California resident Lori Lang traced her family lineage to the 18th century North Carolina Gov. William Tryon. Then she used the Internet to find an Ashland jewelry maker to reproduce a ring from the Tryon family.
Lang said she wanted something tangible to remind her where she came from.
“I wanted something to remind me continuously of my family and how I was raised,” said Lang, who received the finished replica ring from Ashland jewelry maker Alvaro Coronado this fall.
She said she fell in love with the mourning ring that belonged to Margaret Wake Tryon, William Tryon’s wife, when she toured the Tryon Palace in New Bern, N.C., a modern reconstruction of the state’s Colonial royal governors’ palace.
William Tryon was governor from 1765 to 1771.
After getting permission from the museum to have a copy made, Lang shopped around for local jewelers to do the job.
She came across Coronado’s jewelry work during an Internet search for more information on Margaret Wake Tryon because Coronado had done some work with the Tryon Palace.
She said she was impressed with the level of detail in his work and asked him to create a copy of the ring, which has a row of diamonds embedded in deep blue enamel, with pearls and gold on the edge.
Coronado put together 60 individual pieces of the ring, straying from the popular method of using a pre-made mold.
“People in the United States like things handmade because it makes it unique,” Coronado said.
On Lang’s replica, her family lineage is engraved on the inner band, which reads “Tryon, Webb, Fry, Lang.”
She said each time she traced her family to a previous generation, she’d find new stories about her family. But the same family values were embedded in every generation.
“It was interesting because family values had been passed on so cleanly, so succinctly, in terms of beliefs in country, hard work, family togetherness and church,” Lang said.
Without children of her own, Lang plans to pass the ring on to her nieces or nephews.
Lang said she was first struck by Coronado’s work when she saw a silver ring with a castle at its center on his website.
Coronado said he made the Jewish wedding ring, a silver ring with a castle as its centerpiece, more than 10 years ago.
His wife, Caroline Coronado, explained she saw a picture of this ring in a book and fell in love with it.
And New Jersey resident Jeff Haveson saw the copy Alvaro Coronado made when he was searching for a Jewish wedding ring to use for his wedding to Rita Hindin.
In 2009, Haveson reached out to Coronado and asked to rent the ring for the day. But Coronado has an agreement with the Victoria and Albert Museum, where the original ring was, that prevents him from making profit from the replica he made.
So the Coronados sent the Jewish wedding ring to the engaged couple for no charge.
Caroline Coronado said they’re not only a business, they’re also “custodians of sentimentality, family heirlooms.”
While the Coronados were excited to see the ring used in the wedding, they were also aware of the risk of sending a silver ring to a stranger in another state.
Ultimately, Alvaro Coronado decided that if the ring was not returned, he would simply “make another one.”
“We love it so much more because of the story that someone got married and that’s what it was intended for,” Coronado said, referring to the Jewish wedding ring.
Haveson said he wanted to use the ring in his wedding ceremony to connect with his and his wife’s Jewish history.
He explained the castle on top of ring represents, in part, the home the couple are creating together.