I finally drove over and paid a visit to Diamonds Direct. It was AWESOME, SO many things to learn, and they even offer a glass of sparkling cider while you wait.... I walked through the airlock door and there's TONS of engagement rings. So cool and such a great place to get ideas from. Anyhow, I was helped by Ori, a very nice Israeli man, and he taught me for the next hour and a half how to tell different levels of inclusions as well as color gradients and polish, cut, and weight. He also showed me the difference in feel between the 14K white gold and platinum. It was awesome.
After accepting the fact that I had done previous research but had nothing physical to serve as context to my research, I was still, in fact, a total newby. Ori showed me these pamphlets with the basic shapes for a round cut diamond, as well as the different classifications. He also showed me which thresholds of certain parameters are visible to the naked eye. This makes it so that a diamond may have imperfections, but you can't see them when looking at it, so it APPEARS the same as a diamond twice its cost. So, I'm excited, because I may be able to now use a shape/sized stone a bit bigger or better than I was anticipating!
Doodling and doodling a bit more...
I'm thinking that the 3 stone could still be really nice, but I'm still exploring other options. Above are a few sketches and ideas such as music symbols (as we met through music at church), flower petals, a "knot"...hah..still working on it. It's also hard to draw these realistically.... as in...a nice but modest stone according to the chart in the previous post may be closer to the thickness of the band, whereas I've sketched a HUGE stone in some of these, hah. Some girls go for that apparently, but Christine is not one of those who wants to tout a huge rock for show.... she's into the modest beauty types of things:) I like that. I think it could really make the design be simple, but say a lot.
So my original plan was to go to Diamonds Direct yesterday morning (of Valentine's Day) and go to compare stone types, sizes, prices, everything. However, I ended up staying at Christine's parents' place for Friday night and Christine and I actually spent the entirety of Vday together which was fantastic for many reasons.
Naturally, that made it rather difficult to secretly visit a diamond store.
However, upon coming home tonight and checking out different stone sizes, here's one of many charts on display showing the stone carat weighting with corresponding diameters.
I am trying to figure out if doing a 3 stone ring will be the way to go aesthetically. Based on some of the vintage rings shown previously, I'm not sure if she would like 3 of the same size in a row or one main central stone with two slightly smaller stones to the sides. A comparison below:
So after work today, I spent a few minutes and according to the post it sketch below with the dimensions from Scott, barring any real features, here's the Size 7 ring:) I'll of course be working on it more, so stay posted for the next line of features. I'm going to swing by Diamonds Direct tonight to check out some stones to get an idea of what to expect and design for!
So I spoke with Scott again today regarding where to start. So far it comes down to determining the diamond first. That probably seems like a no brainer to all you guys reading this, but I've been thinking about metal types, prices, finishes, ring design types, different size formatting, etc... There's a lot to look into.
So I still want to make the ring. It's happening.
As stated before, Christine is a size 7, so according to the chart above, that makes a 17.3mm inner diameter.
Scott gave me some of his professional recommendations for design parameters and they are as follows from the sketch above:
- No more than 2.5mm thick for the band thickness at the sides
- No more than 2mm thick for the band thickness at bottom
- For a more rounded feel, round the edges to a 0.2mm fillet (rounding of corners)
- For prongs to hold onto a main central stone, prongs need to be at least 1.1-1.2mm in diameter.
- For prongs holding in secondary or side stones of a three stone ring, a minimum of 0.8mm is the going rate.
I'm excited to get started, and will post shortly with sketches and some new ideas collaborating principle design elements of the rings posted previously!
She's Posted About Vintage Rings...
So this is pretty cool, right?! It has some carving and engraving, some mini diamond inlays as well as a round diamond held in by a four prong clasp... I took some more time and found some of these when searching for Vintage Rings... I was also looking for rings with diamonds and sapphires as I thought it could be nice... Still trying to figure this stuff out! Still haven't found the right ring out there yet, which is GREAT! ... Because I still want to make it for her.
So today I mustered up the guts to ask Christine's dad for permission.
It wasn't anything super fancy, but he gave his Blessing and I am SUPER excited to get going on this!
I know Christine likes the following:
- Vintage looking rings - anywhere between the 1920's - 1950's ring styles
- Her birth stone is Sapphire, and she's talked about how her mom and sister both have a mix of saph's and diamonds and how she likes that
- Her style is modest and creative rather than super gaudy or flashy. No princess stuff or massive stones with little bands...
- She's a size 7. I knew that was my lucky number all my life for a reason... to help me remember this haha.
- She likes wearing gloves in the winter, so a recessed stone rather than a standalone solitare may be a better choice so she doesn't have to take it off all the time when it gets cold out.
I want to design in CAD, 3D Print, and cast the ring, as well as choose and set the stone(s) for the ring. If I can't do all of those steps, that's fine, but I would love to be able to design this myself instead of going to a shop.
Talking with Scott Bailey now, a custom jewelry designer for some tips on where to start, and I'll be posting soon. He is an acquaintance turned friend who's helping me/I'm hiring for some professional advice on design parameters for the ring and setting and such. I'm SUPER stoked. He's a fantastic ring designer, so I can't wait to hear what he has to say.
I'll post soon with some prelim sketches for possible concepts!
My name is Richard and I'm 24. I'm Catholic, and am blessed to have a solid working job as an engineer which I look forward to each day. I grew up in a super classy place called Manassas, VA, went to college as a Duke Dog at James Madison University, and now live in Richmond, VA. RVA!