Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ring Update!

Saturday Sean and I took a much anticipated trip to the jeweler. We're using Randy's for a couple of reasons. First, he's the jeweler that does all of Sean's mom's jewelry. Second, he does custom work. And when I say custom, I mean custom. Not just taking diamonds from an old ring and putting them in a new one. We're talking cutting apart two rings to make one, or even hand designing a ring in wax and creating it from scratch. Luckily, we'll be able to use two rings soldered together. 

This is grandma's ring: 

Gorgeous, right? The center stone is .52 cts, and each of the tiny stones is .2 ct. The stones are of a pretty good quality. I'd keep the original ring even, except that it's about 3 sizes too big, and most of the stones are missing their prongs. Grandma wore the ring every day, and you can tell.

Anyways. I've always loved the split shank design. Always. This is the inspiration picture I took to Randy's with us, just to give him a better idea of what I/we (Sean's pretty much letting me design it) were looking for. 

I fell in love with it. The little tiny sparkling diamonds, the split shank (ie, the gap in the middle of the ring), everything. The ring, unfortunately, retails for about $6000 however, which is WAY out of any price range we might have. So Randy started talking and drawing, and I started watching and listening.

At first, Randy pulled out books. He wanted to find something close to what I wanted with as little work possible, which would be best for us, cause that means less labor cost. Unfortunately, nothing really stood out. After looking through 4 or 5 books, and over 900 pictures of rings, they all started looking the same, and I was starting to get discouraged. I KNEW that we could get a ring like this, it was just a matter of how. 

Then, Randy pulled out another book. This time, the book only had top settings of rings, no diamonds even in the pictures. He said he could take the top setting and attach it to any other ring. This opened up thousands more possibilities. We found a setting that had a center diamond mount (that my tiny diamond would fit into - did you know 1/2 a carat was small in engagement ring land?), and then on either side it had a triangle of 3 small diamonds - that my other diamonds would fit into as well! Success! We have the top of the ring. Randy said that it shouldn't be a problem to find the split shank design I want for the rest of the ring, but that he was going to take the week to do it so that he could get the best possible design. 

We're probably going to end up buying 16-20 small diamond chips for the shank of the ring, but they don't cost much, so it won't be too big of a deal. We'll also be trading in the gold on grandma's ring (which is 18k, because she was allergic to less), so our cost will be offset even more. We're hoping to get the ring for around $600, but not more than $1000. 

Next Saturday we're going back, and hopefully he'll have a final design ready. Yes, I know this is happening super early, but since we're moving to who-knows-where, we want to have the small stuff like this settled. 

While we're on the the topic of rings/diamonds, I want to address the difference of thought between Columbia and St. Louis. In St. Louis, my rings are considered "small," almost to the point of "embarrassingly small" to some people. Yet, in Columbia, I have huge diamonds. Strange, isn't it? I wouldn't want anything bigger by all means. I just find it to be an interesting phenomenon. 

The prospect of the ring has me positively giddy though. 

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