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Diamond Jewelry Collage

Our Favourite Diamond Jewelry Designs

When it comes to jewelry design, everyone is as unique and different as the diamonds they choose. As a fun exercise, I asked some of my friends and family to browse our diamond jewelry galleries so we can find out which designs make the cut. Below are some of the standout mentions in both the diamond engagement ring and diamond necklace categories.

Diamond Engagement Rings

From vintage to glamorous, to modern and minimalistic, and everything in between, here are a few of our favourite ring designs.

 

Vintage Engagement Ring

Vintage Engagement Ring

 

“The Kimberfire vintage engagement rings collection has captured my full attention because of the authentic design and artistry that is displayed in each custom diamond ring. This beautiful engagement ring offers simplicity and elegance. Not only is the diamond stunning, but the band has a gorgeous design.” – Laura, 26

“I would describe this ring as my own ‘piece de resistance’. It is gorgeous; not overstated and the simple detail in the band gives it a little something extra. This thinner band with the focus on one centre stone has definitely caught my eye.” – Amanda, 29

 

PLC64 Vintage Engagement Ring

Vintage Halo Engagement Ring

 

“This engagement ring expresses sophistication and a love for diamonds. This custom vintage engagement ring verifies that diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” – Laura, 25

 

PLC713 Three Stone Engagement Ring

Three Stone Engagement Ring

 

“This three stone ring is beautiful. I love that the side stones are offset rather than on the band.” – Amanda, 29

 

PLC739R Solitaire Engagement Ring

Bezel Set Solitaire Engagement Ring

 

“I love the modern look of this ring, particularly the pink gold. The combination of the sparkle with the practical inset diamond that can be worn without the bother of it catching on gloves (gardening or winter) appeals to me. I have always wanted a unique ring that would still be practical for sports and outdoor activities. I have often wished I had included an inset diamond in the design like this ring has.” – Rhea, 50

Diamond Necklaces

On another jewelry note, whether you desire a delicate necklace to complement or a statement piece to accentuate, below are two of our favourite Kimberfire necklaces. While a delicate necklace can complement your day-to-day look, a statement necklace can make all the difference to an outfit.

 

PLC15 Diamond Pendant

Heart Shape Diamond Pendant

 

“I chose the heart pendant because I love how dainty it is. I also really like hearts incorporated into jewelry. The diamonds are all so tiny and simple, not overstated. It’s perfect!” – Laura, 25

 

PLC20 Diamond Necklace

Diamond Necklace

 

“I selected this diamond necklace because of the cut and shape of the diamonds. I feel that this diamond necklace can be worn as an everyday accessory because of its simplicity and beauty. When I envision wearing this necklace, I see myself wearing this on my wedding day. It is a very elegant and stunning piece that would complement any wedding gown. It would be a lovely addition to any formal or special event.” – Adaline, 29

What Can Your Jewelry (and Jeweler) Do For You?

Jewelry is extremely personal and customizable. At Kimberfire we’re always excited to help our clients create any piece based on their individuality… and their style!

Engagement Ring Design Screenshot

Our Custom Engagement Ring Manufacturing Process

Every one of us has admired the flawless beauty of an engagement ring, whether lined up in rows in a glass case in a store, on the hand of a friend or family member, or maybe even on your very own finger. But while we are all familiar with the finished ring, not everyone knows what goes into making it. In fact one of the most asked questions I receive from friends is “how is the ring made?”. In this article I take you behind the scenes to follow a Kimberfire engagement ring from concept to creation.

What Do Engagement Rings and Computers Have in Common?

Our journey begins with the jewelry designer. Our designer works closely to the specifications for the client’s custom piece – taking all the features our sales team has discussed with the client and the details of the diamonds being set, our designer brings the vision to life. We exclusively use computer aided design (CAD) programs to create 3D models of our rings. Once the 3D rendering is approved by our client, we then create the model in wax using a 3D printer. The wax piece is an exact model of the ring that will be cast into metal. Before the invention of CAD programs a jeweller would either hand carve the ring out of a block of wax or fabricate the metal by hand. There are still jewellers today who use the traditional goldsmith techniques but they are becoming less common with the growth of technology.

