I heard first seen and fallen in love with the creations by The Gemstone Project in 2016, while looking for unique pieces for my personal jewellery collection.I really enjoyed that even my casual questioning and interest was met with positivity and genuine responses. As an Etsy favourite, when one of the listings jumped out at me, I sent the link to my partner, just stating that I found the ring I wanted.He immediately inquired as to the possibility of having a ring resized and sent to us in Australia. Elle made it a very simple and comfortable process for him to get my correct ring size, and the ring arrived much faster than anyone expected.The fit of the ring is perfect, it’s almost weightless and extremely comfortable. Well my newly minted fiance kept frantically checking that it was still on my hand, but I was 100% certain that it wouldn’t fall off accidentally.The quality of the piece is unmatched, I have had endless compliments on the colour and cut of the stone as well as remarks on the ingenuity of the secret diamonds on the sides. All of my close friends and family members have remarked that it is very much suited to me, as well as the fact that it is very unique.I have no hesitations in asking Elle to craft matching wedding and eternity rings. – B & S
Engagement: Alli & Doug
I’m still not really sure how Alli and Doug found me, but they did and I’m absolutely delighted that they did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a part in this gorgeous ring, which would have been terrible.
Back in the Fall of 2016, Alli and Doug reached out and asked if I would be interested in making their engagement ring. They had bought a gray spinel, and had several items of family jewelry that they wanted to use the stones from. If you’ve followed me at all, you already know how into an idea I am if it has a gray spinel attached to it. But I was intrigued both by the couple and their design ideas, as well as the center stone!
They expressed later to me how difficult it had been to find a jeweler to execute their vision for their ring, and I can sort of understand why because it’s not conventional, and there really aren’t that many jewelers who are willing or want to take on an unusual request. Especially for a gemstone. I am honored to be asked to create this beauty for such a special sentimental ring!
So they sent along some guides as to what they wanted their ring to look like, with some examples of each one, and we went back and forth on lots of the details for a long time, trying to iron out each element.
They wanted the gray spinel to take main stage from top down, and not have any of the accent stones visible from the top down. They wanted double prongs (which is always a stability concern for me with cushion cut gems! Double prongs are always best for cushions!) and an antique feel.
They wanted engraving, pretty much all over. They wanted Alexandrite accent stones in various places on the profile. They wanted diamond accents in other places. They wanted to use diamonds from an antique family ring. They wanted it to have the feel of an antique.
Luckily their requests came with a stone that was large enough that we could add a lot of detail and still manage to hide everything under the stone.
I had to play with proportions of everything, but at one point, everything just flowed together with all of the inspiration photos they had given me, every element that they had asked for, and my own little flourishes.
They had me add their birthstones, an amethyst and a garnet plus an alexandrite into the shank, against her skin.
A view of the tucked under family diamond, detailed with accents inspired by a 1950s birthstone ring that belonged to my mother. This shows it alongside a gray gold Accolade band.
A bit of an idea of what it looks like on the hand with a quick handshot from yours truly!
One of my flourishes, and Alli and Doug still don’t know this, is that when I was thinking about the project, I was strongly inspired by Alli and felt that she had a certain kinship with Wonder Woman. As a result, I mimicked Wonder Woman’s tiara shape in the profile of Alli’s ring, which you can see best when it’s upside down. Alli is an athlete and a dentist (technically a prosthedontist) and those are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to describing how gifted this woman is!
I love how this ring looks slightly different from every angle.
A closer look at the family diamond we bezel set on the shoulders of the ring.
You know I cannot resist a gray spinel, especially a giant one like this! Once Alli saw that I had started to offer gray gold as an alternative to the traditional white, she jumped on the bandwagon immediately, and I think it came out incredibly well, and suits the stone perfectly.
And to finish off, a couple macro photos on an antique beaded purse. When Doug surprised Alli with the ring, he turned off all of the lights because I had sent it in a ring box with a light in it, and she was really confused why he was turning the lights off, until he opened the box!
When the ring was completed, I emailed Doug, and I told him that if he trusted me, he should just let me send the ring, and forgo seeing pictures of it beforehand. He did, and this blog entry would be the first time he would see the photos I had taken!
Doug & Alli, it was my utmost pleasure to work with you and I hope that we can work together again in the future! Enjoy that stunner of a ring and congratulations again on sharing your life with each other!
