It was a wonderful stormy weekend in Mill Valley. We brought a little sunshine into our day with a stack of yellow diamond and sapphire rings.
We have a beautiful collection of gemstones at Alix & Company. For this project our customer selected one of our beautiful green sapphires and we built a classic setting to show it off. It is a challenge with all rings to keep the gemstone sitting on top of the finger as rings like to rotate to the side. To address this we flatten the bottom of the band, so that the ring sits comfortably and snugly on the finger. This is a great way to keep the sparkle on the top, where it belongs, and exceptionally comfortable as well.
We finished this ring (a replacement for one that was lost by a client) just before our jeweler, Karen, flew off to Germany to visit her family. It was our last custom piece before the new year of 2016 rolls in. It was a grand way to say farewell to 2015.
In our last blog we demonstrated the steps we take to achieve a custom design using our client's stones. In this post we show what happens once we have decided on a drawing. Using double sided tape we stick the gemstones to the drawing and begin to reproduce the drawing in precious metal, in this case platinum and eighteen karat gold. The final photograph shows the finished emerald and diamond ring.
Recently we took apart a bracelet and we had a pile of diamonds and emeralds. That was fun but we had to figure out, long distance, what our client wanted her new ring to look like. Janet Alix sat down and started to draw, then she emailed the drawings to the client and revised, and revised again. Below are six of the designs we didn't make. Check back next week to see photos of the winning design in the process of becoming a ring.
Giving a gift of jewelry can be as joyful an experience as receiving it. But when you don't know if the jewelry will fit there can be a tense moment when your mother/sister/wife or dear friend opens that precious box. This is where the necklace comes to the rescue.
A necklace is a forgiving piece of jewelry; the same piece might be longer on one woman and shorter on another but it doesn't much matter - necklaces look good in every length. The best part is she can take it out of the box, put it on, and look and feel beautiful right then and there.
You have just started to wear the most beautiful and embellished ring you have ever owned - often your engagement ring or wedding band - and you find that the skin under your ring is raw, red and painful. What is going on? Are you allergic to your ring? Probably not, probably you have ring rash.
Just what is ring rash anyway? Ring rash is an irritation of the skin that is usually caused by trapped water and soap. This breaks down the outermost layer of the bodies' protection resulting in a rash where the broken mantle of the skin allows bacteria to invade the area.
Why is it happening now? The ring may have holes cut out on the underside where the gemstones are set, or it may be extremely wide, or it might be the combination of wearing several rings stacked together. Somehow, irritants are being trapped under your ring and held against your skin and the cure is almost always these three steps:
1. Stop wearing all rings on the irritated finger or fingers.
2. Apply an antibacterial topical cream to the irritated area.
3. Don't wear your rings until the irritation is gone and the finger has completely healed.
To prevent future ring rash keep the area under your ring nice and dry. You can remove the ring while washing your hands and then dry your fingers completely. If you don't want to take off your ring, then, after washing and drying your hands, you must spin the ring on your finger - water will come out from underneath the ring and if you keep spinning it eventually all the water will be gone and the skin will be dry underneath.
Gold is rare and platinum even rarer. Not long ago the only people wearing jewelry were the aristocracy. And guess what - they had servants. Most likely you don't. But your jewelry likes the idea of servants and hopes to avoid the hard objects and grime that go along with:
Your jewelry also believes in relaxation. It likes to listen to music, read a good book, or post some photos online. Let's face it - your jewelry is lazy. It never wants to:
Climb granite cliffs, even the fake ones at the gym
Sail - on boards or boats
Box, even kickboxing
Mountain bike, road bike, stationary bike
Lift weights, even the tiny ones.
If you can't be parted from your rings when you scale Mt. Everest slip them onto a chain around your neck. And remember, you may not be a princess but your jewels are fit for one. Shown below - a place your rings want to avoid!
photo credit: C.M. Watts
Today we finished and delivered a beautiful custom design. The center stone is a marquise diamond. As diamonds go a marquise is a delicate shape - the two points are vulnerable to getting knocked and chipped. For this ring we wrapped the client's diamond in platinum and made a strikingly simple band of brushed twenty-two karat gold to support it. Perfect!