Posted in: custom design
, Wedding engagement rings
, bezel set
This customer wanted a vintage look with hand engraving for this remounting of her sapphires and diamonds. I love using stones with sentimental value in new designs. It can carry on memories and stories.
I have really enjoyed learning hand engraving techniques. It has always fascinated me. I hope to continue to learn and explore this facet of jewelry making.
I carved the wax model of this engagement ring to match the existing wedding band that was her mother’s. Using her stones, this new ring carries all the sentimental value and it looks like these two rings were made at the same time.
This custom remount pretty much kept the same classic design as the original (not pictured) but the goal was to do a more lighter, feminine version in white gold. The micro prong set diamonds helped lightening up the feel of the ring from the original bulky 3 channel design. We also opened up the shoulders of the ring to make it more airy. We did a cool square shank and cast it in super white 14k gold alloy that does not need rhodium plating.
It was a big stone in the ring before I was asked to work on this engagement ring. Now I was asked to keep the halo and figure out a way to add a new, mammoth, stone. Since the new stone was as wide as the halo, I was not going to buy a pre made head.
The first thing I did was to carefully remove the original head. It was laser welded on so I could not just heat it up and “un” solder it. I removed the small diamonds, incrusting the head, and cut it off in pieces. Then I used round burs to carefully grind the rest away.
With the halo saved, I removed 4 diamonds in 4 even, strategic spots and drilled out a space with a 1.3mm round bur. I laser tacked 1.3mm white gold wire in place and tweaked it until I was happy with their placement and angles. Then I proceeded to solder them in place.
Said a prayer and set the new stone. I must say, the ring looks like it was originally made this way. It almost looks more natural now, then the beginning design.
I like this remount idea.
This was originally an engagement ring with a Tiffany peg head mounting for the major diamond. It was retired to a right hand ring and she wanted to change it up and add diamonds to the ring. The three stones that she had and wanted to use where of slightly different sizes. Since the one was set in an halo pendant already, she thought it would be cool to use that for the center. The other two diamonds would flank it in standard low base heads. The fact that they are different sizes became less noticeable with the pendant separating them. I love the way it turned out using all the bling that she already had. A totally different ring from the original design. (Sorry, no “before” picture. Just the “after”)
Even though a great customer of ours has moved out of state to take care of family, we are honored that she still comes to us when she visits Michigan. For the past seven years she has been the 24/7 caregiver to her mother and step father (of 37 years). What a selfless commitment.
But her new, well deserved, ring is a little more selfish. And that is okay, sometimes.
(Sorry– picture taken before ring was totally polished. Still stunning).
This piece has a wonderful back story. The customer’s father use to blow her a kiss. Now that he has passed what a wonderful remembrance of having a pendant made with her pear shaped diamond from him cradled in a hand as if he is blowing her a kiss.
I wish I had a “before” picture of this ring. This ring has some sentimental value but was well worn. It had a number of issues and was worked on many times before. It was in need of a new shank and the marquise needed a little updating. I carved a wax for the new shank, cast it and used it in the repair of this ring. That far was better then making a large ingot and rolling it out in the rolling mill then cutting away a bunch of metal to make the nice taper.
There are not a lot of options for marquise halo style heads out there. I suppose it is because of the too many variations of length to width proportions that marquise have. I spent about an hour and a half carving and tweaking the wax using my bench microscope under 4 power. It was time well spent— the stone setting went very smoothly. Bead set side diamonds of a halo can have an antique look to it so I gave it a simple profile to help it go with the more modern invisible set princess cut diamonds of the mounting.
I did not like the way the basket head that I ordered looked in the halo. It raised the marquise up too high. So I fabricated my own head so the diamond sat just above the halo. The original peg head was a little out of proportion for the wide ring. The nice stone got lost. The new halo gives the center stone some real presence.
A lot of different types of repair technics were used to give this ring a new life. And the fact that the work done to it is hard to pick out makes it even more satisfying. The ring is now well proportioned and updated. The shank has the heft it originally had. I think it all came together well.
This ring was blogged about a few weeks ago. We made this remount ring for a customer duplicating the three separate rings that were soldered together. The center ring was a beautiful invisible set princess and baguette ring that was having the typical issues with continual stone loss. We kept the basic design of the set, but channel set the stones instead of invisible setting. The prong set round diamond bands were integrated in the new ring. The original ring had very little metal around the invisible set stones as compared to the new ring, so after it was done, the customer felt that it seemed just too bulky, from what she was used to, with all the channels of metal. This should have been addressed in the wax model viewing part of the project. It can be hard for some people to envision the design even with the actual wax, 3D model in their hands. I think that some people have a hard time because they are seeing a nonmetallic (non-reflective) piece of hard colored wax. Our goal is to always do what we can do to please our customer. That is why they come to us. There are many jewelers to chose from. What good is being highly skilled and caring about craftsmanship and value if customers walk away dissatisfied because of a misunderstanding?
The first sinking feeling was that there was no way to make these major changes that did not include remaking the entire ring. I came up with a plan to try a big modification first. I cut the ring into 3 pieces. I filed and sanded out the strip of metal between the round diamonds and the channel set stones.
The customer asked that the outer bands should be more at the same level as the center section, so I welded the center section a bit lower. I am proud to say that all the modifications were done as welding, either with the torch or the laser. There is no solder used on this ring.
The ring turned out great. The before looked great too. But now she has the ring that she wanted and we got to do it for her. Took a little more work to get there, but it was worth it.