Man’s Custom Ring, 100,000 mile checkup

April 9th, 2011 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
Platinum Ring with Tanzanite

Platinum Ring with Tanzanite

We made this grand gent's ring about 20 years ago, of platinum set with a stunning oval Tanzanite weighing 5.36 cts. It was interesting to see just how the platinum mounting and the Tanzanite were holding up– Our client Bill is a race-car driver by avocation, so we're sure the piece got plenty of banging and bumping over the years.

Bill had asked us to get him a really gorgeous Tanzanite– we were able to supply this beauty thru our many connections in the colored gem industry.

Tanzanite, the transparent blue variety of the mineral zoisite, is not a particularly hard gemstone, having a hardness of about 6.5 to 7. Look-alike sapphire is much harder, at 9 on the Moh's scale. Additionally, Tanzanite has cleavage directions, so we usually exercise care in setting and handling.

When we designed and hand carved the ring, we wanted not only to protect the valuable gem, but also to really show it off. We set it flush but with no metal covering the stone and added oversize prongs to protect the ends of the gem. You can see that Bill still managed to put some wear on the Tanzanite– you can see the abraded facet edges, where a little of the stone was exposed.

UpsonTop copy

Overall, we'd say this design has succeeded very well. The platinum ring, even though it has numerous dings and scratches, shows no evidence of bending or cracking, and hasn't worn thinner like we see in some gold mountings.  The gemstone is in really great condition, all things considered. Built to last!

Our client says that, after all these years, he still loves the ring and always gets comments. He likes to tell people that the stone is a Kashmir sapphire!

We're glad he's so proud of his ring and has had so much enjoyment from it– that's what custom jewelry is all about!

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