Happy thirtieth Anniversary, Mr and Mrs Richards!
The Story of Keith Richard’s Ruby Engagement Ring to Patti Hansen.
“This precious true story highlights the role of ruby in one of the most famous partnerships today- Keith Richards and Patti Hansen.  As it happened, David Courts, of Courts and Hackett (makers of the Keith Richards Skull ring) contacted me after reading a post I did on skulls for Halloween  last year. After scouring their website, and seeing a picture of the famous ring, I asked David if he would share with me the story about how the engagement ring Keith Richards requested from him came to be.  So, come on, let’s jump in our time capsule and head on back to 1987. (And my sincere and profuse thanks to David Courts for sharing this story with me, and my apologies for not being able to get this out sooner.)” (thanks to you for sharing this!)
David Courts remembers…. « I had already been friends with Keith and Anita Pallenberg for 15 years and Patti was so gorgeous, sweet and affectionate you couldn’t help but love her. So when Keith called to ask me to make his engagement ring for Patti -I was delighted. He didn’t give me any specifics—he always leaves ideas to me/us as he did with Bob Dylan’s 50th birthday present. And so, the vine ring was made with love for both of the recipients. »
None of the design process was conscious, I went completely on feeling and it just came as ‘right’. I wanted ruby — I love ruby - its blood –it’s blood to blood. Keith loved the idea. It took a hell of a search to find such a beautiful Burmese 4ct stone. »
« Then the vine - vine is sexy isn’t it - something about the way the roots and stems grow round each other, interweaving their forms, compensating for each others strong and weak points, ending in the delicate touch and softness of the leaves and petals - so intimate! »
« I did the drawings in London in the attic of my house, Bill (Hackett, my partner at the time) was in Sri Lanka for 6 months. I made a wax first and then built the wax onto a frame to be cast in 18K.»
« Then ensued the long labor involved in working and refining the casting with a multitude of tools- tiny files used by watchmakers, engraving tools as well as numerous stone faceting tools in order to get the perfect flow into the swooping lines and to penetrate the crevices. This part was done in the clear strong light of Andalusia southern Spain under 10x magnification. I remember this was a particularly enchanted time in the creative process. Dragonflies (my favorite insect ) the color of electric jewels flashed and hovered round the garden as I worked and huge birds of prey were overhead in the sky migrating to Africa. I kept the ring in a pouch that I stitched out of alligator-lizard skin round my neck at all times.»
« Patti was thrilled with it and put the ring on there and then and it has not left her finger since -she definitely knew she was getting a ring but had no idea what it would be like before she saw it. I stayed the night and left them in Paris in the morning. »

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