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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Platinum Sapphire and Diamond Deco Style Pendant

I custom design and create many beautiful sapphire engagement rings each year, and when a client is ready to celebrate another special occasion or milestone, I really enjoy the opportunity to create another jewel to mark the event. This striking sapphire pendant is a piece I made for a client that wanted to celebrate just such an occasion.

The necklace is crafted in 95% pure platinum in an Art Deco style with a vibrant blue emerald cut sapphire and stark white Asscher cut diamond. The combination of these striking geometric shapes and the brightly polished platinum create a classic look that was inspired by Art Deco designs of the 1920's and 1930's.

My first task was to find the perfect sapphire for this piece. I worked with many of the finest sapphire cutters in the industry to ensure a good selection of exception gems for my client. The sapphire we chose has an intoxicating blue hue that captures your attention even from across the room. Next, I located a gorgeous D color Asscher cut diamond that was the perfect mate for the sapphire. My client only wanted the best and I think these gemstones and pendant met his goal quite nicely.

We agreed that a domed omega choker would be the best way to wear the pendant. The omega offered a geometric design that nicely complemented the linear look of the pendant while providing excellent support and security for this special piece. The domed omega choker maintains a nicely rounded shape around the neckline that does not pull down into a "V" when worn with a pendant. Instead, the jeweled pendant slides nicely along a smooth, rounded outline that surrounds the neck.

I must admit that I have always admired jewels from the Art Deco Period (1920-1940) and have drawn inspiration for my own designs from this fabulous era in jewelry history. Bold geometric shapes, cool white metals like platinum, bold contrasting colors of blue and white are certainly popular elements of Art Deco jewelry which have certainly been captured in this handsome necklace.

In case you are wondering what their beautiful ring looks like...... take a peek at Blue Flame II Ring which I made when they were expecting "twins".

If you are interested in seeing more examples of jewelry I have custom designed for clients, please check out my portfolio. And if you would like to discuss a custom project, please send me an email.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blue-Green Tourmaline and Blue Diamond Torus

Another fabulous gemstone from the Jewelry Expert collection that merits a special jewel is this oval torus ring. The main gem is a stunning blue-green Tourmaline from Afghanistan, cut with negative facets in the pavilion so as to create a dazzling array of brilliance and sparkle. The centerpiece is a natural grayish blue-violet diamond that we bezel set in platinum.

The 8.40 cts oval natural Blue-Green Tourmaline Torus measures 16.9 x 11.9 millimeters; the blue-violet diamond measures 2.15 mm and weighs 0.038 carat. I chose this blue-violet diamond for the center because of it's soft periwinkle color that was a wonderful complement to the verdant hue of the tourmaline.

A special gemstone such as this really deserves an equally special design. Since this is a larger stone, I believe it would work best as a pendant or necklace.

Some time ago I designed a striking necklace for a client in Japan, featuring a round amethyst torus ring and demantoid garnet. My Star Gazer design would be a great option for the oval blue-green tourmaline torus, with some modifications such as an attenuated or more elongated frame.

I was also thinking that instead of a concave diamond shape, perhaps a double outer rim that was also oval shaped and followed the classic outline of the tourmaline with a small round diamond channel set within the outer rim at the north, south, east and west positions. I can also see channel setting a complete line of small round brilliant diamonds forming a series of concentric ovals with the metal work, the diamonds and the torus.

Instead of setting the oval torus tourmaline vertically, it could be oriented horizontally with the pendant designed more as a slide necklace rather than a pendant drop. In this concept, the tourmaline could be set within an oval or cushion shaped yellow gold frame with small trapezoid, bullet or triangular shaped platinum tabs at the four corners, set with small colorless diamonds. The side walls of the frame could either be open and embellished with platinum scrolls or the walls could be solid and hand engraved with a radiating pattern of spikes and lines to create a star-burst effect.

And that leads to another design idea...... and another and yet another.

Sometimes I start with a design idea in my head that takes me on a journey to locate the perfect stone for the creation. But other times, I start first with the selection of a beautiful gemstone that captures my interest and dictates the design.

