Posts Tagged ‘ring’

The making of a ring

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

How I designed and created my engagement ring

collage of steps to make engagement ring including selecting center stone, drawing up cad model, trying on the bare ring, and the finished product with gems and polished bandNow that I am officially engaged, I can finally talk about my ring! You see, I knew about it all along because I was the one who got to help create it. Panda and I had discussed getting engaged sometime after he completed grad school – little did I know it would be the very day of his commencement! At the end of 2012, I had started to get interested in rings and decided to start looking to see what I might like. When I found certain things that appealed to me, I’d share them with Panda and he sort of got into it too, also sharing what he found. While he was on the east coast and I was on the west coast, we found ourselves browsing jewelry stores separately and sending each other photos or links.

collage of engagement ring designs from various jewelersWhen he was able to visit for the holidays, we went into a local jeweler’s (Manya Jewelers) together and before I knew it, we were agreeing to design a ring with her. I had not expected to get started so soon, but hey, I pretty much knew what elements I wanted, so why not? We pointed out some designs I liked and what I wanted to be incorporated: a purple center stone, a curved band, a small diamond on the bottom of the ring, a cool side profile (inspired by Vera Wang designs like this side profile), and a marquise shape if possible. We showed Manya a few of the rings that had those traits so she could visualize what I wanted and she got to work!

Selecting the center stone

four purple sapphire gems resting on finger creases of hand for comparisonThe first order of business was choosing the center stone, which would determine a lot of other details for the ring. I had assumed the only purple gemstone is amethyst, so that’s what I figured we’d get, but then I discovered purple sapphires. I’ve always liked sapphires, but blue is so popular and overdone, plus purple is my favorite color; this combination of the two was just perfect for me. Purple sapphires actually come in a huge range of shades, so Manya got four for me to choose from. She had me put them in between my fingers as shown so I could get a feel for how they’d look against my skin tone. They also came in slightly different cuts, but all square to roundish. Can you guess which one I chose?

Drawing up a CAD model

Once my center stone was chosen, Manya knew the dimensions she could use to build the ring around it. This was all done in CAD with precision. She had measured my ring finger size on a previous visit, so she had all the sizing numbers she needed. I got that fun, funky digital model soon after to show me what it would look like. I could ask for any revisions based on that, but I didn’t need any. The posts in the design are high and extend beyond the actual height of the gems because they are later filed down (see top right of the first image for the CAD drawing). Manya warned me of this ahead of time so I wouldn’t get confused when I saw the drawing!

Making a 3D wax model

I don’t have a picture of this phase, but a wax model of the ring was made to ensure it was the appropriate size and to give us a feel for how the ring would look in real life. It looked like a plastic model, but apparently the wax is pretty delicate so you can’t really handle it. It’s meant to help you visualize the actual ring before they melded it so you can request any extra changes before they get too far into the process.

Molding the ring

bare ring setting with no gems and no polishingOnce the design was approved, the ring band/setting was made. It came very bare and simple as pictured. This was then tried on to ensure it would fit well and that the sizing against my finger looked good. Since it needed to be polished and filed down slightly, it was actually a bit tight and I wasn’t sure I could get it on or off! Luckily, Manya’s a pro with this kind of stuff and had a bottle of Windex ready. She sprayed my finger to make it more slippery and we were able to carefully get the ring on and off without trouble. It was fascinating to see the ring before it was all polished and the stones were set. I kind of liked the raw look of it.

Setting the stones and polishing the ring: final product

engagement ring with purple sapphire

My wonderful engagement ring, complete with purple sapphire center stone, curved band, marquise shape, and…

Every step of the way, things were confirmed, so all that was left after this was to set the gems and polish up the ring! Within a month, we were able to go through the entire process and have the final product in our hands. That’s pretty awesome! It came in an elegant black box, all shiny and wonderful. When I went to pick it up, we did the final step of adding a small diamond to the bottom of the band, as I requested. Of the 5 design elements I wanted, there was only one that we didn’t get around to. I’m pretty happy with that! I love how creative Manya was in making the curve of my band look somewhat like a marquise cut since we couldn’t actually incorporate that shape gem into the ring. All in all, I’m very satisfied and I’ll make sure to get a cool side profile the next time I design a ring. 😉 I love how different it is from every other ring I’ve seen. It’s still obviously an engagement ring, but there are details that are unique to me and my ring.

bottom of ring band with diamond inset

…small diamond on bottom of ring. 😀

365great Day 93: my ring

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 93: engagement ring🙂 Today is GREAT day. Yup, that there is my engagement ring, which Panda presented to me today soon after his Master’s degree graduation ceremony. I was not expecting it at all, though I had thought it was possible awhile back. I was just enjoying the campus of our alma mater on a gorgeous day when it happened. It was pretty much just as I liked – no big fanfare, just a simple gesture that was documented in pictures. And of course the location was perfect too, since UCLA is where we both attended undergrad and met. His parents were there, beaming and snapping photos for us and while there were tons of people around, everyone was far too busy taking their graduation pictures to notice. Thank goodness! I certainly didn’t want strangers staring. The ring itself contains many elements I selected myself, since I helped create it. The centerpiece is a purple sapphire, in case you’re wondering. More on all this later! Tonight I just wanted to share one of the great things in my life.

Valentine’s surprise

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m not usually one for fanfare, but I do love a nice surprise now and then. Look at what Panda got me for Valentine’s! 🙂

seafoam green tous gift bag with pink & red gift tag

What’s this?!

inside of tous valentine's gift bag with red package

Peeking inside…

tous valentine's bag and box with baby panda

Baby Panda checks out the treat.

tous valentine's box open like flower petals

The red box opens up like flower petals to reveal a jewelry box.

round tous jewelry box with elastic band and bell

Cute little round jewelry box topped with a bell!

tous jewelry box opened to reveal bag inside

The next layer is the baggie.

tous jewelry box and pouch

Almost there!

tous bear flower ring

Yay, a cute little ring!

wearing tous bear green & white flower ring on finger

Look carefully and you’ll notice the “petals” are actually the TOUS bear wrapped around a sweet little Murano crystal.

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