Jewelry Design Inspired by Existing Designs – Mary’s New Wedding Ring Story

Yellow Gold Bezel set Sapphires and white gold Diamond wedding ring

Mary's New Ring

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?)

Original Design in Wax Form That Mary Liked

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.

comparing gemstone faceted depth

Check out the Varying Depths of These Three. One Diamond and Two Sapphires

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.

one diamond and two sapphires show weight doesn't rule size in facing up position

The Same Three Gemstones. Note the Heaviest One Does Not Look the Biggest.

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.

three sapphires and pave diamond outer rows wedding ring

Three Sapphires In Two Tone Ring

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


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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Mary Ebeling
Mary Ebeling
12 years ago

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!

12 years ago

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!

madeleine Vite
12 years ago

You are so talented calla that is a beautiful ring.

12 years ago

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!

12 years ago

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!!

7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

Paulette Hunt
Paulette Hunt
6 years ago

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.