OOAK Benitoite & Platinum Engagement Ring–Strictly Custom

July 29th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Benitoite 3:4 blog

Just back from the shop, this stunning Benitoite & platinum engagement ring was made to order for our client R. This young man truly went the extra mile to create this symbol of his love for his fiancé.

Wanting something beautiful, exotic and rare, he chose Benitoite. Our California State Gemstone is all of that. One of the rarest of all the gems used in jewelry, Benitoite is found only in one small mining area in San Benito County, California. Benitoite is famous for its beautiful blue color and its flashes of rainbow colors.

He’d read our blog about a Benitoite engagement ring and contacted us, looking to acquire a nice Benitoite. We showed him several stones from our contacts in the gem trade, but they weren’t “The One.” A diligent researcher, he found a lapidary in Central California who cuts this rare gem. R. drove hundreds of miles to a gem show to meet this cutter where he was able to purchase this beautiful triangular step cut stone.

Benitoite closeup 2

R. was raised in Wisconsin but is of Middle Eastern descent. He wanted the ring to have a vintage filigree look with a Middle Eastern flavor. Since his stone was triangular, we started from a ring design from my portfolio that was V shaped. Working from images he sent, we developed this first design featuring the curls and arabesques of the mandala.

Mandala 1

First try_edited-1After seeing the first rendering, he wanted a more geometric look to the open work and sent this mandala with an Ottoman design.

Mandala 2

Very difficult– we had to adapt a flat two dimensional design meant to cover a large area such as a window screen onto a very small three dimensional object with multiple curved surfaces. The tolerance for casting platinum are tricky– we had to balance the delicacy of the filigree with the dimensions required for casting the ring successfully. After hours of work, our CAD wizardess Jenny created this striking design.

Design 1

The CAD rendering can really help our customers visualize the final product. With his approval of the design, our platinum smiths went to work and created this wonderful ring.

He wanted me to send him a picture of the finished piece, but I asked him to wait to see it in person. With a design like this, the actual gemstone and the final hand engraving are what makes the piece come alive– no photo can really capture the beauty and presence of fine jewelry like this. When he saw the ring, his eyes lit up– he was glad he waited!

Front & back x Benitoite z

We were lucky to have a client who had the vision of something beautiful and special for his fiancé. Once again, our design team has been able to rise to the occasion.

Thanks to technology, we can do custom work for anyone with internet access. The CAD renderings allow a precise fit between your dream and the real jewelry piece. Stop by the shop in person or visit via internet or just give us a call. We’d love to hear your story, see your vision. We’re open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 – 5:30 Pacific time.

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