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“It’s just part of me as a person, really. It makes me feel complete.”

Paul Harris-Magri, owner of Hills Jewellers, Felixstowe, talks about his unexpected 40th birthday present.

My perfect piece is a diamond and platinum ring, set in a gypsy-style eight-claw setting with ornamental heart shapes on the side. 

It was made by our repairer in Bedfordshire and began life as a Cartier bracelet. Set in the bracelet was a beautiful diamond in a rub-over setting. When my wife saw it she asked me, in what I’m sure was a moment of forethought, if I’d ever wanted a diamond ring. 

Fast forward to New Year’s Day and I’d forgotten all about the bracelet and the question. We were holidaying in Cornwall and on the morning of our first full day she presented me, in her own way, with a brand new, gypsy-style ring: “Here you are.”

I told her I didn’t like it.

I was joking, of course. From the moment I put it on my finger I’ve always cherished it. It is something that I absolutely love and was the perfect present to celebrate my 40th birthday. I’ve treasured it now for over a decade. 

Everyone compliments it. It’s just over a carat in weight so it’s heavy. When people come into the shop and ask if it’s real diamond I always reply, “of course it’s not!” But the people who are closest to me know. And they know what it means to me. 

It’s just part of me as a person, really. It makes me feel complete. When you’ve owned something for so long you get that indent on your finger – a bit like your wedding ring – and you can’t imagine not wearing it. 

It was even more special because it wasn’t expected. You tend to remember things that come out of the blue. 

When the time comes I’ll pass it on to my two girls. Hopefully they’ll give it to their children if they have any. Whatever happens, I know that they will keep it and cherish it. 

My advice to people looking for something similar is ‘don’t!’. Instead, choose something that fits the personality of the wearer. Bigger isn’t always better where jewellery is concerned. What is better is choosing a piece that is an extension of the person and complements them in every way. 

The Perfect Piece is a series of stories from CMJ members and staff about the pieces that mean the most to them.

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