Meet AJ & Laura. We first met AJ months ago when he came in to find an engagement ring for Laura. David Malka liked AJ right away. A charming young guy who is a professional opera singer residing in San Fransisco with a great sense of humor. David & AJ spent a while looking at diamonds, engagement rings, and getting familiar with some custom engagement ring options. The ring that caught AJ's eye the most was a stunning 1.71 carat radiant-shaped diamond with trapazoid-shaped diamonds on the side. The engagement ring was custom-made in-house at Malka Diamonds just a few weeks before and was out on display for a short time before AJ snatched it. The combination of fancy-cut diamonds in a platinum classic setting was exactly what he was looking for. Recently, AJ & Laura came in to Malka Diamonds for a visit. It had been a little while since we first saw AJ and we were excited to hear about the proposal. They were in town visiting family for the holidays and stopped in to chat about wedding bands. We spent over an hour playing with rings and talking. Their story is one for the books and we are pleased to share it. Below is a portion of an email I received from Laura with their story.
Enjoy, we did...
How we Met
When I was still a professional singer, AJ and I met on a gig in Logan, UT. He had the apartment next door to me and every day I'd complain about the loud tenor that would sing in the shower every morning. Eventually, he 'outed' himself and I was mortified. Many years later and after vaguely texting quips at each other, he invited me to come visit him in Philadelphia during rehearsals for a show he was in. I took a bus from New York (where I was living) and from the second I saw him, I knew I felt totally comfortable with him. Our relationship grew somehow between New York and San Francisco -- I'd fly out for opening nights and time in the fresh air, and eventually I moved to the west coast in 2014.
How he Proposed
Eventually, it got to a point where we'd just look at each other and say "why aren't we just married already?". AJ was about to be locked down for 4 months with the opera. He had a deposit on a ring and was on vacation with me and my family when he suddenly said, "I have to go to Portland before rehearsals start". As he says, he just knew he hadn't found the right one. We came up with a fake story to tell people about why he suddenly had to make a trip to Portland, but obviously I knew. I told him I was a little disappointed that there wouldn't be any surprise to it, so he had the challenge of coming up with a way to re-create anticipation. On the day that he walked into Malka Diamonds, he says he looked around and all of his anxiety and hesitation was gone. He knew just walking in and talking with David that the ring HAD to be there. When David brought the ring over, that eventually became ours, AJ saw everything that he loves about me in the ring and suddenly felt nothing but excited to ask. I know this because I promptly received a stream of text messages saying, "I love you so much. We're so lucky. You're wonderful. I'm in love."
When he returned from Portland, he met me at work to pick up the car and asked if he could grab some chinese food. There I am, sitting in the hatchback of our Prius, when he hands me a gyoza box. I open it and there's a ring box inside. I am at once thrilled and horrified that this is how it's happening. Inside was a baby picture of AJ. I half smiled and said, "that's...cute?" For the next 12 days, I received a box every day with a token of our life together. By the 13th day, the novelty had warn off and I pretty much assumed I'd be opening boxes for the rest of my life. Instead, he picked me up at work and drove me to the first winery that he had joined and the first winery he had taken me to when I was living in New York. We did a tasting-- nothing. We walked through the garden and the vines-- nothing. The sun was setting, the winery was closing, and I was flumoxed. He walked me to "watch the Zin grapes being smashed" in the barn out back. We walked through workers and up a random wooden staircase and there was a bottle of wine on ice and the final ring box waiting for me. We got to sit looking out of a picture window and talk about our life together, call our parents and friends, and just be together. It was absolutely perfect.