AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins Gets an Engagement Ring—See What Gem She Chose

By Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief

t is always interesting to see what jewelry industry members choose for their own engagement rings, so when Kimberly Collins recently got engaged, AGTA couldn’t resist reaching out to her for details on her ring. Collins is AGTA’s board President and owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems, a purveyor of loose stones and finished jewelry. She has access to the entire world of colored gems, so what did she choose for her own ring? A sentimental and verdant stone, an Emerald.

“My fiancé Mike’s birthday is in May, as are my two sons—Brady is the oldest and Preston is the youngest,” she explains. “All three of my guys were born within one week of each other on May 12, 15, and 20! I love green and the significance of Emerald being the May birthstone, so it was a perfect choice.”

AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins Gets an Engagement Ring—See What Gem She Chose

Choosing the Emerald

Collins knew she wanted an Emerald from the Chivor mine in Colombia, known for the glow of the material and its open color. The alternative was an Emerald from the Muzo-area mines, known for their rich, saturated green Emeralds.

“Open color has to do with the saturation of the stone and means it will stay bright in any light,” she explains. “Having open color actually means that the stone is not considered top quality because it’s a lighter green and not as saturated, but it’s what I prefer. With an open-color Emerald I can see the whole color in any light, be it bright sunlight or dark restaurant lighting.”

Ultimately, she and her beau decided on a 5-plus carat cushion-cut Emerald as their center stone.

AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins Gets an Engagement Ring—See What Gem She Chose

Making the Ring

Though Collins is a jewelry designer herself, she enlisted someone else to make her ring. Again, she’s got a world of choices available at her fingertips, so choosing the maker was another tough job. But after two years of scrutinizing Spectrum Award winners as AGTA board President, her choice was clear: Pompos Jewelry Corporation in Los Angeles.

“Pompos is an AGTA member and a multiple Spectrum award winner, whose classic work and craftsmanship I have admired,” she says. “I called Gabriel Angulo [of Pompos] after Spectrum last year and asked him if he would be willing to make my ring. I knew what I wanted but needed someone else to translate the design for me. He did several CADs for me until I loved the look.”

The aesthetic is art deco inspired—“A modern deco style,” says Collins. The ring is made in platinum and 18K yellow gold with custom-cut Diamond baguettes down the shank and a combination of round and more baguette-cut Diamonds on the halo. The Emerald is bezel set but also has four prongs in yellow gold. Why? Another layer of protection for that beautiful Emerald, and to give the ring an understated classic look. “I wanted a touch of yellow gold visible,” she says.

AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins Gets an Engagement Ring—See What Gem She Chose

The Proposal

After choosing the center stone and ring maker, the final step, of course, was for Mike to pop the question. Collins had some knowledge of the ring’s production, but no idea when she would receive it. Turns out it was ready just ahead of the AGTA GemFair Las Vegas. So, on the Friday before the Las Vegas show, Mike rang Collins and told her he would pick her up from work for a date—a move that made her suspicious.

“Normally, we plan date nights together, so it was unusual for him alone to decide,” she says.

Once together, he wouldn’t tell her where they were going.

“He stopped to put gas in his truck, joked we were getting a pizza at Costco,” recollects Collins. “When I asked him where we were going, he only said, ‘You’ll see.’”

She thought that perhaps he was taking her to a new restaurant near Lake Tahoe that she had wanted to try, but he drove right past it. Instead, he pulled into the Zephyr Cove beach area at Tahoe and got out of the car.

“He was looking all around, like his head was on a swivel,” she says. “At this point, I knew something was coming.”

They went for an awkward walk on the beach. It was windy and Collins’s cute booties were filling with sand. At a certain point, he pulled out his phone and insisted they take a selfie against the setting sun. Then he pulled her in tight for a hug—so tight that she couldn’t turn around. When she did, another person was there with a camera in hand. It was professional photographer Carlos Reyes from Lake Tahoe, whom Mike hired to meet them, but Reyes pretended he was there by chance.

“He said to us, ‘I just got this new camera, may I take some pictures of you?’” says Collins.

Reyes had them stand back to back for one shot, and then when Collins turned around, Mike was on one knee.

“I didn’t even look at the ring—I just kissed Mike.”

AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins Gets an Engagement Ring—See What Gem She Chose

Wedding & Bands

While a date for the wedding is TBD—“We want to try to marry before the end of 2024,” she says—one final aspect is confirmed: the design of her wedding bands.

“I want at least two,” she says. “One will be a plain gold band with a satin finish, which mimics the aesthetic in my own jewelry line. A second will be an eternity band with Diamonds in baguette and emerald shapes.”

Fabulous jewelry aside, the real joy in this engagement comes from finding Mike.

“He gets me, supports me in so many ways, is a role model to my boys—he asked them for permission to marry me—and he understands this crazy industry and all the travel I need to do,” she says. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”

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