagement Ring

Hi everyone it's me again!

Cheeky as ever

You might be familiar with "Mama Panda's story" (if not, you can catch up via our story highlights on Instagram here).

But a quick recap to all new visitors:

I am Rufina,

  • the Mother of #ThreeLittlePandas

  • I currently write our blog

  • run our online ethical gift shop,

  • keep a tidy home for my children and husband Emil *(teehee, still feels surreal calling him that), Aka Papa Panda @theuncooldad


  • I also work Part-time for my friends Jaycee & Mark also known as @burtandgurtlondon - A London Based Bespoke Jewellers (Just off Hatton Garden).

It's coming up to almost a year of working with them and if there's anything I can say to sum up my experience so far: it's frigging bonkers (but in a good way)!

When I first started, initially I would help with content for social media. However, over the past few months I have been what feels like "Jaycee's understudy/PA". Shadowing her in her duties (minus the design element), sourcing stones, diamonds, and learning about different precious metals whilst meeting different people (clients and suppliers) along the way.

I have no shame in admitting that I'm generally quite an anxious person and that there was a period in my life where I would be nervous about approaching or meeting new people but with this job I have gained more confidence. - To be honest Jaycee gave me no choice by pushing me into the deep end (ha!), but sometimes that gentle nudge is what we need! #thankyouboss

I'd be here for ages if I were to share the many reasons why I love this job but I'm pretty certain this cool little story will sum it up nicely...

When Emil and I decided to get married and set ourselves a short timescale to work with (you can read how/why that happened here), there was no question about who would create our wedding bands.

But because there was no formal proposal or presentation of an engagement ring Emil at the same time panicked. For some reason he had it set in his mind that he MUST give me an engagement ring before we "made it official"/announced our engagement. I explained to him that traditionally that may be so, but our relationship has taken unique paths and that an engagement ring wasn't a priority for me and so we both agreed that we (I - lol) would go ahead and start planning for our special day.

The thing is...

Emil gifted me a classic looking, silver ring, which he thought at the time of purchase was white gold...

... (oops #fail - poor thing was bamboozled) some years ago, after #TheBenji was born. However without my knowledge, before giving it to me he had asked my Dad if I could wear it on my left hand but at the same time made it VERY clear that it wasn't an engagement ring but more of a promise ring (Dad said yes, if you were wondering). As you may have noticed from previous blogs, at that time in my life I had zero intention of remarrying after separating with my 2 eldest Pandas' father after what feels like a lifetime ago. And so I soon named and have since always referred to this special ring as the "Thank You for having my Benji Ring".

Fast forward a few years and circumstances change, I found myself talking with Jaycee about our options with the wedding fast approaching.

@burtandgurtlondon were making our beautiful, sleek and sophisticated matching gold wedding bands but I expressed how I felt a bit embarrassed to showcase their stunner creations alongside my what was now a well worn, dulling and with many scratches silver ring.

One day when we were all in the workshop Jaycee took my "Thank You for having my Benji Ring" and said "leave it with me, you will get it back and it will look like a completely new ring".

Now, when someone says that to you and you let them take one of your prized, sentimental possessions, there must be an element of trust right? Truth is, although I felt so naked without it for the following weeks and a bit odd not being the one to "run errands for this job" not a moment of worry had crossed my mind.

2 days before our Wedding Emil and I met up with Mark and Jaycee at a local coffee shop close to our home (as we were doing all the last minute wedding prep) when they presented us with our 3 GOLD rings.

Image by Shaun Holder: Videographer on our special day (19/10/19)

As you can see in the photos, my ring has been dipped in gold and polished to perfection. A beautiful transformation which I can see myself swooning over for a long time.

OK Emil and I spoke about how we would use this as a "temporary engagement ring" but now looking at it and knowing the HISTORY of it, it really does make it all the more special!

The amount of thought, hard work and care that goes into creating a single ring is admirable and I can't fault the customer service we received in this instance and what I like to think I give if ever you encounter me.

So on that note I want to take this opportunity to thank Jaycee and Mark personally, not only for being great friends, co-workers and bosses but for looking out for me and my family.

For giving me an alternative way to keep my brain stimulated, but also for playing an important role in uniting Emil and myself with our beautiful rings in which we will wear and treasure - like our marriage - forever and ever and ever and ever (you hear that husband? #cheeseballs).

You've been so encouraging and supportive and I hope you know just how much I/we appreciate you.

If you are

  • newly engaged

  • thinking about proposing to your special someone


  • if you just fancy finding out more about this versatile, Bespoke Jewellery company that I'm proud to be part of the team and custom to

you can message them directly on Instagram or alternatively email at burtandgurtlondon@outlook.com whilst they work on their new website (exciting times)!

AND if this little story has sparked something in you please feel free to let us know in the comments or leave us a message! We'd love to hear from you.

Final thought from Mama Panda -

#upcycling is cool!

See you next time...

Photo Credits: @ari55

#ThreeLittlePandas #TeamPanda #LondonJewellers #GoldWeddingRings #WeddingRings #LondonWeddings #StuffWeLove #burtandgurtlondon #weddingbands #engagement #bespokebands #handmadejewellery

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