Gold, Platinum… Whichever You Like!

Next we cast the wax model into metal. This is done by using a method called investment casting. The wax model is set up inside a watertight flask. The investment powder, which is a plaster which has been formulated to withstand very high temperatures, is mixed with water and poured into the flask to completely cover the wax model. A few hours later the investment has hardened into a solid plaster. This flask is then put into a kiln and heated to 1250 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which wax melts but investment doesn’t. There is now a perfect mold of the ring in the flask where the wax model used to be, and the flask is put into a centrifugal casting machine or a vacuum casting machine. These machines are necessary because they use force to make sure the metal will fill the entire mold. The metal to be used is then broken up into tiny pieces, placed in a crucible and heated with a torch until it becomes molten. The liquid metal is then poured into the flask and the casting machine quickly started. When the machine stops, the flask is removed and plunged into a bucket of water, which washes all the investment away, leaving only the metal ring. The ring still needs to be cleaned up as it is completely covered in a rough ‘casting skin’, which the goldsmith will remove to bring the metal to a high polish.

Time for Some Bling

Now the Ring is ready for its diamonds! Our gem setter collects the ring and any stones which are to be set into the metal. Our setter uses various techniques and styles to provide different looks. Most of our setting is done under a microscope, especially for the popular pave or micro pave styles which use very small diamonds, ensuring secure setting of centre stones and very close and fine setting of the small diamonds. Once all the stones are set and secure the ring goes back to the goldsmith for a final polish and cleaning.

Ready for Delivery

The ring is now complete, but not yet ready for game time! The ring is first sent to a third party appraiser who documents all the details of the ring and determines its market or replacement value. This appraisal is necessary if our client is planning on insuring their ring.

The rings journey concludes with being tucked into a little velvet box. The ring is now ready for its most important moment, when it is slipped onto a lucky someone’s finger as a symbol of love and commitment.

Engagement Ring Upgrade and Redesign Ideas

Upgrading or Redesigning Your Engagement Ring

Longing for Something New

A friend of mine recently spoke to me about upgrading her engagement ring for her ten year wedding anniversary. She and her husband had married quite young and didn’t have the money to spend on an expensive ring, so they ended up using an engagement ring passed on from his family. While she loves and cherishes the ring and the sentimental story behind it, she longs for something that would be just for her.

She is far from alone. Upgrading or redesigning engagement and wedding rings has become a huge trend in the jewelry industry. These ring upgrades are usually done for an anniversary between the 10 and 15 year mark. People have many different reasons for wanting to change their ring. Some, like my friend, find themselves in a new financial situation from when they first got engaged. Others didn’t really like the style of the ring they were given. Some just want a ring which is a more current design, or more reflective of their personal style.

Upgrading your engagement ring is not for everyone though. Many people are very emotionally invested in their ring and could never imagine changing it. Some people find it tacky to want a larger diamond than the one they were given. I however think that as long as the decision to upgrade is ok with both people in the marriage, and there are no hurt feelings from the one who gave the ring, then people should go ahead and get their dream ring.

Everyone’s New is Different

There are many options for upgrading, starting with the diamonds. The center stone can be changed to a larger or better quality diamond, or side stones can be added to create a three stone ring. For extra sparkle, pave diamonds on the metal band can create a more modern look for the ring. However if a much larger center stone is being added the setting will have to be altered to fit the new stone.

Many people want to put their original diamonds into a new style of setting. The halo style of setting is an extremely popular choice and will make the center stone look much bigger. Some people choose to change their yellow gold rings to either platinum or white gold which is a more contemporary look. Unfortunately if the original diamonds have some yellow in them, setting them in a white metal will only bring the yellow out more and is not recommended.

For those who don’t want to change the original ring there is always the option of getting a new style of wedding band, or adding a third ring to the wedding set as an anniversary ring. Stacking multiple rings on one finger is an extremely popular option these days.

What Are You Waiting For?

Upgrading your engagement ring doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the old stones or jewellery. A coloured gemstone could be set into the old setting and worn as a right hand ring. The original diamond could be made into a pendant or earrings, or held onto to give to your children once they reach a certain age.