The Résilient in Photographs
I’m doing a photo heavy and commentary light post because I have too much on my to do list, but I still wanted to share the beauty of this ring with you, and I haven’t been able to put a blog out about it yet.
The center stone is a Amora Moissanite cut into the OEC pattern, and all of the other stones are diamonds. The Amora Moissanite has been discontinued, which, after seeing it in person, is a real shame. They have replaced it with the Forever One Moissanite, and the OEC cutting is also nowhere to be found.
Sometimes, through great times of turmoil, comes great beauty.
The Rose Cut
I have a serious crush on rose cuts. But if you’ve been following any of my media for any period of time, you’ll have noticed this. There are rose cuts in two of my necklace designs, with the Ingenue being primarily based around the rose cut, they feature prominently in my Pétiller profile, and have even made an appearance in some of my custom designs. If they were easy to find, and I had unlimited funds, ALL OF THE ROSE CUTS WOULD BE MINE. Ok, so that’s not necessarily true, but I do love them, and I wish I could buy a lot more than I do.
So the reason I’m writing about this today is because I’m a bit neurotic. Recently a client of mine bought some “hexagon rose cuts”, and she asked me why when I said they weren’t rose cuts. So this is a bit of an analysis of what a rose cut is, using the hexagon diamonds as an example of how to discern what isn’t a rose cut, and what is just a fancy marketing gimmick.
A lot of what designates a rose cut is the intent of the cutter.
Did the cutter intend for it to be traditionally cut, and the stone wasn’t shaped well? Or did the cutter actually intend to cut a rose cut?
Facet Diagrams & Facet Structure
Rose cuts were often used as accent stones in antique jewelry. They have a simplistic cut that is a flattish dome, with triangular facets arranged in a hexagonal pattern, with a point on top. There is not a flat table facet on top of the stone, and there is no pavilion, the way Old European Cut or Modern Round Brilliants are cut. Rose cuts are typically round, but can be found in other shapes, such as pear, cushion, oval, etc.
I am particularly strict in my evaluation of rose cut diamonds, and I insist that they have the equiangular triangled hexagon on top. Sometimes, especially with modern cut specialty shaped rose cuts, the hexagon will be elongated to mimic the outline of the stone. Like this modern cut pear:
It’s still a rose cut, but the facet structure is a clue that it’s not antique!
Lack of a Pavilion
It’s easy to get confused with terminology for rose cuts, since they don’t follow the same cutting guidelines as traditionally cut stones. I tend to think of them as a traditionally cut stone that has had the pavilion cut off at the girdle, but with a point on the table instead of the table being flat.
One of my very first gemstones was a peach spinel that had a rose cut table and crown, but with a traditional pavilion. Sometimes I miss that stone!
Faux Rose Cuts
Now, one of my biggest pet peeves has been popping up more and more lately and that’s taking a poorly, but traditionally cut stone (with a table, pavilion, culet, etc), flipping it over so it’s culet and pavilion face up with the table facing down, and calling that a rose cut. It is not a rose cut. You can determine these stones by looking at the facet structure, and seeing whether or not it is totally flat on the flat side, if it has a crown, and if the facets are almost equiangular AND triangular. Here is a helpful diagram to help illustrate the anatomy of a traditionally cut stone can look like.
You can see a comparison between the hexagonal traditional cut on the left, and the classic rose cut on the right. I can tell a few things from the hexagonal stone about the rough – the stone wasn’t deep enough to cut it to ideal specifications and have optimal light return when it’s table up. So in a clever marketing move, they flipped it over and marketed it as a “hexagonal rose cut”.
With these hexagonal stones, they were not originally intended to be rose cuts, and that is obvious once you take a closer look at the pavilion facets:
They have the equiangular center facets, but if you look closer, the facets that aren’t in the center are trapezoidal in shape, rather than triangular.
Interestingly, when I flip the stones over, and have the table/flat side up, you can see the huge difference, and clearly discern what the original intent of the cutter was. The hexagons show light return bouncing off the pavilions, minus the windowing in the middle, while the rose cut is essentially transparent:
Double Sided Rose Cut
Double sided rose cuts are very rare, and are often given different names, depending on the knowledge of the seller or owner. As you can see from the diagrams above, they are structured as if two rose cuts were put flat side against flat side.
Rose cuts come in all different flavors, and they’ve been enjoying a sort of resurgence into popularity with celebrity interest in them as well as antique jewelry coming back into fashion. You can expect to see more from me as well, but that is mostly due to my everlasting love for them, rather than following the trends!
