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A client wanted to breathe new life into a set of high-quality rubies. She was thinking of a bezel design for a simple ring. However, she was concerned that the earrings she wanted to wear with the ring wouldn’t match well side by side with the two-carat center ring stone that she had. I felt that the mountings were what was disguising the true color of the ruby earrings and that those rubies did match the rubies in the ring quite well. After removing all the stones from their original settings, we saw that they were a match so the project was a “go”.
We talked about the design and looked at some pictures on my computer. I have a large number of photos of three-stone rings and other rings that I have made over the years that can provide ideas for my clients. I was leaning toward a hand- fabricated design. My client liked the simplicity and clean lines of my fabricated work. The designs with open spaces that opposed the solid areas caught her interest. I did a thumbnail sketch as we spoke. I always make sure that the client has a clear idea of the piece to be made. This client and I have created a number of pieces together so this process went quite fast.
“That’s it!” she said when I showed her the drawing. We were off on a new project.
Here are a group of photos taken during the construction. For me a hand-fabricated ring always starts with mixing the 24K gold and alloy to make the wire or sheet metal required. When I am constructing a ring such as this, I have a mental picture of it and the steps needed to make that finished piece. This ring, for example, has 13 parts all made from scratch in yellow and white gold. You may notice my signature open- band design. The ring is made up of two bands open at the bottom for comfort and stability.
The soldering phase of the construction is complete. You will note the subtle differences from the drawing. We talked about adding diamonds for a little sparkle. To keep the old world feeling of the design, we chose to add two old European-cut diamonds that were bezel set between the rubies in white gold. As you can see, the gold is rough and discolored. In making a piece of fine jewelry the stone setting and finishing can take longer than the construction of the piece.
Here you see a study of simple elegance. Or at least it looks simple when finished!!