The Academy, an aquamarine and the auction
Special ring’s journey to auction began with master jeweler’s sketch.
When the live bidding begins at The Grosse Pointe Academy’s 50th Annual Action Auction on May 13 in the school’s Tracy Fieldhouse, one item in particular will hold a special place for both the Academy and one of its longtime patrons and donors, Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers.
That’s because both Ahee Jewelers and the Action Auction are celebrating milestones in 2017: 70 years in business for Ahee and 50 years of auctions for the Academy.
John Ahee is vice president of Grosse Pointe Woods-based Ahee Jewelers, one of Metro Detroit’s most prestigious and philanthropic businesses. He said because it’s such a special year for both Ahee and GPA, he thought it was time to custom design and manufacture a special piece of jewelry: an aquamarine and diamond cocktail ring.
“The ring for the auction was custom-designed by my brother, Chris Ahee, who is a multi-award winning designer of jewelry,” John said. “It features an excellent quality 10+ carat aquamarine stone set in an entirely custom 18-karat white gold ring surrounded by 50 (for the auction’s 50th anniversary) very fine quality round-brilliant and princess-cut diamonds.”
John Ahee said his brother, with the help of sister, Pam, began conceptualizing the ring at the start of the year. After several renditions, they came up with the final design. Then Chris traveled across the country to Tucson, Arizona, to find the perfect centerpiece aquamarine stone cut originally by one of the best stone cutters from Germany.
John said they’ve got something else quite special planned for the night of GPA’s auction.
“One of our master jewelers, Brett Mitchell, will put his finishing touches on the ring at the event,” he said. “We are transporting his entire bench and tools to the Academy that evening. Also, we are creating a special hardcover book showing the making of this ring — from drawing board to stone-setting – which will be presented along with the ring to the highest bidder.”
Ahee noted that his company and family have a long-standing relationship with The Grosse Pointe Academy. He said several of his nieces and nephews have attended the Academy and he always looks forward to helping out whenever and wherever possible. But it’s the auction that gets the Ahee family especially excited because of how much it benefits the school.
“It is truly an honor to be involved with this prestigious event,” he said. “We’ve been participating in the auction for nearly 40 years. The Grosse Pointe Academy is a special icon in our community and one of the preeminent intuitions in our region.”
Ahee Jewelers also created 1-1/2” diameter hoop earrings for the auction that feature 7.5 total carats of diamond stones set in 18-karat white gold.
Kristen Van Pelt, the Academy’s director of development, said the school is beyond delighted with Ahee’s longtime commitment to the auction.
“The Grosse Pointe Academy has always felt blessed to have a community partner like Ahee Jewelers,” she said. “They continually support our auction with beautiful fine jewelry, but this year takes the cake! John Ahee really stepped up to make this ring not just a lovely piece, but to also make it a special live auction ‘happening.’”
More information on the Academy’s “50th Action Auction” is here.
The Grosse Pointe Academy is an independent, coeducational day school serving children age 2-1/2 through Grade 8. We foster an inclusive environment that respects all cultures and religious beliefs. We seek to remain faithful to our heritage as a former Academy of the Sacred Heart and to those who through their Catholic faith and perseverance sought to preserve and enhance the legacy of this past for generations. Incorporated as a non-profit institution, The Grosse Pointe Academy is directed by a Board of Trustees working together to serve the Southeastern Michigan community.