When less is more.

December 2nd 2011

My design process is designed to give the customer exactly what they want. This article looks at a ring I remade after another jeweller got it very wrong.

Recently a customer came to me with an engagement ring she had purchased elsewhere. When purchasing the ring she had selected a diamond and then a design she wanted it set into.

This is where everything went wrong. The picture of the design she liked displayed a different size diamond to hers and the jeweller who was making the ring also changed the size of some of the other diamonds to be used in the ring. 

With these variations in diamond size the finished ring looked nothing like the design she wanted and she did not like it. The height of the ring was also far to high for the customers tastes. Six months later and she was asking me to remake the ring.

First thing I did was take the original picture of the desired design and digitally alter it to reflect how the design would look using her diamond and finger size, scaling the band and additional diamonds to get as close to the original design as possible. With that done we could then make changes until we got the look just right. 

Next we needed to take a look at the height of the ring. We confirmed this by making a silver draft. This also enabled us to confirm the finger size as the original ring was also too large.

The final task was to consider what type of wedding ring we were going to make. Considering this whilst making the engagement ring can avoid problems later especially if a straight wedding ring is desired, as it was in this case.


For the design of the wedding ring we went back to the computer to edit up images of options and displayed them next to the engagement ring. Once we had finalised the wedding ring design we could start making the engagement ring.

The end result is a 1 carat Emerald cut diamond with round brilliant cut diamonds grain set around it. Diamonds were also set into the shoulders of the ring with a mill grain edge added to both the band and head of the ring.

The wedding ring features 37 round brilliant cut diamonds that go all the way around the band. To match the engagement ring a mill grain edge was also used.

Scale is everything in a design so it becomes especially important when you are trying to duplicate a design with gems of a different size to those used in the original. Whilst using the largest diamonds you can afford might sound like a good idea it may result in a piece of jewellery that does not quite look as good as you would have expected. To use a phrase from the poem "the faultless Painter" by Robert Browning, sometimes "less is more".