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.
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.
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!
The lookbook for my 2015 Bridal Collection is finally live! So much went into creating, painting, and styling this shoot. I’m very proud to share this labor of love.
You can view the full collection of images here.
[Stay tuned for a behind the scenes look at those massive watercolor paintings!]
Many belated posts are headed to the blog this week highlighting the secret (and not-so-secret) projects from the final months of 2014. I had so many custom designs across my workbench during the holidays and creating them was incredible way to wrap the year. Now that the proposals and gift-givings have passed, it’s safe for me to sit down and recount all of the personalized designs that went to loving homes during the winter months.
First up… a special wedding band set!
You may recall this deep blue beauty from the engagement of Matt and Lyndsay earlier in 2014. The couple wed in November at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. To compliment her rose gold ring, we crafted a blue sapphire crescent band which contoured to her center sapphire. Matt opted for a comfortable, flat Tam Wedding Band with gently rounded edges and textured finish.
As a jewelry lover and maker, I’ve long adored the blog Jewelry Fashion Tips. Amy’s quick wit and undeniable jewelry sense makes her blog a super fun read. This week I was just tickled to see her review of the Gallery of Jewels Summer of Love Bridal Event and find this photo of her wearing the new Green Diamond Empire Engagement Ring. Thanks so much for the nod, Amy! You always wear diamonds so well…