Ten thousand dollars was at stake – the bet, between two friends was that one couldn't put a Jose Grant puzzle ring back together within 24 hours. "Of course the fellow lost, he had no chance of winning," the words of the rings creator.
Joe "Jose" Grant, born in 1908, the pilot turned jeweler, and his team have been making more puzzle designs than anyone in the world for over 60 years.
During W.W.II Joe flew C-54s for the Air Transport Command in and around Cairo, Egypt. Working in the Shepherds Hotel in Cairo was Bakhar, a white Russian silversmith. Bakhar pilfered silver from here and there, melted it, and made puzzle rings he sold to interested parties. Joe bought one.
Shortly after, in 1945, Joe was lent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the late King Ibn Saudi of Saudi Arabia to pilot a Boeing DC-3. The DC-3 was a gift from President Roosevelt to start the Saudi Airline fleet. After a "wild two years" and with generous offers from the King to stay, Joe chose return home to the United States.
Upon returning in 1947 Joe attempted to make one of Bakhar's puzzles. "José," as he is now known, taught himself to make the renowned rings. Now, after 60 years, José Grant is the premier manufacturer of puzzle rings as well as a respected member of the Jewelry Industry, supplying the finest in handcrafted Jewelry, Diamonds, and services.
Quality and price have made Jewelry by José Grant flourish for the past six decades and our customers have grown to become a good number of great friends along the way.
Originating in the Middle-East many centuries ago, the predecessors of these rings were given as wedding bands by the sheiks, chieftains, and other men of high position. If their wives ever removed the rings the bands would fall apart. Since the women were never told how to reassemble the rings their husbands would know or suspect their wives were not being faithful to their solemn marriage vows.
In Europe the two band puzzle rings were used for weddings to symbolize the bond between spouses. Although the rings would sometimes come undone they could never fully separate from one another.
The rings would later serve as gifts from the father of the bride to the groom on the day of the marriage. The puzzle was meant to calm the groom's excitement by keeping him busy until the wedding.
Today the rings continue to be used as wedding bands, fine pieces of jewelry and challenging puzzles alike.