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Jewelry on 5th | Great Performances


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Jewelry on 5th
by Wedding Director, Carly Katz-Hackman

As someone who loves pretty much everything about weddings, I have an extra special place in my heart for shiny things, AKA engagement rings. When picking out my own, I was incredibly specific with my sister in terms of advice she was allowed to give my now-husband (oval stone, dainty setting, and thinnest band possible) and detailed instructions like that from brides-to-be are the rule these days as opposed to the exception. Brides are bombarded with aspirational images from every direction and there’s more pressure than ever to have something “different.”

A big part of Great Performances’ message revolves around menu customization – there is no “one size fits all” formula for events, nor should there be! Clients are different like people are different, and each event should reflect a client’s individual style, brand, and personality. This philosophy is extra important when it comes to weddings. And where does a wedding usually begin? The engagement, of course!

Enter, Jewelry on 5th.

Ronny Barnea sits in his 28th floor office on 5th Avenue, diamonds spread across his desk, pointing at a 40” curved computer monitor, showing me the technology he uses to build custom rings for his clients.

With a background in engineering, Ronny is uniquely positioned within the industry to think about jewelry as more than what’s available in a catalog. Instead, he uses tech intended for architects to build a ring from the ground up (or the finger out). He takes the time to get to know the person he’s designing for – their tastes, aesthetic, lifestyle – and works hand in hand with the client throughout the entire process. With options to share a screen while creating, send renderings to a smart phone, and even 3D print a prototype (seriously!), the artistic process is unlike any other in the Diamond District.

One client’s story that really stood out to me was that of Sam, a naval officer stationed on a Battleship in the Gulf. Without the time to shop around for a ring and not loving the idea of friends picking one out on his behalf, Sam turned to Ronny. After finding a time where he’d have access to a computer, the two “met” online, and Sam described the ring and the features he wanted. Ronny then worked live, in real time, on his computer in his studio, while Sam watched and gave feedback from the middle of the sea. Once a stone was chosen, Ronny adjusted the design to fit the precise dimensions and 3D-printed a model. A quick Skype session with the model later, and Sam gave the go-ahead! The ring was cast in platinum, set with diamonds, and shipped to Sam’s mother’s house to await his return home. A beach proposal and “yes” soon followed, and Sam and Jenna will tie the knot in 2017!

The year between engagement and wedding is such a special time for a couple (I’d do it again in a heartbeat!), and my advice is to make it yours from day 1 to 365. With Great Performances there to close it out with customized, beautiful, and delicious wedding catering, why not kick it off with a process like Ronny’s!

Eat, Drink, and Be Married!


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