The Teal Sapphire Engagement Ring
Recently, a young Bay Area couple reached out to us about a custom project. Olivia and her boyfriend had collected a beautiful teal sapphire from a gem dealer that specializes in Sri Lankan gems. It was my first time working with a natural sapphire in this distinctive color. Naturally, I was excited to see the stone in person!
The stone was incredible -- It was the color of the deep sea and truly special. After all, this would be the centerpiece of their custom engagement ring! An engagement ring is a symbol of life commitment. It is an honor to make pieces of jewelry that are used at a ceremony of love and will be cherished for decades.
During our first meeting, I showed Olivia some rings in progress from our studio. Often people are attracted to the aesthetics of jewelry but don’t match it to their lifestyle. I explained the pros and cons of the various styles so she could visualize how her ring would ‘live’ with her.
The young couple are very athletic and enjoy many outdoor activities together. Olivia prefers effortless jewelry that requires minimal maintenance. I suggested building the ring in a simple clean style; after all, it will be an everyday ring. For her lifestyle, a streamlined ring shank without pavé will be durable and meet her needs.
Regardless of style, I always advise clients to take off all jewelry before exercise. Whether you are into weight lifting, cardio, swimming, or climbing, these activities aren’t good for jewelry. Repeated pressure on rings can cause them to deform, potentially leading to a loose gemstone.
We talked through many details, and in the end, Olivia liked the style of the three stone ring we made for the panjshir emerald ring. To complement the teal sapphire, we presented different side stone options. These included antique old European cut diamonds as well as half-moon and epaulette shaped diamonds.
Olivia picked a pair of recycled old European cut diamonds as the side stones. Want to know more about antique cuts? I wrote about this cut of diamond in the Magnificent Old European Cut Diamond Ring. Like the OEC diamonds, the teal sapphire was cut with a higher crown. The complementary cuts made the setting a show stopper.
After stones were selected, we measured Olivia’s ring finger size and talked more about prong style and ring band thickness. I used 3D software to build the ring model and create a rendering. This allowed her to see the ring in virtual form.
The rendering looks pretty realistic - this process is so essential. It helped Olivia visualize what her ring will look like.
Once she approved the 3D rendering, we printed a resin model of the ring. A physical prototype allows the client to experience the design before we make it in metal. We can even put the stones in place so the composition is complete. Such a great way to ensure the proportions are right for your hand.
With the final approval in place, we began to build her ring in platinum. We combined casting and hand fabrication to build the platinum ring setting; the hand-built prongs will be very durable for Olivia's daily wear.
A short video clip shows a fraction of how much time it really takes to build this ring. I hope you enjoy watching it.