You know we’re known for our custom designs. Allow me to wax philosophical for a moment. Everyone loves a great story. When you think about life, it really is a string of stories compiled for each person. Some are shared, and some are unique to the person who experiences the situation or circumstance. And the best part is when a story is told by a great storyteller! Sitting mesmerized, letting the words form pictures in our minds.
We hang onto every word, wanting the tale to move along quickly, so we know how it ends, yet wanting to savor each word and the images they create.
We are surrounded by great storytellers, both current and past.
Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, tells her stories through her poetry. The delivery of her words transports us to another space.
Erma Bombeck also comes to mind, as her humor and wit described the everyday oddities of family life. I think of her style as “kitchen table” humor.
So, where is all of this story talk taking us? Well, to another great collection of stories at Lake Street Diamond Company!
Over the past 37 years, our staff has heard terrific tales from our customers about their jewelry. When someone works with us to redesign these pieces, we create new stories, like this tale of our latest custom engagement ring.
It all Started With an Email
In July, we received an email asking us to design a new engagement ring inspired by an existing Art Deco piece he loved. The customer already purchased the fancy yellow diamond intended for the center of the ring. And he needed the work completed by August 13th. We exchanged several emails about our design process. After learning more about how custom designed jewelry is made, he was on the hunt a different type of setting.
Finding A New Setting
“Teddy” (client name changed for privacy) emailed pictures of the ideal Art Deco-style setting he recently purchased. A setting easier to adapt to the large, yellow diamond at the center and the triangular-shaped diamonds on either side.
We exchanged emails as we continued planning and set a time for Vince to see the setting and loose stones in person.
The Client Custom Design Meeting
A nattily-dressed fellow, Teddy arrived at the store sporting a lovely Panama hat, completing his ensemble perfectly. He and Vince talked in more detail about his his vision for the finished engagement ring. In listening to the conversation, the phrase that kept coming to mind was “Renaissance Man.” We would learn later that was a fitting description in more ways than one.
These kinds of in-depth, often in-person planning meetings are crucial to the success of a custom designed jewelry. During our discussions, we uncovered that the project was more complicated than simply setting a diamond in the center two others to the side.
Customize an Antique Setting
The Art Deco setting he chose was an antique. An 80-year-old, 18-carat white-gold ring. When you work on vintage jewelry you plan to work around previous repairs and changes. This lovely ring was no exception, so special care was needed during the design and setting process.
Putting a Square Peg in a Round Hole
The most challenging task in re-imagining this antique setting was adjusting it to hold the square-emerald cut, diamond. The original setting was made for a round stone. The new stone? It’s an Asscher cut diamond. When you look at an Asscher cut stone, you feel like you are stepping down the facets, to look directly into the heart of the stone.
According to Diamondnexus.com, an Asscher cut gives off a very distinct Old Hollywood vibe. The graphic lines and geometric forms of this cut makes the Art Deco connections unmistakable. Teddy selected the perfect cut when he chose the square yellow diamond for this Art Deco setting. And this was no ordinary yellow diamond. This was a GIA-certified “vivid fancy yellow diamond,” a rare find.
Making Room for the Trillion Diamonds
The next step would be creating and installing prongs on the sides of the setting. These will hold the triangle-shaped trillion diamonds. The original white gold triangle-shaped pieces were replaced with mounts for the trillions. Vince was able to accomplish this while maintaining the original negative space around the triangles.
Setting the Center Stone
The finishing step in any custom ring is setting the center diamond. Since our diamond is yellow, only yellow gold prongs will show it in its best light. Vince had the tricky job of replacing the original 18K white gold prongs in our antique setting with 18K yellow gold.
In the end, Vince’s expertise and craftsmanship created a ring to the project specifications, and delivered it on time.
The Big Reveal – Time to Get Engaged
The proposal was planned for the weekend of the Renaissance Fair. So, you can see that the moniker “Renaissance Man” is certainly a fitting description for Teddy. The pomp and circumstance included the recitation of a sonnet written just for her. Happily, it did the trick and she said “yes!”
We’ll add this story to our treasure trove of heartwarming stories because at Lake Street Diamond Company every piece of jewelry comes with a story and we take the time to listen.