For Husband-to-Be, Heirloom Ring Was Blessing


(Tuesday, August 14, 2007 7:53 AM EDT)

When Tom Mansmann was gifted the wedding band of his fiance Clare Langmade's late grandfather, he knew he had received a very special piece of jewelry, and decided that customizing a matching ring for his bride-to-be was the way to go.

The white gold ring Langmade's grandmother, Doris Cook, gave to Mansmann belonged to her husband Roger Cook, a miliary fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War.

“He was obviously a very special person to Clare,” Mansmann said in a recent interview. “Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to meet him. He was quite an amazing man. It is truly an honor that Doris has gifted that ring to us.”

Mansmann and Langmade, who will be married in early September, wanted Langmade's wedding band to complement both her grandfather's band, as well as her Tiffany-setting, yellow-gold engagement ring.

The couple went to Felton Jewelers for the job, and decided on a design that cut a channel through Roger Cook's ring and then was filled with yellow gold. Felton made a matching band for Langmade.

Although he said the engagement and wedding ring-buying process was a smooth one because of Felton's expert help, Mansmann was very proactive when making the purchase.

“I sought advice from my older brother and different friends who are married. I think that's helpful,” he said. “And the primary thing, especially for engagement rings, is it's kind of the man's responsibility to educate himself about diamonds. Learn about value, color, clarity and cut.”

Although research is important when deciding on engagement and wedding rings, Mansmann reminds couples that the buying process should be an enjoyable one.

“When it comes to the wedding band, have fun with it,” he said. “We were very lucky to have received Clare's grandfather's wedding band, and that made it extra special. You can be very traditional but add a little of your own touch.”

Tom Mansmann, whose wedding band was given to him by his finace’s grandmother, customized the ring and the ring of his bride-to-be, so that they match.

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