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Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » September 5th, 2017, 11:42 am

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I just finished what might have be the most important design project I ever worked on.... After all, I will be looking at this for the rest of my life!

Over the last 5 months I worked very closely with a local Jewelry Designer and Diamond Expert to design the perfect ring for my fiancée.

I was lucky enough from the start that I know she trusted me 100% with the design, so had totally free range. She doesn't wear a lot of jewelry, but the few pieces I have bought her in the past for special occasions from local designers have all been a hit and tended towards my own personal aesthetic of something more minimal and modern vs. traditional and overly fussy.

My goal was to design something very original, yet timeless and classic, subtle enough to wear daily and for the running we both do, but also something that works at a formal occasion.

For inspiration, I looked at everything from modern minimal design objects like the Apple Watch, to Marc Newson keychains, Danish 70's Brutalist jewlery, to Art Deco architecture, and MCM furniture.

The design process went very smooth. While working in parallel with the Diamond Expert to source the diamond I was looking for (modified Radiant Cut Corner Yellow), I went from sketch to rough prototype working with the Jewelry Designer and learning about the process of ring casting, setting, etc. I made prototypes from wire and crazy glued on rhinestones from the dollar store and cut up pieces of eraser. I made at least 50 mockups befor setting on the final design.

Once the design was closer to final, I did 2D CAD drawings with dimensions and sections in Illustrator, and the Jewelry Designer recreated the 3D geometry in CAD. CAD models were evaluated and revised, and 3D prints were made. The 3D print is then used in a lost wax casting process to cast the Platinum, and then cleaned up, polished and finished by hand. The Diamond is then hand set, and ring finished with laser welding additional platinum and micro engraving to finish and make the diamond appear set without any visible hardware.

Overall, and amazing process and she's super happy with the ring. I'll design our wedding bands together and hope to start a tradition of designing jewelry for her for special occasions in out life together.

R

PS. She said Yes!

PPS. More process pics to come. I took a lot throughout the process of various models, sketches, mockups.... Still going through them all. Hope to get them all together and get a hardcover photobook to give her an upcoming occasion.
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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby FH13 » September 5th, 2017, 12:24 pm


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Congratulations.
Wasn't feeling the first couple of pictures but it looks awesome on her finger. I think you captured the minimalism and distinctive look you were going for.
May I recommend matching earrings perhaps....
Great job.

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby yo » September 5th, 2017, 12:29 pm

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First of all congratulations!

The design is fantastic. Really simple and elegant but very unique and designedly at the same time. Nice balance.

One piece of advice from another designer that designed his wife's ring, have a good photographer document it with a macro lens. I didn't do that and 17 years later it is a bit scratched up. I need to have it polished and photographed.

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » September 5th, 2017, 12:38 pm

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yo wrote:First of all congratulations!

The design is fantastic. Really simple and elegant but very unique and designedly at the same time. Nice balance.

One piece of advice from another designer that designed his wife's ring, have a good photographer document it with a macro lens. I didn't do that and 17 years later it is a bit scratched up. I need to have it polished and photographed.


Thanks! Good advice. I have done a whole bunch of pics with the iPhone which has a pretty great macro, but I do plan on getting some proper studio pics done. The design for sure is hard to kinda capture in photos as it's really different from different angles. The front view shows the edge of the diamond and is pretty unique.

R
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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » September 5th, 2017, 12:45 pm

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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby iab » September 5th, 2017, 2:57 pm


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Nice! I did the same thing 20+ years ago. Serge was a Brazilian jeweler in jewelry row on Wabash. Sold us the diamond, made my design. I used him again for our 1 year anniversary, but haven't seen him since. Still have his card. Serge was great.

Any concern with catching and bending the setting and having the stone pop out?

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » September 5th, 2017, 3:09 pm

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I figured I would not be the only designer to have done this :)

The setting and ring is one piece cast Platinum. Stone is set with a recess on 2 sides and then additional material laser welded and micro hammered on top. No way the stone is going anyplace. At least that is what the old german Master Goldsmith guy says ;)

I think your finger would break before the ring would.

I had some initial concerns of the ring getting caught, but it's no more likely than on a traditional setting. I had an alternate design that addressed this a bit more, and had 2 sides open to show the diamond edge, but it lost a lot of the simplicity and minimalism.

