In May 2017, we were humbled to be trusted with a very special gold remodelling project. Local business owner Alison approached SilverStone Jewellery to help her remodel two existing gold rings and combine them into one truly spectacular diamond ring. Having worked with us in the past, Alison was familiar with our personable service and had faith in our ability to design and create a ring that would breathe new life into the valuable materials she was presenting us with.
Alex relishes these types of jobs. Transforming existing jewellery into new pieces is creatively challenging and provides an opportunity for him to apply all the expertise and artistry he’s accrued over the years - the chance to work with a large, high-quality diamond was just the icing on the cake!
So, naturally, we were delighted to accept Alison’s proposal. In the days that followed, we worked closely with Alison to understand her needs and tastes before getting down to business and starting on the production process.
Assessing the existing rings
There’s a bit of a misconception that only broken, flawed or outdated jewellery should be used for remodelling - Alison’s existing rings are a testament to the fact that this is simply not true.
During her initial consultation, Alison presented us with the rings that were to be remodelled. The first was a beautiful 9ct gold wedding ring with 11 diamonds set in a classic channel setting.
The second was her engagement ring, an 18ct gold band crowned with a dazzling 2ct diamond in an elegant, solitaire (four claw) setting.
With these materials forming the basis of her new ring, we knew we’d able to craft something pretty extraordinary.
We’re firm believers that all jewellery tells a story - the story of its owner. So, as jewellery makers, we’re also storytellers and we always strive to ensure our custom work reflects the unique needs, aesthetics and personalities of our clients.
Alison’s requirements were straightforward. She simply wanted a ring that would shine, dazzle and draw attention whenever she walked into a room. To truly enhance the splendour of her 2ct diamond, she wanted to avoid a rub over setting (a type of setting in which a thin bezel of gold encircles the gemstone), but beyond these minor limitations we had total creative freedom.
Drawing on more than 25 years of experience as a manufacturing jeweller, Alex sketched a few different concepts with a focus on elegance, dynamic design and creating an overall striking aesthetic.
After taking Alison’s feedback into account, we settled on an imposing design that was sure to turn heads: a thick 18ct gold band sparkling with 20 round brilliant cut diamonds in a pavé set, at the centre of which would stand the 2ct diamond in all its shining glory.
Upon finalising the design, Alex set about doing what he does best: making jewellery.
This involved stripping the rings of their gemstones…
Here you can see Alison’s 2ct diamond flanked by 11 smaller diamonds (one is out of shot). The remodel design was to feature 20 small diamonds, so we sourced nine additional diamonds the same shape, size and clarity as the originals. This allowed Alison to get the most out of her existing materials while ensuring the design remained cohesive and coherent.
Melting down the gold...
As noted, Alison’s wedding band was 9ct gold and her engagement ring was 18ct gold. While it is possible to combine gold of any caratage, the completed piece of jewellery will always be classified according to the lowest carat of gold used (in this case, 9ct). Some people don’t mind the perceived value reduction; most prefer to keep gold carats separated so as to minimise confusion and maximise value. Alison went the latter route, which we would almost always recommend for a ring of this calibre!
Shaping the gold into a usable gold bar…
The engagement ring did not yield enough 18ct gold for the remodel design, so we topped up the balance using our own 18ct gold supplies. According to GemLab, our indepedent valuers, the final weight of the ring tipped the scales at a mighty 9.99 grams.
Making the setting...
To flaunt the 2ct diamond without compromising its safety, we opted for a rex setting. With six claws securing the gemstone to the ring, this type of setting provides a much higher level of safety and security compared with regular four-claw settings, while still maximising the diamond's visibility. Crown-like in appearance, rex settings are also visually striking and lend a sense of timelessness and sophistication to any ring design.
Over the next few weeks, Alex toiled away in the SilverStone Jewellery workshop, manipulating the metal and slowly giving form to the shapeless lump of gold pictured above. After one last inspection and a final polishing, Alison's ring was finally ready...