One of the most interesting and sometimes complicated aspects of custom design in jewelry is finding a way to aesthetically incorporate old stones or metal into new pieces. Jewelry can hold a sentimental or nostalgic value to a person or family, and while a customer may find an inherited piece of jewelry tired or outdated, they don't necessarily want to trade in the piece for a brand new one. There are not many industries where this type of "recycling" (for lack of a better word) is possible. It is rather gratifying to be able to redesign pieces that the customer enjoys wearing and that still maintain the sentimentality.
We were recently commissioned to redesign an engagement ring for a couple that has been married for some time. They wanted to incorporate the diamond from the previous ring as well as one recently inherited. They wanted a three stone ring, so we had to locate a third stone that would match in cut, carat, color, and clarity. Matching stones can be challenging, but fortunately we successfully accomplished the task! The customers also requested a more vintage-looking piece with the diamonds set as low as possible to the finger. This is the wax of the ring with the stones set in it:
We decided to go with a bezel setting, which is the whole diamond surrounded by metal. While this is one of the safest settings for a gemstone, a drawback is that it can reduce the light coming in, which inhibits the shine of the stone. Therefore, we put tiny cut outs in the sides of the bezel to bring in more light. Since this ring is set in platinum, it is more dense and can better support the diamond with the cut outs, which made us feel more comfortable in doing it. Another way that we were able to integrate the old engagement ring was to remove the part holding the diamond, the head, to make a plain white gold band that would fit nicely next to the new ring. Here are the finished rings: