"Pierced Through," a Design Element. Is it Right For You?

Ammonite Gem in Yellow Gold

Pierced Through Design Used to Create a Cobwebby Design to Frame Cynthia’s Ammonite Gems.

Adding Spice to Your Jewelry Design is Fun

Cynthia had these awesome Amonites to be set. But she wanted sass, spice and something different. She asked me, “what can we do to set my ammonites uniquely? What Calla Gold Jewelry designing secret do you have up your sleeve?”.  As a matter of fact I did have this technique I was itching to use. Pierced through design!

What Makes a Pierced Through Design?

|Ammonite Gem in Yellow Gold|When you have an expanse of gold and you create negative space in it for a design, that is a pierced through design element. That negative space needs to go through from top to bottom. Cynthia’s gems suggested cobwebs in its pattern look. I decided to use a pierced through design to mimic the cobwebby look.

Another Time I Used This Element

Celtic Wedding Band by Calla Gold Jewlery

Classic Pierced Through Technique was Used to Create this Wedding Band

Sharon and Lee wanted special Celtic letters for their wedding bands. This presented a challenge in that none of us spoke Celtic. Lee chose the letters.

He found examples of the letters on the internet. With out those examples I’d have been unable to give him what he wanted.

We discussed whether to engrave the letters on a solidly made wedding band or to engrave the letters into the wax model so they’d be deeper into the gold.

Lee wanted the letters to go all the way through. This was my first time to make a wedding band with pierced through designs.

The letters were hand carved all the way through in a wax model we made for both of the rings.

They’ve gotten lots of comments on how unusual their bands are.

Using it in Vintage Jewelry

This technique has been used for a very long time. Notice how between the diamonds and metal a small amount of pierced through is used in the vintage ring to the left.

I’d like to point out how this differs from filigree. Some would refer to this detail as filigree. But notice how solid the metal is all the way through the ring where it is pierced through.

Click on the image to expand it and see the solidness of the metal where the spaces are.

How is Filigree Different?

Vintage ring with broken filigree

The Delicate Wire Filigree is Broken in This Ring

With filigree you add the element by using wire. Filigree traditionally is not a supportive element in a ring. If you hit filigree repeatedly on rough surfaces it will bend where the surrounding ring will hold firm.

When working with filigree we first create the frame for where the filigree with go. There are many techniques for filigree making. What I describe here is not the be all end all description.

Once the frame is created then the decorative wire work is done. After the ring is cast and polished, the filigree is added.

Using Pierced Through to Create a Botanical Feel

Diane loves gardening and the natural world. When we got together to create her engagement ring she and her fiances wanted the center diamond to stand alone with no additional diamonds.

She needed a wider ring because her knuckles were larger and a narrow ring would spin.

Knowing I had a wider canvas to work on I wanted to make sure the width didn’t feel heavy as wide solid bands sometimes can.

Being able to see through a ring to the skin below often lightens the visual feel of a ring making the pierced through design helpful in larger ring designs.

Using it Just a Bit

Skull RingSometimes when working on an unusual design the pierced through element I like to use the pierced through element to add drama and interest.

When working on this skull ring I was layering on different texture techniques and added a couple of pierced through elements. It really added to the whole ring.

My Video on Pierced Through Design as an Element

Would You Enjoy a Pierced Through Design Element in Your Ring Design?

Think about it!

Your Pierced Through Designing Jeweler,
Calla Gold

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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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Lori Cooper
10 years ago

Calla, I had not heard of this ammonite stone before. I love what your “cobwebby design.” Such a great way to learn about pierced through designs.
They’ve been doing that with t-shirts lately for the young and rock and roll minded.

Linda Menesez
10 years ago

Calla, what a great technique! I love the “cobbywebby” jewelry design!! It goes beautifully with the ammonite stones. The pierced through designs give them additional texture and interest. I really like the wedding ring too!

You’re so clever with the design, and so talented with the production!


Dr. Lynn K. Jones
10 years ago

Calla, I really appreciate the simple, elegant and creative solutions that you come up with for every jewelry challenge.