Andy and Nikki had been friends for many years, but they officially had their first date in 2020. He was living on the east coast, but was coming back to San Diego visiting friends. Nikki had been talking up this sushi spot and she promised she would take him when he arrived in town. They stopped at her favorite neighborhood bar on the way and never made it to dinner. They got too caught up in conversation and their shared love of whiskey. They ended up just getting bar bites and taking home a rare bottle the bartender brought out for them to try.
They made a decent dent in that bottle over the next month leading up to Andy’s upcoming deployment. Sippin' a little (or a lot) of it, getting to know and love each other more and more. Even though he would be gone for six months and their relationship was fresh, they both knew the time apart wouldn’t be an issue. Chris Stapleton’s song “Starting Over” had just come out and those lyrics became their anthem.
This might not be an easy time
There's rivers to cross and hills to climb
And some days we might fall apart
And some nights might feel cold and dark
But nobody wins afraid of losing
And the hard roads are the ones worth choosing
Someday we'll look back and smile
And know it was worth every mile
And it don’t matter to me,
Wherever we are is where I wanna be
And honey, for once if our life
Let's take our chances and roll the dice
And I can be your lucky penny
You can be my four leaf clover
The day he left for deployment Nikki gave him a laminated four-leafed clover to carry her around in his pocket wherever he went. As they were hugging and crying goodbye at the airport, he slipped a penny into Nikki's hand and told her he’d always be with her. She has carried that penny around knowing she wanted to do something special with it, but didn’t know what yet. When Andy proposed, she knew she wanted to incorporate the penny into his ring somehow.
Every ring company she reached out to told her they couldn’t use it, but offered her copper wire instead. She was expressing her frustration to friends on a snow trip to Utah and came across our company - Element Ring Co. Our team worked hard to create the perfect ring for Nikki and Andy. Through several zoom calls with the couple, multiple mock ups, and LOTS of test pennies, we were able to create the perfect design - something light weight, simple, and sentimental.
The outside is an elegant combination of black carbon fiber with offset High West Whiskey barrel inlay. Andy and Nikki were eloping to Utah, so they wanted to include a whiskey barrel as a nod to their first date, but also the place where they were starting their next chapter (High West being a distillery located in Utah). The inside of the ring has an inlay of the chunked metal pieces of the exact penny Andy had given Nikki. We made sure to chunk the penny in specific identifying pieces so you can still tell it's the same penny. A beautiful ring to match a beautiful love story!
[photographers: Abbi + Callen Hearne - @thehearnes]