While there will always be those who passionately love their original engagement ring and would never want to change it, there are many people who love the idea of upgrading their ring.

Are you interested in upgrading your engagement ring? We here at Kimberfire would love to help you create the ring you’ve always dreamt of!

Historic Rings

A History of Engagement and Wedding Rings

Nowadays when one thinks of a classic engagement ring, they usually picture a gold or platinum ring with a solitaire diamond, or perhaps with more than one diamond. Wedding bands are usually a thicker band ring, some quite simple, while others have intricate designs or stones included. Although these styles of rings are considered ‘traditional’ they have actually only been in fashion for about the past 100 years. Today we will take a look at the styles and symbolism of wedding rings throughout history.

Walk like an Egyptian (Ancient Egypt 3050BC-30AD)

The always fashionable Ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first to wear engagement rings, as the circle symbolized eternity. The rings were fashioned out of plant material or silver or gold wire. They wore the ring on the third finger of the left hand because they believed that finger had a vein in it which connected directly to the heart (romantic if not anatomically correct).

When in Rome (Ancient Rome 753BC-476AD)

Ancient Rome was a society that prized their military domination, so it is no wonder their engagement rings were made of iron, which signified strength. A woman’s acceptance of the ring formed a legally binding agreement of the husband’s ownership of her (not very romantic).

By the Book (Byzantine Empire 330-1453)

In this deeply religious society, wedding rings traditionally incorporated a scene depicting a man and woman facing each other with a central figure blessing their union.

Stuck in the Middle with You (Middle Ages 500-1400)

It was a custom in medieval times for Jewish grooms to give their wives wedding rings that had elaborately detailed temples or houses on the top. These rings were oversized and not intended to actually be worn in everyday life. In Anatolia (modern day Turkey) husbands often gave their wives puzzle rings; sets of complex interlocking metal bands that arranged to form a single ring. It was given as a test of monogamy as it was believed that if a woman took off the ring she would not be able to put it back together again and would thus be caught (talk about no trust!). Another trend of the time was the posy ring. These rings had poems or mottos inside the band and the inscriptions were written in French, the international language of love. It was also during this time period, in 1447, that the first recorded diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy from the Archduke Maximilian of Austria (clearly ahead of his time).

Da Vinci a la Mode (Renaissance 1300-1600)

In the 1600’s the fashionable wedding ring was the Fede (faith) ring which showed two hands clasping. The Fede ring inspired the still popular Irish Claddagh ring, which has two hands clasping a heart topped with a crown. Another engagement ring which became in vogue during the renaissance was the Gimmel ring. This ring had two interlocking bands, one which the woman wore and one which the man wore during their betrothal. At the wedding ceremony they would take off their rings and lock them together to become one, which the woman would then wear.

All Work and No Play (Puritan New England 1630-1800)

The Puritans were definitely not the most fun group of people, in fact they went so far as to ban Christmas! So it’s not that surprising that they prohibited their members from wearing any jewellery due to its ‘moral worthlessness’. A common wedding gift from husband to wife was a practical thimble. However, after the wedding many women would remove the top of the thimble and wear it as a ring (when a woman wants jewellery she gets it!).

We are Not Amused (Victorian England 1837-1901)

Although Victorians are often portrayed as being uptight and stuffy they were actually quite sentimental, and Queen Victoria herself was very much in love with her husband Prince Albert. Rings during this era often had terms of endearment spelt out using the language of stones, which used the initials of gemstones. The word LOVE was often spelled out using lapis lazuli, opal, vermeil, and emerald. Another attractive engagement ring style was that of the serpent wrapping around the finger, often with rubies for eyes or an emerald for its head.

Diamonds are Forever (1867- Present)

In 1867 Diamonds were discovered in Africa, which opened up a huge supply of the precious gem. Before this time diamonds were very rare and only found in India and Brazil. In 1880 the DeBeers Mining Company was formed and within a decade they controlled 90% of the world diamond production. In 1886 Tiffany &Co. introduced the Tiffany setting, a 6 pronged ring designed to maximize the diamonds brilliance by raising it up from the band. In the 1900’s the princess ring with three to five large diamonds became a sought after engagement ring. The fashion in the 1920’s was to have one solitaire diamond set on a platinum band for durability. During WWII platinum was restricted for military use, and yellow gold rose to prominence. In 1947 DeBeers presented their brilliant marketing slogan “A diamond is forever” and since then the appetite for the strong and beautiful diamond has endured.

