David Klass Solitaire Setting Completed

So, back in September, I posted a Gem Blast with a purple sapphire I had picked up at a gem store on a trip back home. It was sold to me as a 2.40ct Untreated Color Shifting Sapphire. It does tend to look more blue in daylight, and more purple under fluorescent.

In November I posted about how I won David Klass’s Solitaire Setting contest, and posted a step by step guide of my drawing process. I mentioned not being able to vocalize my design process in that post, so I’m attempting to do that a little bit here, in this post.

I had a really hard time deciding if I wanted to use a high quality CZ for the setting or if I wanted to use one of my stones. I originally chose this stone to make the sketch and the setting around because there aren’t a lot of oval solitaire settings out there. This could be easily adapted for just about any symmetrical shape – round, cushion, emerald, radiant, asscher. Hearts, pears and trillions would require more intense modifications, of course.

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Colored stones are typically oval cuts, just because of the shape of the rough. But because most diamond solitaires out there are round, there just aren’t a lot of settings made specifically for ovals. The jewelry business has a love affair with diamond solitaires, and because of that, I find setting selection to be really limited for interesting solitaire settings that weren’t necessarily intended to be an engagement ring.

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The shoulder view was actually the original starting point for me. I was inspired by a detail in another setting, but the look and feel is completely different – the original ring had a similar filigree detail, but it was just a detail, not the actual structure of the ring, the way mine turned into. I’ve shown the inspiration and the finished product to people before and they have been like, “Why are you showing me these two rings?!” and not seeing any resemblance at all.

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The top view sort of just turned into what it was from how the shoulder detail worked out. The entire design started out and turned out to be based on that shoulder detail.

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You can see a little bit of uneven metal here – it’s really only noticeable under magnification, and especially here because of the way the lighting hits it.

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Now, typically I don’t like the leave the gallery blank and sort of boring like this – I feel like it’s one of the most neglected parts of a ring, but I didn’t want to overload an already very detailed setting with details that weren’t necessary. Part of the ring needed to be simple and clean, especially since I added the engraving detail on the bottom of the shank.

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I realize now that when I was taking pictures I didn’t really do a good job of capturing the profile view, so the above is probably the best view I got. About 4 hours before the sketch was due, I was still madly sketching and trying to discern a profile view. It couldn’t be too busy and it couldn’t be too simple, otherwise it wouldn’t flow with the rest of the setting.

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This is probably my favorite view of the setting – seeing both the profile and the shoulder view, and how they interact and curve into each other.

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A couple shots of the actual physical ring and the drawings. You can see just how closely David was able to follow my design and how few tweaks were actually made, and they were typically structural things.

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At the very last minute, I changed the setting to add engraving to the bottom of the shank. I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t visible from the top down view of the ring, and you can see that it is barely visible at all, just like I planned.

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Overall I’m pretty overwhelmed, yet amazed at how easily it came together, and how well David was able to execute my design into CAD from a simple 2D sketch.

Amazingly, David had the ring back to me exactly 1 week from the day I got the sapphire to him. He made a huge effort to get it to me quickly because I was going on a series of trips and wouldn’t be at home to receive it for a consistent period of more than a couple days.

So, now that you’ve seen the solitaire setting, I have actually made strides towards getting the band from this post made, so I should be able to post an update for that band soon too!

Gem Blast: Purple Sapphire

One of the best things about visiting home is my favorite little gem shop. When I was there over the summer, I managed to catch a glimpse of this stone, and couldn’t stop thinking about it when I got home! So I sent my gemstone-buying-partner-in-crime, Erin of Willajune Jewelry to go back and grab it before anyone else could.

2.4ct purple Ceylon sapphire, measuring 6.4×9.7mm. It was sold as being unheated and color shift, but I haven’t really played with it enough yet to see if it actually has a shift. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had sold my unheated color shift sapphire to a friend, and of course, I had to replace it with something else. This stone has a few cut issues, but I adore the color, so I’ll easily be able to overlook it.

This picture was taken at the gem store, shown with an amazing blue sapphire that is super saturated, but a bit on the silky side:

purple oval

This image shows it’s tiny window and a hint of the half and half shadowing. Notice how the upper half is a little bit darker and the facets look less defined than the bottom half.

purple sapphire

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These next two were taken with my Canon in mixed lighting, fluorescent and natural daylight.

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Under fluorescent lighting:

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And outside:

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I see more blue sometimes and more purple at other times, but I can’t really decide if it is a real color shifter.

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I always have the hardest time thinking of settings for ovals, which is sort of weird because they were my second love, after trillions. At this stage, I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to shapes, but I play favorites with more symmetric shapes. So hearts, pears, trillions are harder for me to wrap my head around when it comes to setting rings, but easier when it comes to setting necklaces!

When I set something from my own collection, I tend to let the stone talk to me before I set it. So far, this one is pretty quiet, but I have done some quick shape sketches when an idea pops into my head for an oval.