Ruby and Diamond Earring Designs

Ruby and Diamond Earring Designs

There are "many ways to skin a  cat", an unfriendly saying but the meaning is right. As for designing fine jewelry the saying holds true. When I am asked to create ideas for stones a customer might own I consider 2 main things, will it make sense to the customer and how can I save some time in creating the design. I need to save time because there is often  a time frame the client has or that I have if work is a little backed up. Rushing a design in reality is nearly impossible because ideas come to us, and often when we least expect them. But as  practiced designers it happens that we end up with a large reserve of ideas that have worked in the past or newer ones that one just wants to try out.

Striking Santa Barbara, Home of Exotic Couple Making Exquisite Fine Jewelry

Striking Santa Barbara, Home of Exotic Couple Making Exquisite Fine Jewelry

It was in tropical Santa Barbara that Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers became a reality. Gregore arrived from gorgeous Vancouver, Canada with its majestic mountains, and scintillating rivers; Jennifer-Rabe from "La Costa del Sol" the  Mediterranean coast of Sicily and later in Southern Spain. The exposure to these richly beautiful, natural landscapes, combined with a lot of freedom to play as children, created a fertile ground from which to blossom as artists.

Blue Sapphire, Platinum and Diamond Engagement Ring

Blue Sapphire, Platinum and Diamond Engagement Ring

The opportunity to work with beautifully cut and polished Sapphires has been a real privilege for us at the Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe jewelers workshop in Santa Barbara. I say this because many of the stones in the corundum family come with their native cuts. These are done usually to maintain weight to create more value. Still a well faceted stone has the hard edge brilliance that a not so well cut stone lacks. At the same time, great care needs to be taken while handling the stone during setting not to scratch it in any way, or it will be very obvious.

Members Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers Host Retreat in Santa Barbara for AJDC

Members Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers Host Retreat in Santa Barbara for AJDC

Every year AJDC has a retreat, sometimes in the USA or abroad. The members who are able travel great distances for a short period of time, to participate in meetings and leisurely activities. Most important it is a chance for very old friends to see each other again. Friendships have lasted since AJDC's inception in the 1980's. 2017 the retreat is in Santa Barbara hosted by Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers. We will be sharing beautiful Santa Barbara. We are sad Cesar is not here to share his cuteness. 

Custom Engagement Ring For The Love of Your Life

Custom Engagement Ring For The Love of Your Life

One of the nicest experiences has been when Gregore and I were approached by old friends Tommy and Denise to make her engagement ring. They had been together for some time and like many other older couples they had been a little cautious about marriage. But when Tommy came to us his excitement was palpable. He was sure Denise was the right one, the true love of his life, and Denise had made it clear she really wanted to marry him.

A custom Ring Design For A Santa Barbara Based Client

18 karat white gold ring with square princess cut diamonds and round peridots

18 karat white gold ring with square princess cut diamonds and round peridots

Working with Caron is a real pleasure. She has strong ideas and her favorite colors and shapes are on the top of her mind. You know where she stands which makes our job easier. I can start including her favorite color green (Peridot), white gold,  and her favorite shape, round (poca dots actually) immediately knowing that I am on the right track. 

She had a ring with lots of princess cut diamonds she no longer wore because the design was not to her liking. Trusting our judgement and quality of work, she approached us with the question, "I want a big showy ring using these diamonds, do you have any ideas? Well, that is a strong point for us, we really work on developing our creative ideas on a regular basis so that when the time arrives we have a surplus to offer our customers.

We unset all her diamonds and I began to design on paper ideas for her to choose from. She steered me in the direction she liked after a couple of one on one consultations. Gregory brought the image into CAD (this means putting her design into  a computer model that can look like jewelry once it is rendered) and we showed her that so she could get a really good idea of what the ring would look like. The CAD image included in this write up is with rubies because initially she thought she might use some rubies she had. After seeing the design and not liking the red any longer we went back to her passion for the Peridot.

We cut the wax on the CNC machine so that she could try on the wax and see if she would feel comfortable wearing it. We reminded her that the wax feels almost 11 times lighter than the metal so she was definitely going the get her big heavy ring after all.

Finishing the ring was a joint effort. Gregory cleaned up the casting, set the diamonds, while I set the peridots, gave it the final textures, and put our logo with a surprise little round diamond inside the ring. She was very pleased with the result, and we were very happy with that and the very cool ring made right here in Santa Barbara by us.

preliminary drawings for Caron's big ring

preliminary drawings for Caron's big ring

drawings with the original concept of having rubies and diamonds

drawings with the original concept of having rubies and diamonds

CAD renders are truly beautiful pictures of jewelry and they give our Santa Barbara customers a very good idea of their custom jewelry designs

CAD renders are truly beautiful pictures of jewelry and they give our Santa Barbara customers a very good idea of their custom jewelry designs

The ring is substantial so no need for setter's cement just a ring clamp and the diamonds are being placed into their settings

The ring is substantial so no need for setter's cement just a ring clamp and the diamonds are being placed into their settings

This is Caron Miller's beautiful ring on her lovely hand. Click on her name to see her beautiful website.

The Engagement ring is Done!

The customer will be very happy to see the finished wedding band. The black diamonds have been enhanced with black ruthenium plating, and the white diamonds on top add a lot of sparkle!

The original wedding set before the band was finished looked like this. We don't have the engagement ring because the owner wanted to wear it at her bachelorette party!

King of Chalcedony is by far the purple one

This ring was made a while ago, but we wanted to share our love of purple. The chalcedony is enhanced with the amethyst pave which has been blackened to make  the purple color pop , the mount is made in white gold and set with diamonds.

A fluted wedding band

Sometimes diamonds can be tucked away so only you know they are there. The fluted matching wedding bands arc upwards like a tulip.

Making a wedding to match an unusual shaped engagement ring

One of the strengths of the Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe jeweler's workshop  in Santa Barbara, is to tackle difficult projects. A favorite tool is pattern resin, a plastic product from the dental industry for making crowns. Gregory made a lovely and unusual engagement ring with opaque white diamonds surrounding the traditionally clear diamond. Notice the Eastern influence in the curves and peaks. He used the pattern resin to fit the wedding band snuggly against the ring. I am in the early stages of setting the band. The white diamonds will be on top, and an unusual touch is putting black diamonds that will tuck under the ring hidden from view when the two are worn together.

The metal surrounding the black diamonds will have a plating of black rhodium to enhance the look. When the band is complete I will share it in a later post!

The metal surrounding the black diamonds will have a plating of black rhodium to enhance the look. When the band is complete I will share it in a later post!