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How do you create an engagement ring for a designer? Tough task considering my now fiancé is an interior designer - a profession where the smallest details can be the most meaningful. Practicing in a creative field myself, I understand attention to detail, and the more I think about it, designing an engagement ring is no different than designing a piece of furniture, a building, or a neighborhood. Good design begins with a concept, and as boring as this sounds, a concept should be informed by research, context, and inspiration.
To develop a concept for an engagement ring, my research began with her existing jewelry collection. Each piece of jewelry tells her story, and represents the small, but beautiful items she chooses to relay her personal aesthetic.
Upon closer inspection of her entire collection, which she keeps neatly in an antique printing tray, context began to emerge. First, the girl loves gold. Almost every piece is yellow gold or brass, and this is undoubtedly the underlying theme that connects the entire collection together. Next, she also loves colour, where stones and beads are incorporated into nearly every piece. Finally, focusing on her most coveted items, I was inspired by their simple, yet timeless elegance.
So how does this research, context, and inspiration help forge a concept? It was difficult at first, but surprisingly easy in hindsight, where the overall concept blossomed into the following:
A simple, yet elegant diamond solitaire engagement ring.
A ring has many parts, so before moving forward with a design and engaging Jonathan at Independent Jewelers, I knew it would be helpful if I outlined the specifics. The following is a brief summary of just that:
The Band - As her most favorite of the precious metals, gold was the obvious choice for the band. I opted for brushed instead of polished, as I did not want the gold to compete with the shine of the diamond. Additionally, the band is thin and round, and the mounts are architectural, modern, and timeless.
The Diamond - Because of her love of colour, I chose a single fancy yellow, marquise cut diamond. And why a marquise? Although she may have mentioned in passing that she liked the overall shape, the choice was ultimately a result of its uniqueness. I haven’t seen anything else like it on the market to date.
So how did it turn out? The yellow diamond paired with the brushed gold complement one another perfectly, where the whole is truly greater than a sum of its parts.
Ultimately, if first impressions are as important as they say, it all made sense when she told me “it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”
See the production of this piece, from sketch to hand below.