The Tradition Continues with Kimberfire

While the style, sentiment and symbolism of engagement and wedding rings has changed throughout history, the gesture of giving a permanent symbol of love and fidelity to ones beloved has remained. When deciding on a style for your special ring, whether it be a classic solitaire or something completely unique, Kimberfire can answer all your needs. We specialize in creating engagement and wedding rings which will endure and sparkle until the end of time.

 

(Photo Credit: Berganza)

Engagement Ring Designs

Design Your Own Engagement Ring

Are you looking into engagement ring design ideas, but don’t know where to begin? Whether you are looking to design your own engagement ring or one for your girlfriend, here are a few key questions to keep in mind.

To halo or not to halo?

A popular starting point is deciding whether your center stone will be surrounded by a circle (or two!) of smaller diamonds or whether you would rather see it go solo – also known as a solitaire setting. Halos look great with pretty much any size diamond… up to a point. Once you’re in the 1.50ct+ range, keep in mind that the halo will make the center stone appear even larger.

Solitaire vs Halo Engagement Ring

Diamonds down the band?

Both solitaire and halo style engagement ring settings look beautiful with or without diamonds down the band. A traditional classic solitaire does not include any diamonds other than the center stone, but adding diamonds down the band can lend some extra sparkle if that’s what you’d like.

Solitaire vs Pave Side Diamond Engagement Ring

U-set, bead-set, channel-set, we all set?

If you’ve opted for either a halo or diamonds down the band, or both, then the next decision is the style to set them in. Do you want the side diamonds u-set, bead-set or channel-set? Better yet, what does this all mean?!

U-set diamonds have spaces for them drilled into the band, creating small u-shape windows from the profile view. This is a classic, end-to-end look as all you see is diamond from the top view. The diamonds themselves are held into place by tiny prongs formed out of the metal, giving the entire piece a uniform and smooth look – also known as “pavé”.

Bead-set diamonds are also set with tiny prongs formed out of the metal, as per u-set, but a slight border accompanies them. This is a very elegant and classic look.

Channel-set diamonds are contained within a border as per bead setting, but rather than being held in place by prongs they are held by the border itself. This is a form of tension setting.

U Set vs Bead Set vs Channel Set Engagement Ring

Straight or tapered band?

Now that the basic design elements are decided on, we can start to add some character!

When it comes to the band itself, you can opt for a straight band, or for a tapered band. The taper can also be a traditional or a reverse taper – as in the band can get skinnier or wider as it approaches the center stone.

Straight vs Tapered Band Engagement Ring

Shoulders? On engagement rings?

Your engagement ring has shoulders… seriously. This refers to the part of the shank as it approaches the center stone. They can be as low as what will appear to be a full circle with the basket sitting on top of it, or they can start to rise towards the diamond as they approach it – known as a cathedral setting. The higher the cathedral the more “elegant” the diamond appears, but also the more cumbersome the ring becomes to wear. A low shoulder is also a very nice look, and slightly more modern vs. the classic look of a cathedral setting.

Low Shoulder vs Cathedral Engagement Ring

Prongs? Even the smallest details matter.

Finally, we’ve arrived at the center stone prongs. Those little metal arms that hold the diamond in place. Traditional prongs are rounded and they can never go wrong. Another option for the more modern and forward is what are known as cat, bear or eagle claw prongs. These are very elegant and sharp-looking, literally, pointed prongs. Alternatively, why not forget the prongs altogether with a bezel setting?

Engagement Ring Prong Types

Now let’s get to work!

I hope this helps break down the key decisions when it comes to designing your engagement ring. There are many additional nuances that can be modified or implemented (band width, additional details such as milgrain, etc.), but these should serve as a framework for the overall structure of the ring.

As always, I am happy to answer any questions in the comments below. I would also be thrilled to meet you in person when you’re ready to get started with your own custom engagement ring!