Playful – check! √
Colorful – check! √
Sparkling – checkcheck! √√
Bypass rings, like this rose gold, sapphire and diamond piece created for a client at Gallery of Jewels, are a fun way to display a duo of gemstones that have a personal meaning. Perhaps they showcase the birthstones of your two beloved children. They could symbolize you and your partner in perfect harmony. Or maybe, you’re drawn to the playful open design and have two favorite gems you’d love to display. Any way you slice it, this freeform design is sure to start a conversation.
Here’s a long overdue look at an awesome set of custom rings.
Jen and her husband Shane were married for 9 years before we met to talk about their wedding rings. They had eloped years ago, and with their 10th anniversary around the corner they began to think about upgrading their wedding set. It’s a very long story… but without Jen I would have never met my husband (It’s thanks to her that he and I ended up in San Francisco at the same time years ago). As you can imagine, I was honored to have this chance to thank her with my time and art. I’m forever in her debt!
It was important to Jen and Shane that the new rings reflected their personality. Jen has an amazing eye for design and had created jewelry of her own years ago. We had fun hanging out in my studio, talking shop and gems and tools and deciding on the perfect style for their wedding set.
The engagement ring we designed was a yellow gold version of my fragment engagement ring using a stellar black rose cut diamond. To stack alongside it, we crafted a palladium Tioga Band and incorporated some of her family diamonds into the mix. Shane’s band is a Flat Diablo Band in palladium with brushed finish and comfort fit interior.
When the rings were complete, Jen and Shane whisked away to wine country to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I wish them all the love and happiness for the years ahead.
My mother wears a ring on every one of her ten fingers. This is probably from where my fascination with gems and jewelry began, as a young girl I examined each of her fingers and coveted the colored stones set atop of her golden bands. She was never really one for diamonds. Her engagement ring was a pink sapphire with a star that danced across the surface as it moved. She preferred to collect gems of different hues and shapes, often looking down at her hands when we passed a jewelry store, humming “I could really use a green pear-shape for this finger.”
The list of her preferences goes on: Cabochons, yes. Prongs, no. And yellow gold only — That was, until her daughter was a broke college student crafting jewelry out of silver. She then graciously welcomed silver jewelry into her wardrobe.
This year she and my father entrusted me to redesign their wedding set. They married in their early twenties and began with a modest set of rings. They were lovely, but lightweight. For their 20th anniversary they had upgraded to a heftier set of bands, and 15 years later they found themselves ready for a third iteration. I was honored to take part in this new chapter.
We gathered up all 6 of their old rings and re-used the gold. The new bands would still contain elements of the old. I had sold my mother on the merits of diamonds over the years, but she was still drawn to the idea of vibrant colors (“I would really like a blue, and I think it needs to be square!”) Thus, the center gem for my mother’s engagement ring became a princess cut blue diamond.
We agreed upon a water-inspired motif for the new bands. Whether they’re on river with a canoe or a in a ship out on the ocean, my father and mother are at peace when on the open water. Growing up in Michigan our family weekends often revolved around the lakes and our boats. It seemed only fitting to draw upon these memories for their new set of wedding bands.
On the heels of our last custom project, monogram cufflinks, is this hand fabricated pair of cufflinks utilizing Egyptian coins. These coins, which are no longer in circulation, feature intricate imagery and two-tone metals. I placed into a simple heavy bezel with sturdy cufflink backs. The detail in these coins makes one want to dig the change from their pockets and dream about the possibilities.
This pair of silver cufflinks was a gift from bride to groom on their wedding day. They were created in partnership with Zaver and Mor in Berkeley, CA and engraved by Chris Neff.
Kyrie and Zach had powerful, personal imagery that inspired this engagement ring she designed just for him. In their metaphor a balloon floats through the air at just the right height, tied off to a sparkling rock on the ground by a twist of gold and black thread. Together they can be it all: down to earth and still soaring to great heights.
I meet lots of lovely couples in my line of work. Sarah and Robalyn are a top-notch example. Couples often come to my studio to design rings together, but for their project each party commissioned a ring unbeknownst to the other.
Sarah reached out to me in January to create a solitaire for Robalyn. She caught me just in time for my annual gem-buying trip in Tucson. With her color palette in mind I was able to sift through vendor after vendor, and parcel after parcel until I picked out just the right diamond for their needs. We set it in 14k yellow gold with a flat, hammered band.
Robalyn returned the favor by creating this ocean-toned band for Sarah. We selected a handful of sapphires in blues, greens, and silvers and agreed on a layout for them to be set into a 14k yellow gold band. We pulled in the same hammered texture from her solitaire ring so the finished pieces would feel related.
Once the cats had been let out of their respective bags, the lovely couple sent me this snap of the two rings resting together along the California Coast. Congratulations Sarah Robalyn!
The countdown is on! In just two short weeks my baby brother Joseph is getting hitched. Yesterday I completed the wedding bands for their ceremony, and I was reminded that Anna’s knockout of an engagement ring had yet to appear on my blog.
Joe and I sneakily designed this ring together. They live on the east coast in North Carolina, and I’m all the way out in San Francisco, so casually showing her jewelry around my shop to learn her style was out of the question. We needed a clever way to get her opinion on designs without the dead giveaway of sitting her down in front of my website.
I had just completed the shoot for my bridal lookbook so I emailed my brother proofs on the premise that I needed help narrowing down to the best photos. He opened the email within Anna’s line of sight, and in no time she was leaning over his shoulder pointing out her favorite pieces. Bingo.
The resulting ring is 18k rose gold with a .60ct rose cut black diamond in the center. It’s surrounded by a border of sparkling white diamonds. All at once it is romantic but edgy, luxe yet casual.