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.
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.
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!
I’m often asked whether it’s possible to remove old diamonds from existing jewelry for use in new designs. In most cases, the answer is yes! The eternity band above was created in partnership with Inclusions Gallery in Bernal Heights. The diamonds were removed from a client’s old pendant and re-set into 14k white gold. Using your heirloom gems preserves a sentimental element in the new jewelry I create for you. A number of previous posts (such as here, here and here) utilized diamonds from old settings which we styled into something new.
If the diamonds in your old jewelry are in good shape (without any chips or cracks) it is likely they are good candidates for reuse in a custom piece of jewelry. Based on the shape, dimension, and cuts of the diamonds you supply, a myriad of design options could be available. In most cases your old gold and platinum settings can be recycled as well.
Do you have ideas for a custom piece of your own? Contact me about bringing them to life!
This suite of little earrings left my workbench yesterday. A single piece of Grandmothers jewelry was repurposed into 7 pairs of diamond stud earrings, one for each granddaughter. Now they all have a personal heirloom to wear and pass down for generations to come.
This custom project was created in partnership with Gallery of Jewels in Noe Valley, San Francisco.