Trusting Hartley Jewelers To Care For Irreplaceable, Precious Pieces

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James thought Shirley's wedding ring might someday be given to their granddaughter Nora, but was happily surprised when his son asked for the ring so he could propose to his fiancee.


Submitted by Hartley Jewelers

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James Dallas and his late wife Shirley wore matching gold and jade wedding rings, which they designed, for 38 years.

When James Dallas’ grown children, Kate and Ian, each asked him to retrieve special family jewelry pieces from the safe deposit box, he didn’t hesitate.

First, his daughter Kate wanted to see his mother’s wedding ring, a vintage piece from her marriage to James’ father, which she’d had re-set with a circle of diamond chips after her divorce.

“My daughter has been dating a young man she met at college at the University of California at Santa Cruz,” James explains. “She thought it was horrendous that I dated my wife for six years – and then she ended up dating him for 12 before they got married!”

The couple was getting serious, but there’d been no proposal. Kate heard about her grandmother’s wedding ring – which had been cleaned, preserved and appraised by Rick and his staff at Hartley Jewelers – and wanted to see it.

James took her down to the safe deposit box and had her try it on. It fit perfectly.

“She beamed and said she wanted it,” James says. “I said fine, and she wore it from then on – but she hadn’t been proposed to yet!”

All of her friends thought she’d gotten engaged, but she simply liked the ring.

“And of course my now son-in-law, being a bit like me – frugal, we don’t call it cheap – didn’t have to buy a wedding ring,” James says, laughing.

olympia custom jewelry
James thought Shirley’s wedding ring might someday be given to their granddaughter Nora, but was happily surprised when his son asked for the ring so he could propose to his fiancee.

A second story shares the same frantic dash to the safe deposit box.

James and Shirley Dallas were married for 38 years before she passed away last fall after a long battle with cancer. The couple had designed their matching gold and jade wedding rings themselves.

“People – particularly women cashiers – would always comment. ‘Oh, what a lovely ring,’” James remembers fondly.

When Shirley died, James quietly placed her wedding ring in a safe deposit box.

“I have a six-month-old granddaughter, Nora, who I thought might get it someday.” His son had a different idea.

“My son scared me no end,” James says. “He never dated anybody for very long, though I found out later that he was celebrating the one-year anniversary with his girlfriend.”

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This vintage wedding ring was retrieved from a safe deposit box and given a new lease on life.

When Ian asked James to retrieve his late wife Shirley’s wedding ring, again he did as asked.

“I got it and mailed it to him,” James remembers. “I should have sent it special delivery, insured – but again, I’m frugal. Thankfully, it arrived safely.”

Shirley’s wish for James was that he find a special woman to share his life with not long after she was gone. He feels fortunate to have done that.

“My girlfriend and I were on a trip and kept calling Ian, asking: ‘What happened? Did you pop the question? What did she say?’” James recounts. “Finally, we got a text: ‘Yes to both!’ She loves the ring, so my wife’s loss will be her gain.”

In both cases, James turned to Hartley Jewelers to clean, preserve and appraise the rings before putting them in storage. And now both pieces have new hands on which to sparkle and be appreciated.

“These rings are precious; they can never be replaced,” James answers, when asked why he turned to Hartley Jewelers for their care. “I trust them.”

“It’s like old photos,” he continues. “When you go in and hand over precious, once-in-a-lifetime pictures that could never be replaced, to have them copied or put on a DVD from slides, you don’t go just anywhere; you go to the place and people you like and trust. It was the same with these rings and Hartley Jewelers.”

James is already thinking about future jewelry purchases – and knows just where he’ll go.

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James’ daughter Kate has worn her grandmother’s ring for many years.

“As needs come up – as they most certainly will – for more jewelry to celebrate important events in my life and the lives of loved ones, the very first place I will go to is Hartley Jewelers.”

Hartley Jewelers

400 Cooper Point Rd SW #2

Olympia, WA 98502



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