Friday, February 10, 2012

Better to be a European guy?

Another lag in the JLI blog which we apologize for. We are busy getting rings ready for clients, traveling around the country and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. 

Speaking of next weeks' holiday, our thanks goes out to Stephanie who made this amazing Valentine's Day brochure for James Levinson Jewelry. If anyone needs a good graphic designer, let us know and we'll forward you Stephanie's information. 


There is still time for a last minute gift...just contact Does anyone have any exciting V-Day plans? We'd definitely like to hear about them! 

This time of the year is popular for proposal's. We have known many people who wait to propose around this time. Of course this brings up the question about how much to spend on an engagement ring. We discovered this article today from a British newspaper. We were drawn to the headline about "Three week's salary instead of one month's." 

We were always under the impression in the US that three month's salary was "the norm." Of course the norm is not really three month's salary, it's whatever an individual feels comfortable spending. 

However, how did it go from one month in England to three month's in the US (we're assuming the England rule came first)? How did the three month's first start in the US and how did the one month first begin overseas? 

Furthermore, through all the economic downturn we've experienced, there was no public proclamation that if you're a guy and want to get engaged, it was acceptable to spend less. Maybe it was out there at some point, but we didn't see or notice it. Was it just implied?

We find it funny that there is a discrepancy between continents and countries on this so called "rule." What are your thoughts?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Client Proposal Stories - 2nd Edition

CLIENT PROPOSAL STORIES - 2nd Edition (Shawn and Molly)

Last week was a hectic week and the first time we've ever gone a full week without a blog post. We hope that doesn't happen again for the while and our apologies to the readers who inquired about the lack of posting.

We are proud to bring you the next installment of "Client Proposal Stories." Our first installment, Allison and Randy was our most read post since the JLI blog began in October...and the most read by a lot (almost 4x as many readers as the next highest entry). 

We'll see if this month's featured couple, Shawn and Molly can boost the readership even more. Thanks to both of them for providing content for this! Here is their story...

Molly and Shawn Sullivan

How they met:

Although never meeting, Molly and Shawn charted similar paths during their collegiate years. Both scholar-athletes at their respective institutions - Molly at Butler and Shawn at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) - their paths crossed a number of times at cross country competitions. In fact, Shawn's cousin, Erin, was a teammate of Molly's at Butler.

Shawn running for UIC

Molly and friend watching Butler in the Final Four

After Shawn graduated, he worked in the athletic department at his alma mater. At the same time, while she was completing her degree at Butler, Molly worked at the Horizon League office as an intern. The paths continued to cross sans encounter.

Although no records can confirm it, it is believed the now married couple officially met in 2003 or 2004 depending on the account. Shawn had moved into the front office of the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League by then, but Molly was getting her start on a campus with UIC.

Over the course of the next couple of years encounters between the two continued in social settings. Ground broke on a solid friendship. Similar interests, backgrounds, running and tanning abilities (none whatsoever) provided the foundation for that friendship. 

In 2005, business was about to pick up between Molly and Shawn. Shawn agreed to return to the UIC athletic department to work in the marketing department, just a brief walk to Molly who was in the compliance office.

For a couple years, colleagues and family members accused Molly and Shawn of being more than friends. The platonic nature of their relationship was continuously under assault. Many predicted love down the road.

The prognosticators were correct. Starting in February of 2007, the stage was set for a quick and adventurous courtship, as Shawn was sure Molly was to be his bride.

The proposal 

Working through Adam Levinson, Shawn was encouraged by the Levinson's offers to examine rings. It didn't take long for Shawn to find the perfect engagement ring for Molly.

 A few days before Christmas, 2008, Shawn and Molly took a Friday off work to get some holiday shopping done. By this time, Shawn had possession of the ring, but one item the couple didn't possess was an angel to sit atop their Christmas tree.

Not the actual tree!

The night before the planned shopping excursion, Shawn placed the ring on top of the tree. The next morning, Shawn ran an errand to set up the proposal. He picked up some Starbucks and presented an angel he had picked out for the top of the tree. He requested that Molly secure the angel atop the fir tree adorned with tidings. She climbed to the peak with the assistance of a chair and saw the sparkles of the diamonds.

Shawn dropped to a knee and requested her hand in marriage. She said yes through tears of excitement.

The two were married on July 24, 2009 (after of course purchasing Molly's wedding band from the Levinsons). 

"I had a lot of anxiety entering the ring buying process," Shawn said. "Did I have enough money? What was a carat? What are my options? Having a friend like Adam and a guiding arm in Jim to help me navigate the process, put me at ease. To this day, we look at the jewelry and feel lucky for the experience and relationship with the Levinsons. I couldn't imagine working with anyone else for jewelry."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#Winning with Lego

Over the short history of this blog, we've highlighted some pretty impressive proposals, including ones from our own clients.

We have to give credit where credit is due though. There may be proposals better than the one below, but it's hard to believe that anyone could put as much time into a proposal than this person.

His name is Walt Thompson, an Atlanta-based photographer and filmmaker who put together this Lego proposal for his girlfriend, Nealey Dozier. Actually, saying "put together" is probably doing Walt a disservice. He spent 22 hours shooting the proposal in stop-motion. One can only guess how long it took to edit and complete. How much time do you think a man should put into a marriage proposal?

This one is pretty spectacular and she said yes...enjoy!

A Proposal in Stop Motion... in HD! from FIREPIT PICTURES on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

That's the only argument I need Shawn!!

Happy 2012 from James Levinson Jewelry! Our first entry of the new year centers on the world of sports (which is our other favorite subject here at James Levinson Jewelry). Both Lebron James and Michael Jordan got engaged over the last week. A present superstar and a past one in the same week! 

