Jeff and Lisa’s relationship is one for the storybooks. They went to the same middle and high school, but somehow never met until Jeff’s best man, Lisa’s 2nd cousin-in-law, invited both of them to the same party. When they finally did meet, it was love at first sight.
“From the first time we looked each other in the eyes, there was an instant connection,” Jeff told us. “Even then, we only saw each other a couple times in the next few years, before we actually got serious. We joke with each other that fate kept us separated intentionally until both of us were in the right place in our lives.”
Once the stars had aligned and Jeff was ready to propose, he decided to ask the big question during a romantic trip to Japan. He chose one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, the Mori Tower, which houses the Mori Art Museum on the 53rd floor. It was on the 53rd floor, during their 5th year and 3rd month anniversary, that Jeff asked Lisa to be his wife.
During this same trip to Japan, the theme of the dragon and the phoenix became a large part of their lives. They found a pair of couples’ necklaces that formed a heart when placed together; one half was a dragon, the other was a phoenix. Once they found this pair of necklaces, they almost never took them off.
In Chinese and Japanese mythology, the dragon represents the Emperor and yang (masculine) energy, while the phoenix represents the Empress and yin (female) energy. When these two come together, they represent balance, harmony, and matrimonial bliss.
When Jeff and Lisa approached us to design their custom engagement ring and wedding bands, they wanted to incorporate the theme of dragon and phoenix, as well as represent the invisible Red String of Fate that they feel has connected them throughout their lives.
Taking all of their requests and style preferences into account, Takayas created a highly detailed engagement ring featuring a dragon on one side and a phoenix on the other, using a more traditional Japanese design style to reflect Lisa’s heritage.
Since Jeff preferred a more clean, contemporary jewelry style, both wedding bands were designed with this in mind, with the engagement ring as the centerpiece of the set.
The invisible Red String of Fate is wrapped once around each wedding band, representing their separate lives: Lisa’s end of the string is symbolized with an accent ruby on the top of her wedding band, the string then loops around her ring before disappearing off the top edge; Jeff’s end of the string begins inside his ring, again represented with a small ruby, the string comes through the ring to the outside, wraps around once, and disappears into the square middle section of his ring. On the inside of the engagement ring the two ends of the string become one, intertwined, representing the strength of their bond.
We loved working with Jeff and Lisa to create a wedding set that captured their unique love story so well, and wish them a lifetime of wedded bliss.
Claudia originally worked with Takayas to create a custom pair of Soul Crystal earrings, based on her Final Fantasy XIV character’s two main job classes: Bard and Paladin.
She loved her special earrings so much that she decided to treat herself to another custom piece based on Final Fantasy, a game which has played a large role in her life since she was young.
This time, she requested a ring that not only incorporated soul crystals, but also winged dragons/creatures, and the comet from the FFXIV logo.
Since Claudia preferred ring designs that were not very wide, the challenge became incorporating all of these design requests into a narrower style that would look good on her hand.
Takayas played around with a few different design ideas, envisioning a variety of ways to include some or all of her requests, finally landing on one particular concept that Claudia absolutely loved.
The main design element for Claudia’s ring is based on the unique feathery wings of Hraesvelgr, a great wyrm of the First Brood. Takayas used her favorite soul crystals, Bard and Paladin, on either side of the ring as a transition from the wings to the tapered band. He also incorporated the FFXIV logo’s comet symbol on either side of the center stone, framed by the dragon wings, which created a lovely opening to show off more of the stone.
“Wow it is a beautiful design! I love how the comet allows the center of the stone to be seen, and the soul crystals are perfectly placed. I’m glad he’s a fan of Hraesvelgr!”
For the center stone, Claudia left the choice of color/size/shape up to Takayas and was very happy with the round blue topaz he selected for her, saying, ” I think he chose a perfect color. In the game there is actually a mother crystal – Hydaelyn that is blue as well (fun fact).”
We love how happy Claudia is with her special ring design and look forward to working with her again in the future.
Brandon contacted us to create a special engagement ring for his soon-to-be-fiancee, Paula.
