Designing Alex's Ring5 November, 2005
People often ask me about the design process involved in a jewelry commission, so I thought I would document a recent example.
Andrew proposed to Alex on the top of Mount Roraima in South America with a ring he made from a quartz crystal he found in a river bed.
When they returned from their travels Andrew asked me to design and make her engagement ring.
The following documents some of our correspondence about the ring design and includes renderings of the other designs we considered.
I felt the ring design should have some connection to Mount Roraima, so the first thing I did was to research the area. In particlular I was interested in whether any gems were mined there.
In my first e-mail to Andrew I suggested that we use their trek up Mount Roraima and/or his quartz crystal ring as inspiration for the design. I also mentioned the possibility of using a natural diamond crystal rather than a cut stone to reflect the quartz crystal ring he made for her.
The photos above show the quartz crystal ring Andrew made, yellow bromeliads growing between rock blocks and the strange rock formations on Mount Roraima. From these I rendered a number of designs for Alex's engagement ring...
Design 1: With Andrew's crystal ring in mind, the design above uses a round platinum wire setting to hold natural Octohedral Diamond Crystal. Natural Diamond Crystals are found in numerous different forms, cubes, spheres, dodecohedrans and octohedrons amongst others.
Design 2: Reflecting the yellow bromeliads they came across on their trek, this design incorporates a large yellow sapphire in a heavy walled setting. 22k gold striations crisscross the grey 18k palladium white gold ring shank.
Design 3: Here small yellow sapphires are set in ravines around the ring.
Design 4: Here again a natural octohedral diamond crystal is used, but this time held in a heavier setting. 18k pink gold striations across the band evoke those on the river bed where Andrew found the Quartz Crystal.
I e-mailed Andrew a final design rendering showing how the green diamond crystal from Roraima would look set between two heavy platinum walls. I suggested a rounded ring shank rather than flat to compliment the spherical crystal. We also agreed that the ring and setting should be clean, crisp and polished in contrast to the rough diamond. Alex loves her engagement ring and the time and thought Andrew put into it's design makes it all the more special.