The Panjshir Emerald Ring

I am always a little shy when telling people what I do for a living.  It's a little contradictory. I love my job and take a lot of pride in my practice, but I don’t want my friends to feel pressured that they have to buy my jewelry.  Kind of silly, right? After all, in some cases, our clients have been or even become lifelong friends!

I met Yuan in a mom group 11 years ago while I was pregnant with my first child. The beginning of motherhood is a wonderful struggle. There was so much to learn all while recovering from giving birth. The early days were tough, but having a support group and learning together was a blessing. Yuan is such a wonderful friend, and she graciously shared her knowledge about newborns with me. 

When Yuan reached out to me about a ring project, I was SO excited! Having known her for so long, I knew her kids, her life, and her family so well; I wanted to make this piece of jewelry perfect for her. This project was going to be a ring that she could pass down to her daughter, who I adore so much.
Initially, she wanted a green gemstone for a ring but was not sure what kind of gem to get. 

I went on a painstaking journey to find her just the right stone. From tourmaline to tsavorite, I sourced all of the major green-colored fine gemstones to see which she liked best.

In her mind, all were OK, but when she spotted one of the Colombian emeralds I was working on for another client, she immediately fell in love with the intense green color that an emerald carries. Once we narrowed down the stone type, I continued the hunt and eventually found another emerald that displayed the same vibrant color within her budget.

And here we go! A 2.20 Panjshir Emerald (image above, top right stone) which has the exact neon green color as the 3.5 Colombian emerald (left stone)

Emeralds from Afghanistan come from the Panjshir Valley high up in the Hindu-Kush Mountain range in the northeast of the country. Records of mining in Afghanistan dating back over 7,000 years include Pliny's description of the area as a source for green gems, presumably emeralds.

We sent this emerald to AGL lab, one of the most reputable gem labs in the U.S., to have it certified.  The report indicated the gem was “No Oil”, which means there were no clarity enhancements done to this natural gem! Oiling emeralds is a very common practice to make the inclusions less noticeable. It is extremely rare for an emerald to have no treatments and still appear clean. 

I believe it is important for clients to learn about their investment. Interested in what a gemstone certificate from a reputable lab looks like? Attached is the certificate of this emerald below.

With the emerald chosen, we could move to the next step.  Choosing a stone is so gratifying, but designing with a one-of-a-kind stone is pure excitement! We discussed the type of rings she likes and delved into design possibilities that fit her lifestyle. One key question was “solitaire or a three stone ring?” After flirting with many options including different side stone choices, we both agreed that this emerald would be splendid as a three stone ring. The final design incorporates a matching pair of pear shaped white diamonds, F color, 0.4 carats in total.

18K yellow gold was chosen for the center setting to complement the green color of the emerald, but we used platinum to build the shank and settings for the side diamonds. Metal is not just a functional part of the ring - the color of each alloy is an important factor in the design process.

I’m sure you are curious as to how we set the diamonds and emerald. The beautiful video below will share more details.

And voilà! The finished ring.  I am so glad that we could make this extraordinary ring for Yuan -- a beautiful ring for a beautiful friend.