He told us that Paula is Brazilian and has a deep love for Sao Jorge (St. George) who, according to legend, slayed a dragon to save a village. He wanted her ring to include references to her favorite saint.
Brandon loved the simplicity of a ring that Takayas had created for another couple, the Montana Sapphire Knife Edge Engagement Ring, so the challenge became capturing the essence of Sao Jorge in an understated design.
Since Brandon wanted to feature Sao Jorge’s spear in the design, Takayas used this as the primary design element. He played around with the idea of incorporating dragon elements but that took the design in more of a fantasy direction that didn’t make sense with the sleek, contemporary look of the spear.
You’ll notice that the shoulders of the ring are inspired by the spearhead, pointing toward the diamond center. The diamond itself is bezel-set, the thin ring of gold reminiscent of the golden halo with which Sao Jorge is sometimes portrayed. Takayas also reverse-tapered the “handle” of each spear from where it meets the spearhead to where the two handles join at the bottom of the ring, creating an overall sense of balance and flow.
When Brandon saw the final design, his response was simple yet powerful, similar to the ring itself: “Wow. It’s so beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much.”
Once he had proposed, he reported back to us with his now-fiancee Paula’s thoughts: “I believe her exact words were, ‘It’s perfect!’”
We thoroughly enjoyed working with Brandon on his special Sao Jorge engagement ring design, and wish the happy couple a blessed future together.
Julius came to us with an idea for the perfect engagement ring to present to the girl who had captured his heart. Impressed by the craftsmanship and fine details of the Takayas custom creations he had seen online, Julius wanted to see if Takayas could bring his idea to life.
The concept was an engagement ring that portrayed elements of elegance, femininity, and fantasy, incorporating a twisting ribbon design, hearts, and a girl’s best friend: diamonds.
Takayas worked from a variety of sketches and reference images that Julius provided, using his artistic eye and years of experience to fine-tune all of the client’s input, creating a comprehensive design that took all of his requests into account.
Julius contacted us later to let us know she said “Yes!”
“Everything was amazing on that day of November 4th,” he said. “I had all of our family and friends with us and everything went according to plan and more. She had tears in her eyes, and she couldn’t believe what was happening. She loves her engagement ring so very much! I can’t thank you enough for making this ring a reality.”
He also passed along a message from his blushing bride-to-be: “I’m so very happy with the ring, and the quality is so well crafted. It’s so much better than I could have ever imagined.”
We are so excited for the happy couple and wish them all the best in their future together!
Last week, we shared Casey’s custom-designed wedding band that was inspired by her FFXIV Summoner character. Today, we reveal her husband Guitar’s wedding band, inspired by his FFXIV Warrior character!
Originally, the couple’s ring designs were simply going to incorporate their Summoner and Warrior class symbols but, once the direction of their designs shifted to something more along the lines of the custom Sultana and Paladin inspired wedding set, Guitar provided Takayas with screen-shot images of his Warrior character wearing one of his favorite outfits and wielding his powerful axe weapon so that the essence of his character could be represented in his ring.
Takayas drew most of his design inspiration from the axe, incorporating the weapon’s complex patterns on the shank of the ring and using the pointed tips of the axe shape to hold the garnet center stone. The garnet itself represents both the fire of the axe and the red accent color of his Warrior’s outfit.
Because the patterns of the axe were so beautifully detailed, Takayas decided not to add any elements from the character’s outfit that would make the ring design too busy or detract from the details of the axe. He was very happy with the finished product: a cool ring with clean details that speaks to the essence of Guitar’s Warrior character.
Like his wife’s Summoner ring, the gallery of Guitar’s Warrior ring includes the ship symbol of Limsa Lominsa, the grand company to which they both belong. Because the symbol required a large surface area to properly capture all of the details, the gallery was the ideal location for this engraving.
Now that we’ve revealed the groom’s ring, we’re happy to show you what the Summoner and Warrior rings look like together! Casey and Guitar are thrilled with their custom designed rings that not only represent the love they have for each other, but also the love they share for playing Final Fantasy XIV together.
Guitar and Casey fell in love with Final Fantasy XIV, and with each other. So, Guitar thought a custom designed pair of FFXIV inspired wedding bands would be the perfect complement to their Summoner and Warrior love story.
Even though their two custom rings are technically a wedding set, they each have so many unique details that are personal to their individual wearer, we’ve decided to give each ring its own blog post. Today, we’re focusing on the bride’s Summoner inspired ring. Be sure to check back next week to see the groom’s Warrior ring, and how the two look together.
Originally, Guitar’s idea was based on the Borderlands set that Takayas had created for another couple, simply replacing those symbols with their Summoner and Warrior symbols. As you can see, the designs evolved to include many more details.
Casey’s Summoner ring was inspired by elements of her actual Summoner character, including a nod to her pet Carbuncle whom she absolutely adores.
Takayas decided to use the pointed front of her Summoner’s helmet to form the sides of the center stone setting, which is a pink topaz to match her character’s hair.
The setting pattern extends down the sides of the band to emulate the pointed horn look of the helmet, while incorporating the bone-looking pattern from her character’s corset armor.
The North-South sides of the center stone setting are based on the crystal arm that extends from the Summoner’s magical book weapon, set with blue topaz accent stones to represent her Carbuncle.
The happy couple’s characters are also part of the Limsa Lominsa grand company, so Guitar asked Takayas to find a way to include the ship symbol from their company’s flag into both of their rings as well. Takayas didn’t want this symbol to compete with each ring’s main character essence, and he needed a large enough surface area to properly represent the detailed symbol, which made the gallery of each ring the ideal location for engraving the Limsa Lominsa symbol.
Takayas said the most challenging part of creating this unique ring was incorporating all of the different organic pattern elements from Casey’s Summoner character into one flowing, balanced design, and he is very happy with how it came out.
Guitar and Casey were also ecstatic about their special wedding bands. We can’t wait to show you Guitar’s Warrior band next week!
Craig fell in love with Keira while they were playing Final Fantasy X together, so when Craig was ready to propose, he wanted to design a ring for her that captured Tidus and Yuna’s love story.
He reached out to us with an engagement ring idea inspired by the Kingdom Hearts Oathkeeper engagement ring we had previously created.
For his 14K ring, he wanted to use a heart shaped diamond framed by Yuna’s Nirvana staff and Tidus’s Brotherhood sword.
We initially played around with using the sword on one side and the staff on the other side, but due to their very different shapes, the slim staff contrasted with the bulky sword blade made the design a little unbalanced.
Instead, Takayas decided to use the Brotherhood as the foundation for the band with the Nirvana elevated on top as the main centerpiece to symbolize Tidus’s support for Yuna.
The .50 ct diamond center stone is framed by two blue diamond side stones, and four pink sapphire accent gems are built into the sides of the ring two mirror the stones in Yuna’s staff.
Lastly, on the inside of the band Craig requested we engrave, “This is our story,” as a play on the FFX opening, “This is my story”.
After we finished the ring, we were ecstatic to hear that Keira said yes! We wish them both an absolutely wonderful future together.
We loved working with Melissa to design this custom 14K gold and yellow sapphire Pikachu inspired bracelet.
We had previously worked with Melissa and her husband Mike to design their custom Mew and Legend of Zelda wedding rings several years ago, so when she reached out to us with her bracelet idea, we were thrilled to work together again.
Pokemon Yellow had always been special to her because it was the first Pokemon game Melissa owned growing up, so she wanted to create a bracelet that captured the early pixel art style of the Pikachu that follows you around in the game. She sent us several images and animations of Pikachu’s walk cycle for reference.
Her idea was to use gemstones to mirror the individual pixels of Pikachu and alternate the poses so that it would look like Pikachu was walking.
Sourcing the stones for the bracelet was one of the most difficult parts of the project as each stone was only 0.9 mm large. It took a little while, but luckily, one of our gem suppliers was able to come through with a special order of yellow sapphires for Pikachu’s body.