Side note: Thanks to Jennifer Aniston for giving the rest of us some giant rose cut goodness to ogle when she’s out and about. (Yes, her engagement ring is a giant rose cut diamond!)
Updates and an Announcement
I feel like it’s been a while since I blogged. And there are a lot of good reasons for that. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
I recently nabbed a trio of gray spinel asschers. I’m thinking about making a three stone with them, if they match well enough and look good together. I will see once they arrive! If I don’t love them together, they will probably go into the etsy shop.
I did several earring design sketches for a client, and I’m considering turning some of the unused ones into designs to go into the etsy shop. Especially since I have a ton of green garnets that really should be used for something fabulous.
Upcoming projects: a necklace for a friend, a Rubellite ring, a smattering of three stone rings, a five stone ring, a couple of fancy halos, and a handful of solitaire rings. Plus who knows what else will pop up in the next few weeks. I have several ideas for necklaces that I’d like to make, but those may take a while to bring into fruition.
The biggest announcement is that I have taken an outside opportunity, and as a result, I won’t be able to devote as much time as I have been to my own jewelry design. There won’t be a ton of changes that stem from this change, my website will stay the same, my stock designs will remain available, the Etsy shop will remain open, and I will still be available to do custom design.
The big changes are going to be: I won’t be able to devote as much time to hunting down gemstones and I’m going to have to be stricter about custom projects that I take on. I will still have accounts with Gem2000, Mayer & Watt and Pala International/Gems, and their stones will be available for purchase through me. Shipping will only happen once a week, probably Mondays or Tuesdays. Unfortunately, blogging will have to take more of a backseat, and will likely turn into a once a month occurrence. I will still try to respond to emails within 24 hours, but I may not be as swift as I was before.
Holiday Gift Guide
I figured I’d do something a little bit different this year since I have several jewelry items in the etsy shop, and they all need good homes!
First, a note about items in my etsy shop. I actually started my etsy shop when a friend who lives overseas asked me if I would sell some of his collection. I didn’t have any other details besides that, and I was shocked when over 200 individual items showed up. I would have a very difficult time selling that much stuff via word of mouth, so I decided that the best way to do it would be to open an etsy shop and sell it there. So almost everything you see in my etsy shop is actually being sold on consignment from private collections (with a few items sprinkled in from me) and have been collected over many years by gem and jewelry collectors.
So, with that said, I’m going to list my top five jewelry items that I think would make fantastic gifts!
- Diamond studs 14kt white gold
Classic diamond studs totaling .58ctw in one of our newest designs, a simple 4 prong stud.
- Diamond circle pendant, 14kt white gold with box chain
This diamond necklace would be excellent for a lady who loves larger but still classic pieces that bring a lot of sparkle to the decolletage.
- Bezeled Ruby earrings in 14kt yellow gold
These would make a great gift for July babies, lovers of red or those who just love rubies!
- Pink sapphire and Diamond Mirror Pendant
This pendant is perfect for September or April babies, lovers of pink, and those who love statement jewelry with a modern feel. And the inside of the mirrored cup could even be plated with rhodium for a pure pink look!
- Yellow diamond bezel ring in 18kt yellow gold
Who said that diamonds had to be white?! This yellow sparkler is bezeled in yellow gold, making it appear even more yellow than it’s grade from EGL, and it gives the face up appearance close to that of a 1.5ct princess diamond. It would make a fantastic buttery engagement ring for the bride who loves yellow or who wants something unique.
Here is the best part! If you contact me about buying any of these items, email or message me on etsy first, mention this blog post and receive 15% off! This offer is only good until December 21st so grab them while you can!
Gem Blast: Holiday Edition
It has been a crazy week, with a family birthday plus Thanksgiving and then ten completed projects when I was expecting 5, plus a bunch of gems. I have more on the way, and with the holidays gearing up, things are just bound to get crazier!
So this week, I’m just going to post a handful of my favorite pictures that I’ve been taking in the past couple of weeks! Some of this will be a preview for new items to come – some will probably hit etsy before they get to the website, due to holiday shopping demands
Be on the lookout for new things to come! For additional pictures of some of these pieces, check out my Repertoire page. And don’t forget to check out Facebook for all of my etsy promo codes.(Hint: there is one for today! After all, it’s Cyber Monday!)
