The Jeweler's Eye
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I am a jewelry designer and gemologist. I love creating beautiful heirloom jewelry for clients all over the world. In this blog, I feature many of my designs and current projects as well as articles about colored gemstones, diamonds and antique jewelry. As a historian and lover of antique and estate jewelry, I am often inspired by jewels from the past.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Great Ruby Hunt - Part IV

The Great Ruby Hunt

Part IV - The Final Touches

In Parts I, II and III we selected the gemstones and began crafting a custom engagement ring and wedding band for a client. Now the ring and band are ready for the final touches - hand engraving the bright platinum surfaces and setting the center Ruby.

I discussed with the client several patterns of engraving as well as different engraving techniques (bright cut, relief, punch, etc.). She decided on our Regal Elegance pattern interspersed with small engraved flowers and surrounded by a milgrained border. This combination of design elements nicely complements the shape of her ring and band, as seen in the photos below.

Platinum Art Deco Style Ruby and Diamond Engraved Ring

If you closely examine the above photo you will see small striations or vertical lines along the inside of the center setting. These are minute saw marks from when our platinum smith hand-crafted the mounting - an indication that the setting was hand made, not cast.

Platinum Art Deco Style Engraved Contoured Wedding Band

The wedding band was hand engraved to match the engagement ring. The above photo shows the flowing leaf-like pattern along the sides of the band, as well as the cut-out at the apex of the band which allows a close fit with the engagement ring.

Platinum Art Deco Style Ruby and Diamond Engraved Ring

As mentioned earlier, the client wanted an engagement ring that was wide on top, but she was concerned that the ring might look and feel heavy on her small hand. I suggested tapering the width and depth of the band towards the base of the ring. We also polished a slight bevel around the inside edges of the ring to create a more comfortable fit. This solution accomplished the best of both worlds: our client would have the bold look of a wider ring along with a comfortable fit. The photos above and below show the taper of the width and depth of the ring towards its base.

Platinum Art Deco Style Ruby and Diamond Engraved Ring

When the hand engraver had completed his task, the next craftsman, the gem setter, was ready to set the center Ruby. First he carved a small groove (or "seat") along the inside wall of each prong. This "seat" creates a niche to support the outermost edge (or "girdle") of the gemstone.

A skilled setter creates a seat that is just deep enough to properly support the gemstone, but not so deep that it weakens the prong. An over cut prong will compromise the integrity of the setting. After the seats were carefully cut our gem setter placed the Ruby within the prongs and carefully pushed over the tip of each prong until the Ruby was securely and safely held in its setting.

The Ruby is set slightly above the trilliant diamonds so that it neatly overlaps the diamonds, creating a brilliant line of sparkling gemstones. Just what you want for a beautiful and unique custom engagement ring and wedding band.

Platinum Art Deco Style Ruby and Diamond Engraved Ring

After assembling a fabulous layout of gemstones, working with our client through various design options, and hand crafting the ring, the final result is a stunning engagement ring and wedding band that not only showcases her beautiful Ruby, but also features a dazzling pair of trilliant diamonds and beautiful hand engraving. Her ring and band are truly miniature of Art!

There are many steps involved in creating a beautiful jewel of lasting quality and beauty, but the finished piece is definitely worth the time and care we take to create a ring you will admire and enjoy for many years.

Tell me what you think of this design. If you have any questions about Rubies, the ring, or how the design can be tailored to your own lifestyle and taste, just send me an email !


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