A Three Graces Ring– Custom Jewelry is Challenging

April 16th, 2013 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

We just delivered this beautiful 14K gold ring to a delighted customer. A new client, she had seen one of our custom ring samples over the Christmas holidays and had an idea– she loved cameos and had a particular affinity for the Three Graces of Greek and Roman mythology, the goddesses of beauty, creativity, and nature. Rather than something set with the typical cameo carved from shell or stone, she wanted an all metal ring of sterling silver.

Our ArtCam CAD software can translate light and dark areas from a photo into a bas-relief , like the detail of a coin, so we worked from photos of carved cameos to begin the process.

Daughter Jenny, our resident CAD jewelry wizard developed this nice design as a first try.

Our customer thought the Graces looked too childlike for her taste and wanted us to work instead from Botticelli’s famous painting Primavera which features the Graces among other mythological figures. And, she decided to have us make the ring from 14K yellow gold.

Much more difficult– Jenny tried hard to develop a design from an image of Botticelli’s work, but when we cast the ring, it just wasn’t quite right. The problem with bas-relief is that shrinking an image to ring size makes all the limbs of the ladie’s much too thin.

Our solution– working with a photo of an existing carved cameo based on Primavera, Jenny was able to create a design with the proper proportions. We think it was quite effective, and the ring will become more beautiful as the piece mellows with wear.


As you can see, making custom jewelry can be very challenging because in essence, we are creating a prototype with every piece. In fact, in jewelry manufacturing, it often takes many tries to work out the wrinkles and perfect a design.

Even though we cast this ring twice– not great for the bottom line of our business, the most important thing is that our client was very pleased with her custom piece– and she’ll be a return customer.

At Mardon, we go the extra mile– custom work is one of our specialties. When we stamp our trademark on it, we make sure it’s right.

This is another example of the expertise and special service Mardon brings to the community, so don’t forget to vote for your favorite jeweler (us) in the annual Reader’s choice survey.

You can vote from now thru April 30– the easiest way is to visit the “voting booth” at the PE.com http://www.pe.com/readerschoice/.

Paper ballots (mail in) are available at Mardon, and in editions of The Press Enterprise 4/3, 4/14, 4/17, and 4/28; 4/4 and 4/18 in The Weekly; and 4/5 and 4/19 in LaPrensa.


Tags: , , , , ,

Other Posts

Comments are closed.

Member - American Gem Society Member - American Gem Trade Association Polygon - The Jewelers Information Highway Harmony Recycled Precious Metals Firemark Diamonds