Hand Forging vs. CAD and Cast
In reality, all jewelry is made by jewelers manipulating a variety of tools through a variety of techniques to get the desired result.
Proportions & Balance
I started writing this blog a year ago. The reason I haven’t completed the entry until now is because it’s incredibly difficult to put something that comes as instinct into words. I cannot talk about exclusively proportions while leaving out the rest of the elements that could create conflict even within the correct proportions. So here is my attempt at it!
Typically I will design a piece of jewelry by being inspired by one or more of four things:
- A specific gemstone.
- A design concept, or inspiration piece.
- A shape.
- A color combination.
Note that size is not one of them!
I feel as though most designs are made as a frame for the center stone, which is why we see so many plain diamond halos for a variety of colored stones and diamonds. They are popular, but not particularly interesting or unusual, and designed to basically be background noise for the center stone.
Proportion is the word for the relationship between sizes of one element to another element.
A vintage ring that had wonderful proportions, with the size and shape of the side stones impeccably enhancing the center stone.
So I think about the piece of jewelry as a piece of art. That means choosing a focal point, and building everything else around that. The background shouldn’t overpower the focal point, and the entire piece needs to have balance and cohesion. This is most obvious with 3, 5, and 7 stone jewelry, but can be applied to haloed items as well.
Now, the key with the proportion is to ensure as to not overpower the main stone or the main focal point with the details. With a multi stone ring (3,5,7 stones traditionally) the idea is to make the stones uniform, or to create a flow or pattern to enhance the center stone or to create it’s own unit. The ideal is to create harmony between elements, and stick to having one main focal point. I have attempted pieces before that failed at this for one reason or another, and luckily I was able to learn from them. The Art Deco period of jewelry was particularly adept at creating jewelry with many small background elements enhancing a strong central element.
The Resistance ring with diamond side stones becoming the background and a vivid emerald center stone taking center stage.
A problem that I see pretty often is that an item of jewelry will have multiple focal points, or multiple elements that prevent a cohesive unit, either with sizes, shape or color.
As far as size goes, I always look towards math. Typically if you pair side stones with a center stone, they should follow a mathematical pattern. For instance, I have a drawing of a 5 stone with three rounds and two pears as my current Facebook default picture (seen above). The center stone is 8mm, the side rounds are 4mm, and the pears are 2mm wide. Often, working from a center stone down to sides, is best to figure out what kind of proportion you want. Half is a typically safe size, with a third being pretty standard as well.
This version of the Ingénue holds a 3.5mm rose cut and a 7mm spinel.
A deft hand must be used to have a sense of how color, proportion and size work together and create unity with all elements, or balanced design. Creating a ring that has multiple colors is always going to be a bit tricky, which is often why using a lot of restraint is key. Sometimes things that seem like an obvious pairing look horrible together if any element doesn’t harmonize with the rest of the elements.
So, I would advise that when you are considering putting jewelry together, ask yourself a series of questions:
- What is my focal point?
- Does this enhance or detract from my focal point?
- Are these the right proportions? Should they be larger or smaller?
- What does the negative space look like?
- Is this balanced?
Whoa! Gemstones ahoy!
I got a couple of packages from a couple of collectors looking to consign items, and there are some really awesome gems, and a couple of finished jewelry pieces.
Some of the stand outs include:
40+ carats of green garnets: tsavorite, demantoid, mint, including melee!
2+ carat blue spinel pear
1.89 carat neon pink spinel
6+ carat blue zircon
Light teal-blue tourmaline
Pink Vietnamese spinel
Handful of diamonds, rounds and cushions
Precision cut Mahenge garnets
Also expected this week, a precision cut gray spinel antique cushion with a certification from AGL.
And I still have more incoming in the next couple weeks!
All of these will be listed to my etsy shop in the coming weeks, while I’m hoping to have everything up by Thanksgiving, but that just depends on how things go, and how much sun I get for photographs! If you are looking for anything in particular or if any of the above sound interesting, please reach out to be added to the interest list!
If you haven’t found my coupon code on my Facebook page yet, you should go check it out because it expires October 31!
Also I have accounts with some wholesale dealers, so if you’re looking for anything in particular, let me know!
We are getting very close to the holiday season. I will be releasing deadlines for holiday ordering within the next week – where has this year gone?! I cannot believe the holiday season is upon us!
So many custom projects going into production right now, I am so excited to see them come to fruition!