Lebron, who drops a lot of points on the court regularly, reportedly dropped around $250-300K on his fiance Savannah Brinson's pear shaped center diamond (pictured below)

A VERY nice ring! As for Michael Jordan, we have searched long and hard to find any pictures of his fiance Yvette Prieto's ring. Something tells us that since he's Michael Jordan, the ring has to be among the nicest engagement rings a pro athlete has ever purchased. We will anxiously await the first glimpse of lucky Yvette's ring. 

We certainly don't anticipate many arguments about whose ring is nicer, Savannah's or Yvette's, even if there are people who still argue about who is better on the court. 

Of course Lebron vs. Michael brings to mind this hilarious scene from the movie "Bad Teacher" with Jason Segel arguing about who is better with an elementary school aged boy named Shawn who obviously never saw Michael play (we don't know if Shawn is actually spelled that way but we're honoring our good friend Shawn for the purposes of this entry).

Is it safe to say, even without seeing Yvette's ring, that Michael Jordan wins the engagement ring argument no matter what? Is the fact that it was purchased by Michael the only argument one needs??

Friday, December 23, 2011

First Class Proposal

A month ago we featured this proposal in the sky. Since many of you are likely traveling this week for the holidays, we felt the need to share another proposal at 30,000 feet.

We think the Air Canada one below trumps the Delta one from last month because:

-They had better seats...they were in the first row. Can't tell if it was first class or not, but it's definitely better than the Delta couple had
-Flying her family in to greet them at the airport...classy move
-Photography: Nice job by the camera person. Not sure how this man arranged for that to happen, but it seemed better than amateur. In addition, there seems to be ample pictures of the family's reaction in the airport, plus they got the necessary shot of the couple with the flight crew on Air Canada.
-We didn't get a good look at the ring, but she seems to be just fine with it!

In our estimation, this was a "first class" proposal all the way...pun intended!

Happy Holidays from James Levinson Jewelry!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Client Proposal Stories - 1st Edition


We are proud to announce a new feature on the James Levinson Jewelry Blog that called "Client Proposal Stories."

At least once each month we will feature one couple and share their proposal story. We've found each couple has a unique proposal story and each is worthy of sharing. Since we already share video proposals and other stories, we wanted to add a personal touch to the blog by showcasing our own clients and their stories. We hope you enjoy the series!

This month's featured couple is Randy and Alison who were married this past fall. Here is their story...

How they met:

As members of the CrossFit Chicago (CFC) community, it was inevitable that Alison and Randy would cross paths. The CFC community is a close knit group that is guilty of “monitoring” each other’s performance posts and Facebook pages. These two people were no different. Randy and Alison were well acquainted with each other even before meeting formally for the 1st time at the CFC bowling social on March 7, 2009. Their social personalities and mutual admiration for each other’s CF results created an immediate bond that quickly developed into a budding friendship. As Ranison spent more time in and out of the “box” their relationship blossomed and they were dating by April 2009. Since then they both will tell you they have never been happier!

The Proposal

On October 28th, 2010, Alison came home to four bouquets of flowers sitting on the dining room table with a framed note saying "The last 4 days have been stressful (including, in part, the events that occurred with their dog's surgery - day of and post-op) ... I wanted to find four ways to make you smile."

The note also stated that she should NOT move the flowers off the table or attempt to put them in a vase. Alison immediately texted Randy and asked why she couldn't move the flowers as they 'are going to die.' Randy stated to just listen to him for once! Alison waited almost six hours until Randy got home from work to find out why she couldn't move the flowers!
The note Randy left

When Randy finally got home he explained each flower is different and is in a specific order. He took out a sheet of paper and began to read the names of each flower ... wild flower, iris, lilly, lisianthus ... and so on.
Alison thought 'What the hell is going on and why does he know the names of these flowers. He is being WEIRD!' After Randy explained the flowers Alison looked at Randy and said "Cool babe ... thanks?!"
Randy then explained he wanted to do something nice given the recent events in their lives and it being the same day they celebrate their yearly anniversary.
He proceeded to thank her for taking a leap of faith (Alison took a big risk moving in with Randy given her past experiences). She needed to know moving in with Randy was not a means to an end.
Randy told Alison while the future is uncertain he can promise they will continue to take steps forward in their relationship. Moving in, getting a puppy, being by her side as she graduated...and their parents meeting each other were all examples of the promise he made.
Randy said he and Alison 'are like the flowers.' They started as individuals ... much like each flower in the bouquets. "When you us together, just like the flowers ... they just work. They fit. They're perfect. THEY JUST MAKE SENSE when they are TOGETHER."
Randy handed the sheet of paper with the list of flowers to Alison and repeated, "US together make sense - just like the flowers make sense when they are put TOGETHER."
W ild flower
I sis
L illy
L isianthus

Y ellow football mum
O ncidium orchid
U perum (blUperum)

M onte casino
A lstromeria
R ose
R ed hypericum
Y ellow solidago

M illet
E cheveria
The names of Flowers

Alison took the sheet of paper and went speechless after reading the list of flowers.
Randy immediately dropped to his knee and said "Yes this is happening. I got tired of waiting for you and decided I needed to do this myself. You made it OBVIOUSLY clear you would NEVER propose to me!"
"Alison ... W.I.L.L. Y.O.U. M.A.R.R.Y. M.E.?"

Ring from James Levinson Jewelry

She said yes...
Married November, 2011
Here is their testimonial on our website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Planes, Trains, Automobiles...and sometimes buses

A lot of pre-holiday traveling to be followed up by holiday traveling for us. This is always a busy time of the year! Like Steve Martin though, back in Chicago now!

Wondering if anyone can share a story about you or someone you know buying an engagement ring or piece of jewelry far from home? If it involves either Vegas or John Candy, it'll be all that much better and you might win a prize from us!

Happy Friday from James Levinson Jewelry!