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Need help with the design of my e-ring

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mark314

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
10
Hello,

I am having an engagement ring custom made for my girlfriend. I am taking design cues from a Peter Storm ring as well as a Birks ring.

Basically, the ring will be a split shank, and the shanks will extend upwards to form the claws holding the center diamond in place. Mounted between the shanks will be princess-cut sidestones, set tip to tip (that''s the Peter Storm design cue).

In the center of the ring, the claws will extend downwards in a crooked-V formation from the left and right side down to the absolute center of the ring band. In the crook of the V there will be a small side sapphire (that''s the Birks design cue).

I have drawn it out on paper numerous times. I have consulted with my jeweller on this.

The problem is, I am an engineer...
...which means that I have to-scale drawings accurate to the tenth of a mm. My jeweller, like those that I''ve read about on these forums, doesn''t work that way.

So I''m in a bit of a bind because I want it to look perfect and so I am examining every detail to make sure it works.

My girlfriend, she is petite and has a size 4.75 finger. She has told me she wants a ring that is not chunky but instead slender.

To get to my questions:

- The top of the ring will have to be 6mm because of the size of the center stone (.83ct, 6.05mm diameter). The side shanks will taper inwards based on the width of the sidestones (2 per side, of decreasing width) and should meet at about halfway down the side of the ring, where the band width will be 3.5mm. Given that my gf is petite and her ring is small, what band width should I taper to? Is 3.5mm enough to be slender? Will too much tapering make the ring look top-heavy?

- My jeweller thinks that the band should continue to taper until the very bottom of the ring, at 2mm or so. I have never seen a ring design like that, in fact most that I see online do not taper at all or only on the top half. How would that design look?

- I am using Pt900/Ir. My jeweller told me that this metal was as soft as 22k gold and that if it were up to him he would be working in 18k white gold. Does that make sense to you? I thought that hardness (or softness) had to do with scratchability, and that platinum was instead known for its high tensile strength. Will Pt900/Ir be soft? I understand that nothing can survive some situations (for instance, being slammed in an elevator door) but will I be able to bend the claws by hand?

Thanks a lot!

Mark
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
What are the dimensions on the center stone?

Hearing the words "slender not chunky" does not bring to mind a split shank that opens up to 6 mm with starset princesses between, to me. But if your center stone is larger, it might work.

Has she seen the inspiration peices?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Date: 3/4/2009 2:11:03 PM
Author: Gypsy
What are the dimensions on the center stone?


Hearing the words ''slender not chunky'' does not bring to mind a split shank that opens up to 6 mm with starset princesses between, to me. But if your center stone is larger, it might work.


Has she seen the inspiration peices?
That''s what I was thinking-it doesn''t sound slender and delicate. And do you by chance have your drawing/CAD of the piece? That could help us visualize.

Some jewelers are much more comfortable with custom work than others. Sounds like yours isn''t, I would find a new jeweler to execute it if it were me.
 

mark314

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
10
She has seen the Peter Storm ring. What she saw was a size 7 ring set with a 1.25ct center stone and sidestones of 12.5pt and 15pt. That center stone would be 7mm in diameter, and the sidestones would be 4.3mm and 3.9mm. My ring has a smaller center and will be at least .5mm thinner at its thickest point.

And by slender, I don''t mean Tiffany style slender, I simply mean, not a band that is overly thick. I have designed the ring to have a lot of open air, to give it a lighter look - the side stones are set in the open, and when the claws rise up there is open space beneath them. The diamond is held in place but exposed in all directions.

She hasn''t seen the V-setting that I am including.

The center stone is 6.05mm in diameter. Table is 3.33mm. Total height is 3.73mm. There will be about 1mm open space beneath the diamond and then the band, which will be about 1mm. So total height at the center, 5.73mm.

How about thickness? How thick should the band be? I had 2.5mm at the thickest, base of the ring, but the claws themselves were 1.5mm.
 

mark314

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
10
To clarify 'slender', she is, like me, picky about designs. She would not want anything where the head was thicker than the band.

