In celebration of our Signature Solitaire Capsule Collection, we connected with our past clients who worked with us on creating a bespoke solitaire design that was truly reflective of their love story, and whom it was being created for. They say all great love stories have something to do with fate and after learning the love story of Danielle and Max, this rings so incredibly true. After learning of her father’s illness, Danielle went on to assist her father in achieving the many things he wanted to do; one of them being to reconnect with his best friend, a man named Francis, whom he had met in 1972. After the numbers her father had failed to find Max, she scrolled through many names on Facebook, typing out a short and polite message to ‘Max Quinn’, who as it turned out, was indeed the son of Francis, and as fate would have it, will soon be her husband. Max proposed to Danielle in 2019 with our Signature Oval Solitaire Design, a timeless and classic design that holds such deep sentiment to their humble love story.
NMJ: They say all great love stories have something to do with fate and after learning of yours Danielle, it’s one that will forever be a favourite of ours. Can you tell us a little more about how something some pivotal in your life led to finding Max?
Dani: Max and I found one another in incredible circumstances. When my father, Les, was dying of cancer in 2010, one of his wishes was that I find his best friend, a man named Francis, whom he had met in 1972, when they were both 20 years old. I tried the number Dad still had from before they’d lost touch, but Francis had either moved or changed his phone number. Eventually I found his son, Max, a stranger, on Facebook and asked if he happened to have a father named Francis. He did. I thought Max, who I had actually already met when I was a baby, was funny and his profile picture was cute, but mostly I was grateful that he swiftly helped bring Francis and my dad together one last time before dad died. Max and I remained friends for much of the next decade but we lost touch when he moved to Melbourne for his job with Triple J. The first thing he did when his work transferred him back to Sydney was ask me on a date! After which, he called his father, telling him how well we were getting along. It was bittersweet—I desperately wished my father was around to call too. Max shared that Francis’s simple response was: “Well, of course you’d get along well, she’s Les’s daughter.” That was that: we’ve been inseparable ever since and Max proposed on December 1, 2019.
NMJ: At what moment in the early stages of friendship did you pivot your views on each other to pursue something more? At what moment in the early stages of your friendship, did you realise this could be something more?
Max: Can I be honest for a second? Dani and I met (again) in 2010. She was beautiful then and she is beautiful now. She’s also funny, and so smart, and really brave. In the early stages of our friendship, I think probably we both thought there could be something there. When life brought us back together later in the decade, “probably” became “definitely” pretty quickly.
Dani: I think deep down we both always knew our friendship could be something more. Then, as soon as Max and I reunited as adults again, it was fundamentally clear. It was easy, we seemed to understand each other on this other level, thanks in part to our family history and this strong bond we seem to have inherited from our dads.
NMJ: Max, tell us about the moment you realised Danielle was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with….
Max: I never had the “moment of truth” that you read about in books or see on TV. My certainty that Dani was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with grew clearer over time. There was no Big Decision to make, and there were no Big Questions to answer; the only real question was when to do it.
NMJ: Jewellery has a special meaning to everyone. It can evoke feelings and memories of loved ones, and it can lift and elevate an overall look with ease. What is your first memory of jewellery and what does jewellery mean to you today?
Max: My first true memory of jewellery is a flourescent yellow CASIO digital watch I wore every day to primary school in Ballina, NSW. It was rubber and waterproof and entirely practical. Later in life, I learned that jewellery can also serve a decorative purpose—who knew? Miss u, fluoro CASIO watch.
Dani: To me, jewellery has always signified purpose. My earliest memories of jewellery are of my mother putting on her considered and favourite rose gold pieces, followed by a spritz of Chanel No.5. Jewellery has never been frivolous to me, it has always held meaning. I think that’s why my engagement ring means so much to me—it’s not just a special and very considered piece from Max, it’s also the first diamond I’ve ever owned.
NMJ: At NMJ, we believe designing a forever piece for your partner means conceptualising a design reflective of your love story and the person receiving it. How did you work with NMJ on bringing your design ideation to life? Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted from the beginning?
Max: Dani has the tiniest hands of any woman I have ever met, so I knew that the piece had to be just the right size. I knew she loved the oval shape, and the ethical appeal of a lab-grown diamond is something that I knew would resonate with her. From there, NMJ worked closely with me to make sure that the ring was everything I wanted: bespoke and beautiful.
NMJ: How did Max propose to you? What elements of this special moment do you remember the most?
Dani: Max proposed to me in our bedroom at home in Sydney. Almost everyone says this but it really was such a surreal experience! I loved that he proposed at home because I was able to fully react in my own environment—which included jumping on the bed, hugging and crying and then sharing a bottle of warm champagne on the balcony.
NMJ: You must feel extremely proud to have designed such a beautiful, eternal piece for Danielle. What did you love most about the NMJ process and experience?
Max: I loved that it was easy, but that I still got to feel involved. I wanted to be part of the process, and feel an amount of ownership over what we crafted together, and I very much didn’t want to walk into a store, point at the display case, and say: “that one, please.” I do feel proud of the piece we have created together—and even prouder, knowing that Dani is the person wearing it.
NMJ: What do you love most about your NMJ solitaire design?
Dani: I love its simplicity. By nature, it lets the diamond take centre stage and really shine. You would never realise the amount of thought and craftsmanship that has gone into this ring to make the setting evoke such a fuss-free and effortlessly elegant design. I love that its beauty is so simple and that it’s hand-crafted and entirely unique to me.
NMJ: At NMJ, at the heart of everything we do is love. Tough question, but tell us, what do you know about love?
Max: I know that love is real. That’s enough.
Dani: There’s something about our love story that makes me certain it’s all about destiny.
Create your own story with an NMJ Signature Solitaire. In celebration of the fifth anniversary of our Signature Solitaire, we’ve spent this year reflecting on our most iconic design and have curated a capsule collection of one of a kind pieces based on our favourite and most requested varieties. Showing the diversity of the Signature Solitaire style through an exciting range of stones and shapes, these handmade beauties are available now and ready to ship immediately. Discover the collection here.