Jewelry Design Inspired by Existing Designs – Mary’s New Wedding Ring Story
This was the phone call as a jeweler I never want to get. My phone rang on a gorgeous palm tree waving day. "It's Mary, I've lost my wedding ring!"
She had two wonderful kids, one husband and no wedding ring. It's sad, it's a loss, and it's just not right.
Have You Ever Lost a Really Important Piece of jewelry?
It’s just the pits. And if it’s your wedding ring it’s not like you’re going to wait till your anniversary. You need it now.
Mary's New Wedding Ring Story and Jewelry Design Steps
That’s where we were when Mary and I met. “Bring your box of models Calla.” And so I did. I have boxes of designs I have done cast up in brass. It's not pretty, but it allows clients to try on different widths, curves and heights to see what is complementary to their hands. I also have some wax models that I haven't gotten around to casting in brass.
Mary wanted to get inspired by designs I’d already done. After trying on two ring sets and single rings we narrowed it down to one wedding ring design. (See below, with the Halloween Orange background. What was I thinking when I took that picture?)
Then I went sapphire shopping and Mary selected three sapphires. Now it was time to translate the original design to her chosen sapphires.
Modifying an Existing Design to Different Sized Gemstones
Even though we had a specific design, in its current state it wouldn't accept Mary's chosen sapphires. My original design had three bezel set round diamonds. Mary chose three sapphires. The center sapphire was an elongated oval shape. The other two were a different size than my model was made for.
One thing people don't know when designing from an already created design, is how different gemstones affect the design. Diamonds are cut in a specific way to enhance their sparkle. This focuses on symmetry and refraction of light. (Basically getting the light that goes into the diamond to bounce around the inner facets and pop back out.)
Colored gemstones however are cut to enhance the depth of color. This means that they may be cut more deeply to capture more color. Those deeper cutting choices mean that if you take a design made for symmetrically faceted diamonds and decide to make it again with colored gemstones, chances are good that the design made for diamonds will not work for the colored gemstones you choose.
This means that the original design style can be honored, but you can't just plop new gems in the original model. A new wax will need to be made. You will however save money on design time, because the design is figured out. Now measurements can be taken to modify the design to accommodate the new gemstones. Therefore I had a new wax carved to accommodate her new sapphires.
The new wax changed the design by enlarging the center element because of the oval center gem and added height to accommodate the more deeply cut sapphires. We also made the shank wider. This made it unique and worked beautifully for her hand.
Put Your Favorite Features in Your Custom Wedding Ring
Since Mary wears both silver and gold jewelry, she wanted a two tone look in her new ring which she had not had before. The wax was carved in two pieces so it’d be able to be cast in yellow gold and white gold separately and then combined.
Mary's Happy Ending!
I loved this project. Beginning with an existing design was a great starting point. Mary found a model that fit her taste. When we altered it we only improved a design style she knew she liked.
Mary's wedding ring with yellow gold bezels for her sapphires and white gold for the diamonds looks quite different now from the design that inspired it. It looks amazing on her. This is Mary’s story.
What's the Takeaway Question Here?
Do you have a project to be done or a loss to be replaced? Look at existing designs to see what you like. Do something about it. Soon. Really, you'll be glad you did!
Calla Gold, Happy Jewelry Designer
Calla, thank you so much for my beautiful new ring! The loss of a treasured item is never easy, but the joy and ease of designing a new FANTASTIC ring with you was wonderful. Thank you for helping us get through the “in’s and out’s” of custom design, and I LOVE wearing my new ring!
Mary, thank you for your wonderful comment. We had a pretty fun time with the in’s and out’s of custom jewelry design. You’re fun to work with.
Wow–I can’t imagine what would go through my mind if my wife lost her ring, but good to know you’re there to support and create a stunning design. Great job Calla!
Thanks Brennan, may the only reason you design a new wedding ring for your wife be because you are moved to do so for a special anniversary! I appreciate your kind words Brennan,
You are so talented calla that is a beautiful ring.
Madeleine, Thanks so much for taking a moment to tell me you like her ring!
Good thing you enjoy this level of detail as I promise never to compete with you for such work. I would not have the patience. Go Calla!
I’m glad my level of detail has scared you off. Hey wait a minute you’re not a jeweler! You are the fitness queen of the US of A!
Thanks for popping by!
Well it’s always a sad day when one loses their wedding ring. So traumatic. Mary should be ecstatic with her new ring and design. It’s beautiful!!
Mary was ecstatic to get her new ring. Evidently she’s gotten a lot of compliments on it. That just makes me so happy to hear that.
I have a ring I would like recreated. When I was pregnant with my twins, I got PUPPS. It’s an extremely itchy rash that is common with multiples and it mainly was on my arms and fingers. I lost by simple engagement ring and I just want a recreation and a quote; I miss mine so much.
I’ll also respond by email. I’m hoping you have pictures of your lost ring. Or we can start from scratch and create a similar ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
I have a ring I would like to have recreated, my soon to be mother in-law gave me the first ring her husband gave her. It dropped down the drain and I couldn’t get it back. I would really like to recreate it for her.
What a tragedy. I have re-created rings in the past. Having photos is very helpful. These are the views that help me the most:
If you don’t have many good pictures of the gift ring, use Google images to search for rings that have elements of the design and save and label those to create the composite of details that’d make up your ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
I lost my wedding set. The good news is I met a woman years ago who has the same set so I messaged her on facebook and she sent me a picture of her rings. I can send the picture to you by email. I would like to know the cost of having a new one made.
That is amazing that you found a woman that had the same style wedding set. Yay. I’d be delighted to help you. I’d love to see pictures. This blog post tells of the views that help me the most:
I look forward to seeing pictures and working with you.
Your Personal Jeweler,