Our client, an important business consultant in Manhattan, wanted an elegant engagement ring set with three sparking diamonds. He began his search at the well-known jewelers along Fifth Avenue - Tiffanys, Cartier, Harry Winston. He even visited the shadowy byways of 47th Street - New York's notorious diamond district. But he could not find the level of service, quality and value that he desired. That is until he discovered Bijoux Extraordinaire.
For Michael, our client, quality in design and craftsmanship were of the utmost importance. He wanted a traditional platinum engagement ring that would beautifully show off three oval diamonds. Following is the story of how we helped Michael create a striking engagement ring (pictured above) symbolizing the past, present and future of the relationship he shares with his fiance.
Creating a beautiful ring involves several steps - finding the perfect center diamond, selecting the side diamonds, designing and creating the ring, and carefully inspecting the final results.
Selecting the Center Diamond
Finding the perfect diamond can be a challenging and time consuming task. Unless you buy the first diamond you see, you have to examine diamonds from a number of different cutters at a number of different jewelers. Often you have to choose between several diamonds without being able to compare the stones side by side.
Michael hired us to act as his diamond broker. As his diamond broker our job was to research and locate fine oval diamonds that met his requirements for size, color, clarity and cost. Over the next week, we contacted half a dozen diamond cutters who excel in cutting oval diamonds and asked them to send us their very best stones. We then closely evaluated each diamond and narrowed down the field to the few that were the "best of the best."
When evaluating a diamond, it is important to consider several factors: the color of the diamond, its clarity grade, and the quality of the cutting. With oval diamonds it is also important to examine the stone's overall shape, proportions and length-to-width ratio.
But, when assessing the beauty of a diamond you should not focus solely on grading reports and numbers. Our experience has shown that two diamonds with the same grades and measurements will not necessarily look the same - one diamond will "pop" with beauty and sparkle, while the others appear lifeless and dull. When searching for the very best diamond it is important to line up the candidates and compare them side by side!
When Michael met us at our gallery, we presented him with a line-up of the best diamonds we had located. He examined each diamond closely and with our help chose the very best of the best - a striking 1 1/3 carat oval diamond that is beautifully cut with high color and clarity grades.
Matching the Side Diamonds
Once the center diamond is chosen the next step is to locate two smaller diamonds that will match the brilliance and beauty of the center stone. When selecting side diamonds is important to not only match the shape of the center stone, but also the proportions, brilliance, color and clarity. You want the three gems to look as if they were meant for each other, as if they were cut by the same hand from the same rough crystal.
Again we contacted a number of diamond cutters and located two oval diamonds that perfectly complemented the size, shape and beauty of the center stone. Together the three diamonds present a balanced array of dazzling white color, clear clarity and stunning brilliance.
Creating the Ring
The third step was creating a custom ring to showcase the diamonds. In keeping with Michael's desire for traditional elegance, we designed a platinum ring with three four-prong settings resting above a half-round band. The platinum band gently sweeps upward to meet the upper gallery of the settings. The effect is one of understated elegance that beautifully complements the dazzle of the diamonds.
We instructed our platinum smith to hand craft the ring from platinum stock. Other options were to set the diamonds in a cast or even mass-produced ring. These options would be cheaper and take less time, but limit our craftsman's ability to properly set and align the diamonds. In a three stone ring you want the gems to be perfectly set so that they create a dazzling display across the top of the ring. Beware of jewelers who try to squeeze gemstones into a mass-produced or pre-made setting just to make them fit!
Michael agreed with our philosophy that the quality and craftsmanship of the ring should match the beauty of the gemstones. The metal work in a jewel is just as important as the gemstones. After all you would not mount a Rolls Royce on second-hand tires!
A good test of a platinum smith's skill and attention to detail is to examine the underside of the jewel. The hidden underside should be as carefully crafted and beautifully finished as the top. Here you can see the care with which our platinum smith created Michael's ring. The inner surfaces are smoothly finished with crisp, even edges and a sturdy framework beneath the mountings. Whenever you consider a fine piece of jewelry, always turn it over and make sure that the jewel is beautiful from all directions!
Finally, when the platinum smith was finished creating Michael's ring, we carefully inspected it. We made sure that the ring faithfully followed the original design, the diamonds were properly set and perfectly aligned, and the band gracefully flowed into the settings. All surfaces should be beautifully polished and no gaps or unsightly seams should appear between the elements of the ring. The result is a ring as beautiful as the diamonds it showcases.
Once the ring passes inspection, it is marked with Bijoux Extraordinaire's registered hallmark, "BEL". The inside of the ring also displays the precious metal mark, "PLAT", indicating the purity of the platinum. These hallmarks are your assurance of quality, craftsmanship and beauty.