"January 5, 2017 is the fourth anniversary of my daughter Gavriella's (Gavi) passing. Hard to believe, especially since Gavi only got to have four birthdays. So this feels like a particularly hard milestone. Gavi doesn't have a grave or a tombstone, so we never did an unveiling ceremony, and we tend to be more of a do-it-yourself (or a make meaning up as we go) ritual family. So today I will do an unveiling of my new Gavi ring.

The idea of designing a Gavi ring that I could wear every day has been percolating around in my head for a while, and I decided to meet with Karina the week of Gavi's birthday (this past October) to turn my idea into a reality. I met with Karina two more times throughout the design and creating process and she finished my Gavi ring a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it! I love wearing it, and I love telling people about it. So if you notice it, ask me about it - or since I will explain its meaning now, you can just appreciate it with me - and tell me how much you love it too 😉.

The ring is big and bold and beautiful and expensive and fragile (though protected) - just like she was. When I first went to see Karina, I knew I wanted the ring to feature an opal - Gavi's birthstone. I knew I wanted the ring to have some element that would symbolize the four times she traveled around the sun, and I knew I wanted a hole - to symbolize the big gaping hole she has left in our lives.

I loved working with Karina Mattai - she was warm and empathetic, smart, candid, intuitive and (perhaps best of all) she is a brilliant craftsperson. If anyone local is looking for some jewelry, custom or not, I highly recommend her!

My Gavi ring has a gold band with four strands that curve around and divide into twos that cradle the opal (which is purposely an imperfect shape). Opals are known to be fragile, so Karina was able to nestle the opal down to keep it well protected. The shape of the hole and space that the opal is in is tweaked a little bit to make it slightly womb shaped (Karina's idea!). I like that the whole thing is a bit evocative of a mobius strip which symbolizes my infinite love and infinite grief for Gavi."

A. Bassett

"For over a decade, I have had the pleasure of commissioning Karina to design and craft entirely unique jewelry to celebrate major milestones in life, such as my wife's birthdays, our anniversary or to mark the birth of our children. Whether I bring an idea or a stone to Karina and ask her to create a piece around it, or rely on her to start from scratch, the result has always been a work of art that is as impeccably constructed as it is beautiful."

Dave Davidson

"I wanted to send a little bit of feedback to say how happy I am with the service and quality I've gotten with Mattei Gallery. Being an amateur at ring shopping (aren't we all at this stage?), I was thrilled to work with Karina to find the perfect engagement ring. Karina was able to show me tons of options in the style I was looking for, then adjust a fantastic design to match my exact needs. Karina made the process easy, and the final product amazing. Throughout the process, the advice was right, the price was right, and most importantly, the final product was perfect. I can't speak highly enough of Mattei Gallery's professionalism, price, and quality. And of course, my new fiancé loves it!"

Lukas Cady

"Karina's skill, openness, and ability to work in many styles have allowed us to realize our vision for all kinds of pieces, from rings and earrings to necklaces and bracelets. For over ten years now, we have never found a reason to go to anyone else!"

-Lauren Handelman and David Aronson

"For months I strolled past the window of Mattei Galleria eyeing all the jewelry and wishing. Finally one day I went in. I tried on rings, and earrings, glitter after glitter, bling after bling. Then finally the "ring" it was so fabulous, the color, the style, like nothing I had ever seen. Having been divorced, I thought maybe this could be an engagement ring in the future.

Well, one year past, no engagement ring. I went back to Mattei. This time I took my former wedding ring and other pieces of jewelry that I would never wear again. I worked with Karina Mattei to find the best solution for me. I got the ring. I recycled the old and I now wear the new. I did not have to wait for Prince Charming, I was able to do it myself.

I get so many complements on my ring, and cannot wait to tell people about Karina. Karina is not just a jeweler, she is an artist. Karina and her staff have an honest and sincere passion to serve and make their clients happy. When I wear my ring it's just not the beauty that makes me feel good, it's the whole idea of moving out of the old and getting on with the new."

Joyce Foley

"I have so much fun designing my own jewelry and working with Karina to make a truly unique piece. Karina has a great eye and is always willing to try new designs. I love everything she has made for me. Every time I go in the Mattei Galleria I always walk out with something new."

"I was introduced to Karina by my neighbor a twenty plus year customer and since then I have brought my brother, mother, cousin, etc.. all to shop at Mattei Galleria."

Deb P

"Working with Karina to create what I call my,"one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art" was such an easy experience. I had given a lot of thought to what I wanted in my new wedding band. Karina was able to expand on my ideas and perfectly match diamonds that I'd been collecting to use in this ring. I was reassured by being informed via e-mails as well as photos during the phases of construction since we were working together long distance. My only regret is that I didn't have a custom ring made from the beginning! If I had realized that the cost of a custom piece can be very comparable to what you find in the chain stores, I'd have done this years ago."

Stephanie Engels