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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Progression of a Design

Clients often ask me how I come up with a design.  

  • Do I seek inspiration from a specific gemstone?  
  • Or do I have the design already in my mind and look for the best gem for that design?  
  • Do I take an existing design of mine and modify it to suit the needs and style of a specific client?
  • Do I look to the past and study ancient and antique jewels, architecture, textiles, motifs and gather inspiration from historical designs?
The answer is.....ALL OF THE ABOVE !

I want to write about how a design progresses as I modify it to fit the needs of a specific client,  to explain one example of how I create variations on a theme...and perhaps a new design all together.

A great example of a design that I have developed over the years and cultivated into other designs, is an early creation of mine,  called Cool Ice.

The first Cool Ice ring I made featured a fine grade 2 carat oval diamond (E,  VS1),  set low in four heavy gauge prongs, flanked by two trilliant cut diamonds burnish set flush within the shoulders of the band.  The ring itself was a thick, heavy and brightly polished smooth band that was as wide as the base of the trilliant diamonds and tapered in width to form a gentle dome style ring.

The  first client for whom I made this design is a brain surgeon so we often called this the Brain Surgeon Ring.  The design quickly became quite popular on our website and resulted in many clients wanting their very own "Brain Surgeon's Ring"  or something similar with variations.

I have made this design, many times, in all platinum with oval and trilliant diamonds (as shown above),  and also in an 18ktyg and platinum combination with the same type of stones.   Later, I made this design with a round center diamond and trilliant side diamonds for clients that preferred round to oval.

Some clients desired a more rounded, softer edge dome style ring where as others requested a sharper edged band with a flatter profile for a more geometric approach.

So far,  all of these were pretty similar concepts of the original design with just some minor tweeking here and there.

One day, a client asked me to locate for him a nice round, larger size diamond.  We talked about my Cool Ice design,  but he wanted something a little different.  I suggested a wider band,  not tapered,  with an inlay of  rose gold, forming a stripe along the entire circumference.  I also thought polishing the ring with a satin finish would produce a nice high-tech look.  My client agreed and so began the creation of yet another design:  Roses and Satin.

I love the stark combination of the platinum and rose gold stripe along with the soft satin finish we applied to the metal surface.

But wait....I'm not done yet.  There is more to the Cool Ice Design yet to be fashioned !!

One day, a client approached me about my Cool Ice design,  but his "fiance-to-be" loved sapphires.  Since blue is her favorite color,  he wanted to feature a rich blue oval sapphire in a ring based on our Cool Ice design.  This was the beginning of my Cool Blue series.

I have made Cool Blue many times, with a variety of gorgeous oval blue sapphires from 1 1/4 carats up to 4 carats.  I have to admit that Cool Blue has now surpassed Cool Ice in terms of custom order requests, as more and more women are choosing sapphire for their engagement ring instead of the more traditional diamond.

Cool Blue lead to another version called Horizontal Blue, when a young couple wanted an oval Tanzanite set horizontally.  I chose fancy yellow side diamonds for this ring as yellow is a complementary color to blue-violet.  I also suggested a sturdy bezel setting for additional protection to the Tanzanite which is not as hard as sapphire or diamond.

The original Horizontal Blue was made with a matching contoured wedding band.  But I have also made matching contoured wedding bands for the Cool Blue and the Cool Ice rings.  And don't miss the Concave Facetted Horizontal Sapphire Ring which is really striking or the Mini Horizontal Blue for a more diminutive look.

So what's next ?    Horizontal Violet of course !

Many women love the colors Purple, Violet,  Periwinkle and Plum.   Fortunately,  sapphires are available in all of these hues and therefore offer a wonderfully durable gemstone for an engagement or every day ring.

I have yet to create this with an orange or pink sapphire.....any takers out there?    I think this design would be fabulous with a bright pink gem !

If  Red is your about a Horizontal Red Spinel to grace your finger.   This example features an intense Fire Engine Red cushion cut red spinel in a brightly polished bezel.

I could go on and on and on !   But I think you get the picture.  The Cool Ice.....Cool Blue.....Horizontal Blue design can be made with oodles of variations to suit your personal style and taste.

The options are only by our imagination.

For more information on any of these rings,  click on the photos for links to my website with additional photos and details of these rings.

I am also happy to discuss with you a custom Cool Ice.....Blue,  Horizontal...or whatever your fancy.  Just send me an email.

Until next time.....
                              Judi Anderson