The pink sapphire engagement ring here was one of first engagement rings Richard made, and benefitted from him not knowing what wasn’t possible. Diamonds twinkle through the sapphire and from atop the claws. The soft pale yellow of the 9ct white gold complemented the pink sapphire beautifully. The client wanted a rough hewn texture and has come back for a whole collection of jewellery that continues the theme.
Sapphires and rubies are the same material, corundum, and available in many different colours. Corundum is the second hardest natural substance after diamond, which makes it very suitable for engagement rings.
Along with the pink sapphire engagement ring you can see examples of various coloured sapphire engagement rings as well as ruby engagement rings.
Richard got geeky about the art deco engagement ring here, which is a set with a large moissanite. The ring is inspired by a vintage ring so he got to go to town on the details. Moissanite which is gem grade silicone carbide. It’s an identical crystal structure to diamond, but every other atom is silicone instead of carbon, making it the second hardest stone after diamond, harder than sapphire. It is only man made as far as we know, but who knows what’s encrusted onto exoplanets.
Lab grown diamonds are still surprisingly expensive and this is a useful price, especially for this 8mm stone. The colour isn’t quite as good as a decent diamond, but it’s a little bit twinklier and a good choice for the ethical consumer. It really comes down to what you can find the romance in.
The green of emeralds look great in either the rich yellow of 22ct gold or the bright paleness of unplated 9ct white gold. These are pretty good quality stones as emeralds often have quite a lot going on in them and can be quite pale. Richard sculpted it in wax for casting and the claws tight up against each other was a real challenge, but he really liked the smoothness of the underside of the settings.
Very varied styles here from a classic emerald cut diamond engagement ring to rings that are more ‘out there’. Richard had particular fun with the rocky one. He wanted the diamonds to look like they’d boiled out of the metal in some ancient volcano. One of the yellow gold rings here is an Ohm sign made into three round diamonds, again balancing subtlety and sentiment. It had to mainly look like three lovely diamonds.
Princess cut and emerald cut diamonds offer a crisper feel. We've also been branching out recently with trying different cuts like marquis cut diamonds and cushion cut diamonds, with some really wonderful results.
In Richard's efforts to avoid angles, these twisty engagement rings have come up quite a bit. Making the claws flow from the band suggests the band should have a curve to it. Finding the right degree of subtlety for the client is key here. All of these are platinum with white diamonds and either blue diamonds, sapphires or tanzanite. Texturing the band can enhance this a touch more. One of these actually represents the eye of a lion, and the texture of its mane. Richard focussed on the exact shape of the eye here as he couldn’t put the entire head on her hand, which would have been fun.
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