The Commissioning of an Engagement Ring

Working with a designer makes the process of creating an engagement ring very personal and allows you to commission something completely unique for your bride to be. As a goldsmith I’m able to sit down with visiting clients to discuss the options for style, precious metals, stones and, importantly, budget, to find something that’s perfect for them.

This ring began life as a request to use a single diamond with sapphires in a delicate curvilinear shape. To help the client decide on which style would best suit his intended, I produced a wide variety of initial designs as a starting point varying between conventional shapes and more contemporary asymmetric styles.

The client chose option ‘A’, with its narrow, knife edged profile and neat delicate blue line of tiny sapphires curving around the diamond. I then showed the client a choice of diamonds that fitted within his budget explaining the differences in quality between them and also choosing the ideal sapphire colour.

I always give commissioned pieces my personal attention so, having worked out the three-dimensional profile of the ring, rather than using 3D printing, I then hand-carved it’s deceptively complex sculptural form in wax which allowed me to adjust the piece as I worked, tailoring the design to perfectly fit the clients vision.

It was first cast into silver using the ancient lost wax process, after which I carefully adjusted its sculptural form to achieve the necessary detail and accuracy. This ‘pattern’ was then moulded and cast in platinum before being carefully hand-finished with fine files, emery papers and ‘water-of-ayr’ stone to further refine the shape before being hand-polished on a rotary machine and finally microscopically set with the stones – eureka!

My final part in the making of the ring was to fit a lining into an empty tin of vaseline, providing a secure hiding place for the ring. As the client worked for a cosmetics manufacturer this went entirely unnoticed until the opportune moment .

A year or so after the proposal this couple asked me to design and make their wedding rings, which is just about the best compliment that a jeweller can have. I designed a specially formed band to nestle alongside the engagement ring while the gentleman’s ring was a pure and simple heavy polished platinum band.

It’s a happy coincidence that indulging my love of creating special pieces of work also contributes to the story of people’s lives – a real privilege.

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