When Guy Thompson couldn’t find his perfect wedding ring, he took matters into his own hands and created his own. From there, Guys Gold was born.
You might remember Guy from Issue 22 of Together Journal, he and his wife Westney graced the cover with their Coromandel wedding that was full of vibrancy and colour. It was this very wedding that started the creative process behind Guys Gold, a brand specialising in men’s rings for those who prefer a refined aesthetic.
We sat down with Guy to learn more about how it all started, his creative processes and his inspirations.
Read the Real Wedding Story: Westney + Guy by Sapphire Studios
Tell us about yourself and your background.
My name is Guy and I live in Mount Maunganui with my wife and our 8-month-old daughter. I grew up in Auckland before studying design at Massey in Wellington where I met my now wife. After finishing university we moved to Mount Maunganui and from there I’ve been working in design and small creative projects here & there. In 2020 my wife and I got married and that’s when Guy’s Gold was born.
How did Guys Gold start?
I had been meticulously looking for the perfect ring since we got engaged. I didn’t mind if it was expensive (to an extent) as long as I would be happy to wear it for the rest of my life. The choice for women’s wedding rings felt endless, but it seemed no one was looking after the guys and we were kind of shuffled over to the corner.
I had an idea for a classic rectangle signet ring and approached a local manufacturing jeweller to ask if he would take me on as an apprentice, I got declined twice but ended up convincing him to let me make just this one ring with him. After I made my ring he ended up giving me a job and that’s when the real learning began. I had no experience so I was super lucky to have him take me on and teach me the ropes.
It’s a massive honour to make the little circle of gold someone chooses to wear forever to symbolize their love for another. I want my customers to still be stoked on their ring 50 years from now.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
The inspiration behind all of the Guys Gold styles is ‘will this stand the test of time?‘ So all of the rings are fairly minimal. I like that idea of things being able to age, but becoming better, not dated or worse. Your ring is an extension of yourself so you want it to be unobtrusive, all of our ring designs have everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Tell us more about your story with your own wedding band.
I wanted a solid piece of jewellery with no shortcuts taken. I knew this was something I would be wearing forever so I kept the design as classic and simple as I could. With this in mind, I would sit at the table after dinner with a block of carving wax making variation after variation of what is now the Rectangle Signet. I tried all sorts of shapes and bands but something about the rectangle just sat well with me. I’m not reinventing the wheel, but I really enjoyed putting myself into it and making something I would be proud to wear.
Once I had what I thought was a pretty good design I cast it in silver – turns out I had some more work to do, but I just repeated that process until I reached what was in my opinion, perfection. I knew very little at the beginning but I was keen to learn and had nothing to lose! I never set out to make a business out of it but at least I would have a wedding ring unlike anyone else, people seemed to like it and we went from there. Now I’m stoked to see other people with the same ring as me!
Where are the rings made?
All rings are made in New Zealand with each piece finished to the highest standard before it embarks on a lifetime of wear, collecting a patina from a life well lived. There are no shortcuts. Each piece is made to order, using New Zealand alluvial or recycled gold as much as supply allows. All by-product from production is collected, refined and reused.
What’s your favourite Guys Gold piece?
My favourite will always be the Rectangle Signet. This is the ring that kicked everything off. When I made my one, I thought, ‘How cool, literally, no one in the world will have the same wedding ring as me’. Now I want every groom in a rectangle signet! It’s definitely GG’s best-seller.
Above: Guys ad in Together Journal Issue 28. He doesn’t just create rings, he’s witty too.
What’s next for Guys Gold?
I guess just carry on solving the problem for blokes who can’t find a quality wedding ring they want to wear for the rest of their lives. I want to be a trusted name in the industry so people don’t have to think twice about buying from Guys Gold online. But at the same time, a physical space is a long-term goal.