We thought about using black diamonds for the Pikachu outline, but black diamonds are very heavy stones that wouldn’t have fit nicely in the small settings, so we used black spinel instead. Each cheek is an accent ruby.
For the brown stripes on Pikachu’s body, Takayas decided to use garnets because even though garnets are traditionally known for the deep red color, in smaller accent gem sizes, this color is less concentrated so they can take on a reddish brown color.
Takayas wanted the bracelet to have a little bit of weight and depth so that it would have the look and feel of a luxury bracelet, so instead of a flat piece, he built each Pikachu with a little dimension.
For the clasp, he used a box clasp so that the tongue of the clasp would be hidden behind one of the Pikachus in order to preserve the uninterrupted look of Pikachu walking.
After she received her bracelet, Melissa was kind enough to send pictures and write about her experience working with us.
It was such a pleasure working together again to bring her idea to life! Thank you for everything.
“After having our rings made by Takayas, I knew I wanted to work with him for any future jewelry projects. It actually started almost a year ago with a simple inquiry of if Takayas would take on a bracelet design, and when he said he was more than happy to, I spent some time thinking about what I wanted.
I came back to him later with the idea for doing a Pikachu bracelet, but I wanted to do pixel art style so it could still look like a tennis bracelet. I gave him reference images of the walk cycle animation for Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow, which had more meaning for me because it was the first Pokémon game I personally owned instead of borrowing from friends like I did with Red and Blue. I really liked the idea of the alternating Pikachu poses, so when the bracelet rotates or spins it might look like he’s actually walking.
Takayas was really patient and collaborative with suggesting design options with different budget ranges since a bracelet was going to be more than a ring, but after bouncing design ideas around with him I realized I didn’t want to lose the idea of pixel art look with colored stones. This was all before I officially started the project too since we needed to have an idea of what the budget was, which just shows how much Takayas cares about delivering what you envision and want for your jewelry design.
Once the project was officially started, everything went very smoothly. I didn’t have a particular time for when I needed this done, so my schedule was super flexible. He was always prompt about any changes he needed to make as well or if the time line shifted because of all the stones that needed to be cut. For example, when Takayas sent the renders, he informed me of some minor design shifts, mainly that he adjusted the size of the Pikachus and went from 12 to 10 since they were larger to have the pixelated look. My main goal was to maintain the pixel art style so I was happy he made the adjustment.”
We thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Jaime to bring this custom 14K white gold Elven inspired engagement ring to life.
Jaime wanted to create a nature themed engagement ring for his girlfriend (now fiancee!) Leilani that drew on Elven inspiration but was also special to only her and a reflection of her Hawaiian and Korean heritage. The diamond is a 1.00 ct radiant cut (her favorite shape).
Most of our custom engagement rings begin with a rough compilation of sample images, but because Jaime was a designer himself, he supplied us with a fully conceptualized CAD design.
Her ring’s design was inspired by the Elven architecture in The Lord of the Rings and he played around with a subtle vine motif as the main design basis.
For the leaves, he discussed a few different leaf options with Takayas, and in the end, we agreed that a Korean Red Maple Leaf and Hawaiian Papaya Leaf would balance out the ring nicely because of their similar silhouettes.
Takayas refined the original files by making structural modifications to the intertwining wood and leaf sections, but he wanted to maintain Jaime’s design essence so he printed a very close wax model to what Jaime originally created.
Takayas then used this wax model to cast the ring’s pieces, and he manually filed down different sections of the band to bring out a more organic shape. For the leaves, he used a hand engraving tool to help define the tiny leaf details.
As a final step, we engraved part of the Jane Austen quote “You pierce my soul” on the inside of the band.
This quote came full circle when Jaime sent us his surprise proposal video!
With the help of their friends, he asked Leilani to film a Jane Austen inspired music video with him, and in the middle of the cameras rolling, he proposed with her favorite quote.
We had so much fun working with Jaime, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled when they were sweet enough to share their engagement with us. Thank you for letting us be a part of your story!