Friday's Today's Special Value piece from is inspired by Tova's very own commitment ring, given to her by her husband Ernest Borgnine (actor and Oscar winner) for their 25th anniversary. Her signature piece has inspired her to create this 129 stone Diamonique by Tova ring.
Both dazzling and with a romantic story behind its creation, we leapt at the opportunity to ask Tova about her enduring love story and why she chose to share her special design with us. Tova told us all about how she and Ernie met and even took us through some wonderful memories of their time together…
How did you meet your husband?
Ernie and I were introduced on a Blind date, set up by Comedian Marty Allen and his wife Frenchie.
The booth we sat in was always our booth whenever we visited Chasens and on our 25th Anniversary, when I received my ring, we were photographed sitting there again. That time we had taken over the entire restaurant for our guests.
This is us, toasting in the same booth as our blind date 25 years before.
What stands out in your memory from that first evening?
Ernie drove me back to my hotel, The Beverly Wilshire, took me to the elevator and was shaking my hand (I was inside the elevator and he was outside). These were the days when there were Elevator operators, and as I was smiling as sweetly as I could, hoping that he would ask for another date, she (the elevator operator) was trying to close the door. I gently put my heel over her foot without loosing eye contact with Ernie, as if I were saying "lady do not think about closing this door right now". In that brief moment Ernie asked me for our 2nd date and from that moment our romance began.
Giving you the ring was such a romantic gesture – was Ernie always very romantic?
From our first date we kept our romance alive and well throughout our 40 years of being together. We left each other love notes, had date nights and he was always my Prince Charming and I his Cinderella. As you may know I was Ernie's 5th wife. Keeping romance alive is working at it daily and loving it.
This was the kiss for my ring.
It is clear that you love your ring – why did you decide to use it as inspiration for this TSV piece?
I have always had a great love affair with design and craftsmanship. Discovering the artisans that bring life, beauty, and uniqueness to their labour is a lifelong journey for me. When Ernie had asked me what I would like the design to be for my ring, we went to one of the worlds foremost jewellers to capture what I call the spectrum of past, present and future. What he designed was and is my most treasured ring.
It has so many elements that are surprising, including the cut-out symbols of love, luck and romance on the sides and underneath. I wanted to share this uniqueness and beauty with woman of all ages. The ring is a vivid example of elegance, beauty and timeless craftsmanship.
Can you share with us some special memeories of you and Ernie together?
This photo was taken for The TOVA catalogue. I was introducing TOVA Handsome cologne for Him, and The Ruby Necklace and Earrings for Her
At the Hollywood Producers Event. As you can see Ernie and I were like two love birds.
Ernie and I were part of The Milwaukee Wisconsin annual circus parade for 18 years, and each year we did our Christmas cards from the parade.
The elephants are one of our favourite animals – and this was actually one of our Christmas cards! Ernie was always the Grand Clown and I the Ring Mistress. Over 1000 clowns came for around the world to participate.
The picture below is from the Beverly Hills Hotel event. I love this photo and memory.
Another cherished evening – the special red carpet in January 2011. Ernie received the Prestigious "Screen Actors Guild" Lifetime Achievement Award. As you can see he was still in amazing health at 95.
…Every day and year with Ernie was an adventure. I have been very blessed with 40 plus years of stories that I will always treasure. Ernie was bigger then life itself.
Tune in on Friday to see Tova herself and her gorgeous TSV piece, inspired by this beautiful love story.
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