In this ring, made to commission for a client, I’ve taken inherited family diamonds and fashioned them into a modern, durable setting for understated everyday wear.
The largest stone in the ring is an interesting one, it was bought for the clients’ mother in Johannesburg in the 1950’s by her father, who lived in Rhodesia at the time. The diamond itself originates from South Africa and is of an unusual, old fashioned cut and very high clarity.
When the diamond came to me it was set in a ring which my client didn’t wear and wanted to change for something that better suited her lifestyle. It was very important to my client that she could wear any piece of her jewellery at any time – including while gardening, so the new ring had to stand up to the rigours of use while still being a fitting home for such a beautiful stone.
During a visit to my workshop the client looked through my existing collections and the clean and simple geometry of my Step rings really appealed to her. The diamonds in these rings are set into the surface of the metal, making them very secure and easy to wear. We took this range as our starting point and, while sketching out ideas, a ring emerged which allowed us to have a little height in the top of the band but keep a smooth, uninterrupted profile that ran around her finger and finished with a dramatic lift, up to the other side of the stone.
As a large part of the clients existing jewellery collection was made from yellow gold we used 18ct yellow gold here but offset the warm tones of it with the steely grey of palladium, all finished with my durable, matt surface which is ideally suited to this clients needs.
The ring was made using a combination of traditional hand techniques and modern technology. The two components of the final piece, a yellow gold band nestled between the walls of a palladium ring, were made using Computer Aided Design. This process allows a 3D printer to construct a geometrically accurate ring in wax which is then cast, using the jewellers traditional lost wax method, into my chosen metal. I chose this process as it economically produces perfectly fitting components with minimal solder joints and a highly accurate ring.
Of course, translating a drawing onto a computer is never an entirely perfect process and I like to take the raw components of the ring back to my bench at this stage, to fully refine the shape when I can hold it my hands and judge by eye how it will come together. The two coloured sections of this ring were then soldered into one piece, the ring polished and finished to a subtle matt texture that brings out the contrasting colours of the metal.
The final part of the process is setting the stones and here the diamonds are set at an angle which has allowed me keep the profile similar to the understated Step design, in a small finger size ring, while still providing a secure home for them.
The ring was collected by the client just a few weeks ago and she was very pleased with the way that it had been realised. She later emailed:
“Felt the need to thank you again for creating such a beautiful ring for me. I am really delighted with it, it ticks all the boxes related to gardening and wear-ability.”
… so I trust that it’s been out into her garden already!