Most of the wedding jewelry I create is made to order, with the customer and I working on a one-of-a-kind design together. Here are a few examples:
- Lori’s white-sapphire engagement ring.
- Olivia’s surprise ring.
- Mindy’s redesigned engagement ring.
- Two more redesigned rings.
But I do try to add new designs to the options I have on my website, especially if a good diamond happens to be hanging around. Last year, I realized I had one of those spare stones. My gorgeous mother, BarbaraB, had long ago handed over a necklace that she no longer wore, and I’d sold the gold for her but still hadn’t done anything with the gem. So, for her birthday last October, I decided her diamond could do double-duty by (a) gracing a gift for her and (b) modeling for a new, nontraditional engagement ring design. Here is the result.
The blackened 18K yellow gold setting was inspired by the vine-like metal work I’ve used for my Marie Antoinette designs, among other pieces. That’s my mother’s stone in the middle, of course. The accent stones are rubies, which I chose because BarbaraB looks good in red. Mom is wearing it as a right-hand ring.
But you can see how it would make a good engagement ring too. I happen to love an engagement/wedding ring that doesn’t scream “bridal,” and that, like this ring, could just as easily be worn in another way. I have other rings like that. I wear the sample for this diamond band on my thumb, for instance, and my black-diamond Gravity band has been purchased both as a wedding band and a right-hand ring.
What makes BarbaraB’s ring special is how customizable it is. It’s not the kind of ring that demands nothing but diamonds. You can choose from among so many different gems for the accent stones. Rubies are great, but sapphires come in many colors, as do garnets. You could do emeralds, amethyst, citrine … you name it. The center stone doesn’t have to be a diamond either. Perhaps you’d like to do your birthstone in the center and have diamonds for the accent stones. Or, you can go all diamond — for the center stone and the accent stones — which would make beautiful cocktail ring or equally beautiful engagement ring. Another thing about this design: Although it has a big look, it’s very lightweight. It’s a “have your cake and eat it too” ring.
Obviously, BarbaraB’s ring isn’t for sale but if you’re interested in this style, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com so we can discuss your preferences. The price depends on which gems you choose. It starts at around $5,000 for a non-diamond ring. Please note that I can’t easily give any estimates for rings with center diamonds. When doing a custom job, I shop for your diamond personally, coming up with a selection of gems for your review. Each diamond has its own price that depends on its color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Some half-carat diamonds are $950 and some are $3,000. We probably won’t know what your preferences are for quality and price until we take a look around and see what’s out there, but it’s good to have a general budget in mind so I know where to start.
UPDATED TO ADD: Speaking of my black-diamond Gravity band, here’s a picture of it being worn as a right-hand ring by our friend Olga Parkers. Separately, here is a photo of the model we made for this new ring.