Feb 5

Vintage Diamond Eternity Band – A Ring Sizing Story

By Calla Gold

Delicate, Small Sized, and Seemingly Unwearable

Intricate vintage diamond eternity band, part way through redesign

What a Beautiful, Intricate Design! I Was Excited to Work with This Wedding Band.

Tansy was a finger size eight, and her grandmother had been a size four-and-a-half. When she inherited her grandmother’s diamond eternity band six years ago, it was clear that she wasn’t getting it onto her finger without a little help.

“This ring is so beautiful,” Tanzy told me over the phone. “I can’t stand to not wear it. In the small town I live in no one will touch it. Actually they said it couldn’t be done. But I’d love you to prove them wrong!”

Challenge accepted!

This is the story of how we overcame small size, tiny settings, and long distance to make Tansy’s diamond eternity band ring wearable at last.

Hello, My Art Deco Friend

An Example of Art Deco Design. Notice the Similarity in Fitted Patterns Between the Ring and This Window.

An Example of Art Deco Design. Notice the Similarity in Fitted Patterns Between the Ring and This Window.

When Tanzy first sent me pictures of her eternity band, I knew that I would be working with a piece of art. The ring was filled with baguette diamonds in an eye-catching, geometric pattern – truly a stunning example of 1920s and 30s Art Deco style!

Even after 35 years of working as a jeweler, Tanzy’s diamond eternity band stood out to me as something special. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive!

When the package finally reached my doorstep, I opened it immediately.

Light reflected off the facets of the ring’s small diamonds. Flecks of color flashed and played across the white wall in front of me. It was like the ring was greeting me and saying, “Hello! Let’s go.”

A Laundry List of Steps to Take

Once I had the chance to closely examine the ring, I could see that it needed more than just an extreme resizing.  It had a very delicate design that seemed barely able to hold on to its diamonds. This told me it would need to be strengthened. The lines of platinum were so thin that it seemed like one good crack against a marble counter top would send the gems flying. Yikes!

I began Tansy’s project by duplicating the intricate Art Deco pattern on paper, for what would become a new section of her ring. I then had to open her ring without damaging it — easier said than done!

This opening process involved carefully cutting through a section of the ring from top to bottom, in this case on the diagonal and then slowly heating the metal. Once properly heated, the metal was malleable and much easier to coax open to the desired size. We then created the new matching piece to bridge the gap. I was able to insert the new section of platinum, which brought the ring to a size eight.

Beloved Yellow Gold Adds Warmth and Solves a Problem

Diamond Eternity Band Mid-Restoration

With the Yellow Gold Accent Bands Added, the Ring Is Stronger and Better Protected.

Once the ring was properly sized, some of the delicate platinum settings were re-built. We added a rounded 18kt yellow gold accent to each edge of the ring. These yellow gold outer accents were designed to rise slightly above the level of the original ring, to protect the diamonds and settings.

The yellow gold also serves another purpose, Tansy loves yellow gold, and these accents allow her to wear her grandmother’s ring with her other yellow gold pieces.

Hunting for Diamonds

The last step was to find diamonds to fill out the expanded ring. Because these diamonds needed to match the cutting style and color of the originals, finding the right ones was challenging and proved to be the most time consuming part of the entire process.

Diamond Eternity Band with yellow gold

The Finished Product!

It took about a month to locate the older cut style of diamonds that we needed, select the ones that were the correct color of white, and slightly re-cut some of them to fit the design just right.

With all the diamonds in place, Tanzy’s ring was ready to be returned! This rebuilding project resulted in a fabulous and (more importantly) wearable ring. Tansy was ecstatic that she could finally wear her grandma’s vintage band. I was too!

What Does it Cost to Size a Diamond Eternity Band?

The diamond eternity band project ended up costing $2,230.00 and took about nine weeks to complete. It carried significant sentimental value for Tansy, and she can now wear her ring for years.

“It’s truly an heirloom now instead of the ring that taunts me that I can’t wear. One of these days one of my nieces will wear it. It’s priceless to me.”

Before and after of diamond ring redesign

The Resizing and Addition of Yellow Gold Personalized the Ring, While Keeping it True to the Original Design.

I consider this a blue ribbon example of my motto: “Wear it, Don’t Warehouse it!”

Loving Vintage Rings,
Calla Gold

 

7 thoughts on “Vintage Diamond Eternity Band – A Ring Sizing Story

    • Hello Dr. Lynn,
      Years ago I wouldn’t have thought that this could be done either. The fact of the matter is that a lot of jewelers would say “this can’t be done” or “that’s a bad idea” or “just don’t wear it” or some such thing. I understand that, earlier in my career I would certainly have passed on this job.
      I guess that’s why it was kind of joyful to do this job. We removed quite a few of the surrounding diamonds before working on the platinum. It was time consuming and I love how it came out. Thanks.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

    • Dear Jennifer,
      I think the thoughts of how it could have gone wrong didn’t occur until the final polish. I held it and looked at it, slowly turning it and not seeing another spot needing polish. Then I looked more deeply, seeing engraving, high polish, and sparkly diamonds and saw that it could have been a real disaster. Delicate, older pieces can do weird things when you apply heat years later. Old metal and new metal can do weird things. While dreaming about what to do I didn’t think of how it could go south. Only at the end when it looked dreamy and perfect in my heart, did I let myself think of what ifs.
      I think it comes from my days riding horses. If you headed to the jump and thought your horse could shy and run out and dump you and how much it’d hurt, you were way more likely to hit the dirt. I learned to look at that jump with anticipation and commit myself with balance and trust. Then I’d feel Red gather himself under me and launch us, defying gravity, to soar over that bright and colorful jump. The excitement blanked out thought, and suspended in time we flew. Then suddenly he was landing and I was looking at the next jump and it began again.
      Horses taught me a ton about life and jewelry.
      Thank you for your lovely words Jennifer.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

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