I must admit that I truly have a passion for exceptional gemstones and these wonders of nature inspire me to design and create jewelry that captivates and intrigues.

That's why I really love my job. So many wonderful ways to feature beautiful gems and create extraordinary jewels that will become a favorite heirloom for generations to come.

Torus rings are also available in round, marquise, pear and sometimes cushion or rectangular shapes. However, most are cut in the round and oval shapes. The talented lapidarist that cuts these stunning beauties often works with blue sapphire, montana sapphire, fancy colored sapphire (violet, pink, yellow and bi-color) as well as tourmaline, aquamarine, tanzanite and amethyst.

If you would like to purchase this fabulous blue-green tourmaline oval torus, please send me an email. I am also happy to discuss possible design options with you for this gorgeous gem.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolution - Designing with Fabulous Gemstones

It's the beginning of a New Year and with that comes the annual list of resolutions. Of course I have all the regulars on my list, but I have also included some fun items this year. One of my resolutions for 2009 is to design new jewels featuring some stunning torus ring gems I purchased on a buying trip last year.

Above is a gorgeous 1.91 carats marquise shaped fancy purple sapphire set with a vibrant mandarin garnet. The purple sapphire is natural (unheated) and was originally mined in Madagascar. It measures L 12.75 x W 6.6 millimeters. In the center is a 1.8 mm round 0.03 carat mandarin garnet from Namibia.

The simplest way to describe a torus is a sort of doughnut shape or basically a circle within a circle. In fact, the torus is a common form seen throughout nature such as in whirlpools, lunar and solar eclipses, the iris of the human eye and natural phenomena like tornadoes and hurricanes (i.e. the eye of a hurricane).

According to the cutter, each gemstone TorusRing™ is individually carved with negative facets that create unique displays of brilliance. The Torus ring can be done in round, oval and marquise shapes.

I purchased this specific gem because I loved the rich purple hue that danced with light as I moved it around on my hand. I set a vibrant orange mandarin garnet within the center that, in my opinion, is the perfect complement to the lush purple hue of the sapphire.

This unusual gemstone now needs a good jewel to showcase it's dazzling brilliance and beautiful colors. I think that the shape and size of this gem is best suited for a ring design.

One thought I have for a ring design is to bezel set it in 18kt yellow gold with a soft satin finish. The band could be of a simple rounded design and accented with tiny colorless diamonds like my Tingle Ring Design.

Here is an example of a Platinum Tingle Ring I made with a beautiful alpine cut fancy purple sapphire and small colorless diamonds. I love the simplicity of this design, the soft look of the satin finish and the striking cut of the purple sapphire.

Another thought would be a two-tone effect, like my Smooth as Silk design. The ring shown above features a dramatic asscher cut diamond bezel set on the diagonal within a platinum band accented with a yellow gold stripe.

Since the feature stone is purple, I think the reverse pattern of a yellow gold body with platinum stripe would be more approriate, like my Bogota Bling ring design featuring this rare Trapiche Emerald. This ring is mostly 18kt yellow gold with just a narrow stripe of platinum for contrast.

The concept would be to set the marquise shaped purple sapphire vertically along the length of the finger and then accent the shoulders of the band with perhaps some small round diamonds channel set within the platinum stripe.

Perhaps a more rounded band design like the Alpine Tingle ring but with the two-tone effect like the Smooth as Silk ring and a total width somewhere in between the two designs would be a nice look.

Well then there is the more dramatic approach to things, like my Secret Garden design which is really one of my favorites. This is a design that I create in platinum or yellow gold then hand engrave with a rolling scroll and flower pattern which is then treated with a blackening material to provide sharp contrast.

A Secret Garden band style would also allow me to bezel set the marquise shaped purple sapphire horizontally for a more unique look. I would then set mandarin garnets within the centers of the flowers to complement the mandarin garnet in the center of the purple sapphire.

With so many wonderful options from which to choose, perhaps one of my readers will allow me to create a spectactular ring for them featuring this exceptional gemstone.

The cost for this purple sapphire and mandarin garnet torus gem is $3,885.

If you would like to purchase this torus ring and discuss design options, please send me an email.

Now on to my next Resolution ....... another special design of course !!