For example, this is a setting she looked at in the past: http://www.bluenile.ca/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-platinum_7797?metal_filter=platinum,yellow,white&setting_filter=sidestone&sort_select=LTHP&show_all_pages=1

That is 4.3mm at its thinnest.

I guess by slender, I actually mean, I don't want the metal to overshadow the diamond. Width of 6mm at the center doesn't seem thick to me. A 7mm band with no tapering - that is what I would call too thick. By including lots of free air, the actual amount of metal is decreased and the diamonds are better showcased.

As for picking a new jeweller, he has been very good so far. And I have already bought the diamond with him, at a very good price. He is not a B&M jeweller, and he only does custom work. And as he says, "the ring will take on a life of its own", so really, I should shut up and let him make it.

But I was interested in those questions your responses to them.

I've attached some drawings.

PS-setting_inspiration.JPG
 

mark314

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
10
The last was the ring that I am basing my custom ring on.

This next one is the crooked-V setting that Birks has. This will connect the left and right claws, on both sides. One of the sides will have a surprise sapphire set flush in its bottom.

crooked-V-Birks.PNG
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Well, if she has seen and liked the Peter Storm piece, then I think you are fine with the design. As for the ring taking on a life of it’s own. Um. Not always. You are paying for custom, you have very specific ideas and you want exactly what you dictate the design to be. Unless there are structural reasons why it’s not possible for you to get what you want, you can control the design process, instead of allowing it to take on life of its own. . There are MANY types of jewelers that work on custom pieces. Some are designers who want a budget and a high level agreement then want to surprise you with the result, then there are others who will send you CADs or make waxes and show them to you to ensure that every detail is what you want. And there are ranges in between. Personally, when I went custom on my setting design, I wanted neither of those extremes. I wanted someone who was a designer, but who would execute to a certain set of specifics, while having freedom to decide other details independently. I found one a was happy. Your jeweler sounds like they too, are in between the extremes. But it sounds like your expectation is that you want what you want, exactly how you want it, down to the minutiae. If that’s your expectation, and your jeweler doesn’t agree… that’s a problem. While I love my ring and am happy with what I received, I know another person who had the same expectation you did and worked with my same jeweler and was not as happy as I was, for exactly that reason. The expectations of how the project would progress were different. Personally I feel that is a recipe for dissatisfaction. Neither of you is wrong. But it sounds like a very honest and forthright conversation needs to occur to level set expectations, because you do NOT want the project to take a life of its own and trust in the muses that you will like the final product, and this jeweler wants to work within your parameters, but feels that pinning down every detail will hinder the artistic process. Going forward with a conversation about would not be something I would advise. At all.
 

mark314

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
10
Thanks for the help. I think I tend to get impatient when waiting, and I over-analyze every detail. I do have faith in my jeweller''s ability, and I will be seeing and approving the wax this weekend before anything is sent for casting. Besides, I just drew it to scale on a piece of paper and it''s tiny...even at 6mm width. So to have 0.1mm discrepancy somewhere, who cares? I''ll never see it.

Does anyone have any thoughts about my previous questions? Some of my concerns are addressed but there are a few things I''m not sure about still.

1. Does anyone have an example of an e-ring that tapers continually to its thinnest point at the bottom? All I have seen are rings that taper to the half-way point and then stay a certain width for the bottom half of the band. Which is the more traditional band? Would there be issues with wedding bands if the e-ring tapered all the way around?

2. Is Pt900/Ir a good choice for lost-wax casting / custom work? Will the platinum be hard enough and strong enough to withstand day to day wear, even in a 4 prong claw setting?

And my new question:

3. I need my ring in 4 weeks, at most. Is 4 weeks long enough, do you think? As I said, I have the diamonds, the wax is carved (or will be very soon) and the design is finalized. But, my jeweller will be sending out the wax for casting. I''ve also heard that platinum casting fails about 1 in 4 times. Is that true? If it does, do I have to start from scratch with a brand new carving?

Thanks

Mark
 
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