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Monday, December 6, 2010

December’s Jewel of the Month had two inspirations. I first blogged about it in October, when I mentioned that I was working on a ring that was partly a tribute to this photo of Yoko Ono.

This issue of Rolling Stone came out in October 1981. I was always attracted to the solemnity of this photo: the direct gaze partially veiled by the sunglasses and the black top enlivened, just the tiniest bit, by what appears to me to be a heart-shaped diamond pendant.

I’ve had mixed feelings about heart-shaped gems because some are cut poorly and look too flat across the top — more triangular than heart-shaped. The same issue arises with bezel settings for heart-shaped stones. I generally prefer bezel settings to prong settings, but it’s easier for a jeweler to create a setting that is more triangular than truly heart-shaped. Yoko’s photo made me want to create a bold jewel with a perfectly shaped and perfectly set heart-shaped diamond.

Meanwhile, I wanted to add to my collection of Gravity rings, so called because they’re extra hefty. I designed the original chunky Gravity ring in 2001 for my own wedding because I wanted something that didn’t look like a typical wedding band. (The fact that I wear it on my right hand — it’s too wide to fit on the same finger as my engagement ring — adds to that non-wedding-band effect.) Here’s the original ring.

The original Gravity ring. Click for more information.

While creating a wedding band for my gorgeous friend Jen this year, I went back to that 2001 concept. Jen didn’t have an engagement ring, so her wedding band needed to be an important-looking ring, not some wimpy little thing. Here’s the result:

Click for the post on Jen's custom wedding band.

You can’t miss it, right?

Jen's ring on her wedding day. You can also glimpse the ring I designed for her husband, Kevin.

There are no rings visible in this wedding photo but I had to share it anyway because it’s beautiful.

Jen and Kevin smooch.

Anyway, after doing Jen’s ring, I started liking the idea of a single, chunky ring for certain customers instead of both an engagement ring and wedding band. As I saw with Jen, a big, modern-looking band makes as much of a statement as an engagement ring does. Other pluses:

  • It’s unisex: A man and a woman could have matching rings. It would also work for two women getting married, or two men.
  • It’s ergonomic: The stones are set flush with the metal, or nearly so. You won’t get it snagged on anything, the way you might with a ring with a very high setting.
  • It’s versatile: It doesn’t have to be worn as wedding jewelry at all. I often wear the gold-and-black-diamond Gravity ring on my right index finger and I have several gorgeous customers who also wear that version as a right-hand ring.

Still, I might not have proceeded with another Gravity style this year if I hadn’t had a strong interest in a heart-shaped diamond. Many of my designs result from a merging of two separate aesthetic impulses. In this case, the combination was irresistible. Here is my new creation and December’s Jewel of the Month.

WendyB's heart-shaped diamond ring. Photo by SquareMoose.

The band is just over 1/4″ wide. The original Gravity ring is 7/16″ wide. I want to offer a variety of widths, as well as a variety of gems. And just to show that the ring can be worn on a variety of fingers, here it is on my thumb.

I give this thumb ring two thumbs up.

When I first saw the wax model of this ring, the setting was not perfectly heart-shaped. My goldsmith saw my expression and said, “I know! I know! This is just to show you the width of the band.” As you can see, he got the setting just right. He knows what I like. (He also knows I’ll never accept any work that isn’t exactly what I want.)

This ring will be made to order. The original is platinum but it can also be done in 14K or 18K gold.  Price will depend on your choice of gem and metal. If you’re interested in creating your own ring, holla at me at wbjewelry at hotmail dot com.

I’ve been mulling over a possible new name for the Gravity ring line — something more descriptive of my vision of this style as an engagement ring/wedding band blend. I wish the phrase “One ring to rule them all” didn’t belong to The Lord of the Rings! And before you suggest it, “my precious” is definitely out.

If you have a great name idea for this ring style, leave it in the comments. If I use yours, I’ll send you a silver Teeny Genie necklace, so put your thinking caps on.

NOTE: The new name would apply to all existing or future “Gravity” styles, not just the heart ring.

UPDATED TO ADD: Thanks for all the great suggestions! I’m going to do some heavy-duty thinking about the name and don’t expect to make a decision until after the new year. Feel free to keep submitting ideas until I make an announcement.

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61 Responses to “Jewel of the Month: Heart-Shaped-Diamond Ring”

  1. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl
    Twitter: juliaohso
    says:

    I came up with something else – “Hold You Down” or “Hold Me Down”

  2. Vivian says:

    Those rings are super cool Wendy! I can’t carry off chunky rings, but I know some girls who would love this kind of modern look over traditional rings. When I saw your heart ring, I instantly thought of the E.E. Cummings poem we used in our ceremony = “I Carry Your Heart”.

    xx Vivian

  3. I like “Singularity” for the whole line – because they’re designed to be worn on their own, are massive (black holes are immensely dense), and, like a black hole, love affects all time and space around it.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I love your heart shaped jewelry! I’ve been lusting after your Diana pieces for years. My idea for the ring’s name is Helios, which is Greek for sun. Gravity makes me think of Galileo, and of heliocentrism, or the idea that the sun is at the center of our solar system. I think when a couple gets engaged, they often feel like the other person is the center of their universe, so there you have it. In any case, I’m excited to see what name you choose.

  5. At first I was going to say that you ought to just give up and call the ring “Precious,” but there’s the little problem of that dang movie!

    The new ring is gorgeous. I really love the idea; it is a great setting for a fancy shape. The cut of the stone is very well highlighted within the minimalist band.

  6. Kimocean says:

    Gorgeous! I’d suggest the simple term Unity Rings, the Unity Line or Unity Bands for the combination engagement/wedding rings. Thanks for sharing all your beautiful designs so I can dream of having such gorgeous jewelry.

  7. DebbyG says:

    The Embrace

  8. firefly says:

    Center of Hope? Ouroboros? (2 headed snake = infinity, infinite love…) Infinity ring, Endless love…