R
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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby mo-i » September 6th, 2017, 7:37 am

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You guys just have upped the ante!

Coincidentally I have set a date with a local goldsmith for a first informal discussion within the next 2 weeks.
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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby iab » September 6th, 2017, 7:47 am


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rkuchinsky wrote: At least that is what the old german Master Goldsmith guy says ;)


Why is it these jewelers are such cool characters?

I recall having a flaw in my initial design that Serge pointed out and we corrected so the diamond wouldn't pop out, but for the life of me, I can't remember. My spouse still tells me she gets compliments on the setting.

And I forgot, Congratulations! Mazel Tov!

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » October 17th, 2017, 9:34 am

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Did some experimenting 3D printing some "Sport" versions of the ring with the diamond shape included. The jeweler modified the CAD and I had shape ways do the prints with a few different materials. Idea was to have something to wear if we travel, or she is in the gym, etc.

Outcome was pretty cool and I was super excited to get them. My fiancée didn't nerd out as much as I had hoped however..... I think she'd just rather wear a diamond than a plastic ring. :)

The black "flexible and strong" plastic one turned out really good. Looks super stealth and the 3D print texture and finish is a nice contrast to the original polished Platinum. Metallic plastic also has an interesting finish.

I always had in mind the 3D print "sport" version would be the opposite of the original and not try to pretend to be the same (hate the idea of making a replica in cheaper metal with a knockoff stone).

R
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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby yo » October 17th, 2017, 11:11 am

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Richard, this is a pretty awesome idea! Though I can see how dudes (and designers) would think it is cooler than fiancées! :-)

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » October 17th, 2017, 11:36 am

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yo wrote:Richard, this is a pretty awesome idea! Though I can see how dudes (and designers) would think it is cooler than fiancées! :-)


I also think it's not fair that I have to wait until I do the wedding band to get a ring. I have nothing to show for our engagement unless she's there!

R
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Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby engio » October 18th, 2017, 4:26 am


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Nice! Love the ring, congratulations!

I did this as well during spring, and got married this summer.
In Sweden we have a different tradition - both parties get an engagement ring. Then the groom keeps the same ring, and the wife gets a second ring.
That's why we designed our rings together, so all 3 go well together. (I did the proposal with a cheap silver ring I got at an art school).

Regarding diamonds popping out: we got same advice for her engagement ring, but my then-fiance decided to take the risk. She lost the diamond at a party just 1 month later. Amazingly we found the diamond stuck in someone's shoe. She agreed to "fix" the design. We listened to advice when we designed the wedding ring, but the back-and-forth took so much longer because of the familiar "but what if we do this instead of this?".

I'd post pictures, but seeing as so many designers have done this, maybe a show-and-tell thread is in order? Don't want to hi-jack Richard's just yet ;)

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby Cyberdemon » October 18th, 2017, 7:56 am

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Congrats! I contemplated this but my wife had a very particular design in mind (that happened to be identical to her mothers 50 year old ring) so I wound up just matching it.

Any thoughts for the wedding band? Is there a secret second half to the design or will it be something that stands alone?

Re: Engagement Ring Design

Postby rkuchinsky » October 18th, 2017, 8:49 am

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Cyberdemon wrote:Congrats! I contemplated this but my wife had a very particular design in mind (that happened to be identical to her mothers 50 year old ring) so I wound up just matching it.

Any thoughts for the wedding band? Is there a secret second half to the design or will it be something that stands alone?


I'll be designing the wedding bands as well. I didn't have something particular in mind when I did the engagement ring, as thought she might want to participate in the design and some women prefer to wear it on a different finger, etc. So far, I'm considering a very simple gold (to bring out the yellow diamond color) band with tubular section same as the engagement ring to go beside the engagement ring. Classic but still modern in simplicity. I'd like to try to find some sort of twist to add however on the inside, in texture, etc.

My band I think I have more options. For sure I want to go with hers, but not as a matched set. I'm still doing some research, but have seen some nice things using Titanium, Carbon Fiber and other alternate materials. I kind of have in mind a black band with gold on the sidewall/inside.. pretty plain but maybe with black diamonds.

At the moment, still focusing on the wedding planning/design... Of course will be doing all the invitations, website, etc..

R

R
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