It is a rare and wonderful occasion when I am friendly with both individuals in a couple and can collect information first-hand. It’s even better when both people have plenty of opinions about the piece that will take up a permanent place of residence on her finger. That was the case with this ring, and I had a blast making it. This future bride is a fabulous New Yorker with a loud and infectious laugh and a general struggle with coordination - suffice it to say, this ring needed to be structurally sound. She also expressed a distaste for anything “fussy” which, in jewelry terms, generally rules out micropave. Favorite colors were green and yellow... and with that, we were off!
The ring features a 3.12ct Green Tourmaline, flanked by four baguettes totaling a quarter of a carat. We chose to do the ring in 14KT yellow gold to soften the yellow-ness of both the metal and the center stone. Tourmalines are breakable if hit along a fracture plane, so we kept nice thick prongs on the corners, and bar settings on the diamonds for added security.
I’m always tickled when a ring I make is assumed to be vintage, which is often the assumption with this one. Whether old or new, I think it is as striking, memorable, and unique as my fabulous friend - a win in my book.
The fun thing about working with friends and customers in New York is that I get to make a variety of rings that are very unique to the individual and their personal style. The super stylish woman that is sporting this ring can often be seen in cropped motorcycle jackets, chunky gold jewelry, and fabulous heels. Her delightful husband dove in with the task of creating a ring that featured the long elegant emerald cut that she loved in a style that was more suited to her personality and taste.
This 14KT Yellow Gold stunner features a 1.51ct H VS2 emerald cut with millegrain detail on the setting. This stone was particularly exciting to find, as it was the first stone I have encountered in my career that had strong blue fluorescence without the characteristic cloudiness that usually accompanies a fluorescent stone. I passed the stone around to all of my diamond district colleagues who have been in the game for decades and tested them on it as well - none guessed the level of fluorescence. This means very little to the customer aside from the fact that she will have the most exciting diamond the next time she attends a rave (or Spencers Gifts)!
Making engagement rings for friends and family is the true definition of a labor of love! This project was for a person who qualifies as one of my oldest friends - a person in whose backyard I played as a kid, in whose company I learned (the hard way) about the woes of mixing liquors, and in adulthood serves as an invaluable connection to home and family.
His lovely significant other had noted her enthusiasm for the rope detail that is featured on this band, and an affinity for the princess cut. This 1.71ct center stone has a double prong on the basket to protect the very pointy corners of the center stone. I asked my jeweler to make sure that the legs of that basket were not too thin, since they will take the brunt of any impact from daily wear and tear. The result is a style that manages to be simple yet interesting, dainty but sturdy, linear and soft.
An increasingly common concern for a lot of my customers is the ethical integrity of the materials used in the creation of a ring. Though the majority of diamonds these days are protected under the Kimberley Process, it does have some loopholes that are disconcerting to many. The most reasonable alternative option is to source the diamond from a Canadian mine, or to consider a colored stone alternative. That was the case with this customer, and though we did locate a nice Canadian stone, we agreed that the visual impact of a gorgeous blue sapphire with white diamond baguettes and yellow gold would be the most aesthetically thrilling. I think we nailed it!
My sister is our father’s daughter. A fairly obvious statement, but what I mean is that she is the spitting image of our father with his Armenian olive skin, brown eyes, and dark hair. My French/Irish mother and I used to joke that they could both get a tan under a 60 watt lightbulb. As a result, there are few other stones that look as good on my sister as a nice yellowy-orange Citrine. So for her 40th birthday I decided to make a cocktail ring perfectly suited for her. This beautiful pillowy cushion cut stone weighs in just under 4 carats, and is set in a simple basket on a channel plus bead setting. This type of setting on the band has a little more metal and makes the whole ring look a bit more structured. After all, if you are going to make a cocktail ring out of rich 18KT yellow gold, you may as well see it!
A big part of what I love about this kind of work is that I am often privy to exciting surprises, and this project was no different. This particular customer determined that a 50th birthday was as good an occasion as any to upgrade his wife’s engagement ring...and boy did he!
Her new ring features a gorgeous 3.45ct Asscher cut diamond, H color and VVS1 clarity that is flanked by 38 small diamonds in a square halo and down the sides of the band.
The customer was kind enough to send a video of the big reveal, and I think her words said it all: “Oh my God.”
I love this ring. There are similar versions of this out there on the market, but for this special piece I had my jeweler follow a general theme and reduce the amount of metal to its most minimal appearance. The result is a very seamless setting that features a round center stone in a square cushion halo with side stones and micropave on the band. The center stone in this type of setting is best kept on the smaller side, as the amount of detailed diamond work around it creates a very big look. From far away and up close it is absolutely endless sparkle!
This ring was a wonderful project that is part of a trans-Atlantic love story! While the customer, who is London-based, jetted around the world for work, I set about finding the perfect stone for his girlfriend who happened to live right here in New York. Since she was a self-proclaimed lover of all things pink, I honed in on Morganites and Tourmalines. Her betrothed and I agreed that we didn’t want to push too far into the raspberry zone, and felt that it would be disappointing to have a stone that was too pale, so the pink Tourmaline with it’s juicy color and peachy tones really hit the mark.
The setting in white gold is simple, but I asked the jeweler to set some ‘secret’ diamonds into the basket for a special detail that would not detract from the overall striking simplicity of the design. I love that the basket looks like a flower - a fitting structure to hold such a pretty pink stone!
I can take very little credit for this fabulous combination. The vintage diamond engagement ring was purchased in a store in northern Wisconsin and features two green emeralds set in yellow gold bezels on the sides of the band. The customer wanted to capitalize on the yellow and green theme for both aesthetic and personal reasons, and as we bounced ideas back and forth she eventually settled on two wedding bands in decidedly different styles.
The first band features a brushed, rough-hewn finish with bead set tiny emeralds scattered throughout. The second band has seven tiny white diamonds set in millegrained bezels on a dainty band. The combination of the two bands together with the vintage ring is nothing short of extraordinary. I love the purposeful dissonance and the color coordination. As the customer said, “I’m jealous of myself!” Well, that makes two of us.
Certainly no one has benefited from my connections to the diamond industry more than my dear sister. There seems to be a standing order now whenever I travel to a stone-buying opportunity that I should purchase something wonderful for her. It’s kind of a fun project really – creative license abounds!
This is a variety of tourmaline commonly referred to as ‘watermelon’ for fairly obvious reasons. You may be familiar with tourmalines in some of the other common colors such as pink, deep green, and blue. Fact is, they come in several of these colors as a result of how they form. You will often see it sold in slices or raw crystals because of how badass they are in a somewhat natural form. Not gonna lie – did a lot of flirting and eyelash batting with the Brazilian men to get a good price. Since my sister has pretty a pretty classic aesthetic, I opted for a fairly simple setting with emphasis on the stone. This is also an example of 18KT Green Gold which I have explained in the Education section of this site. This particular casting company prefers it to yellow gold, so I went with it, but I do think it coordinates nicely with the green in the stone.