April’s love story featured a beautiful engagement ring reworked from an heirloom piece.

Bride-to-be Gabriella had been gifted an antique ring by her grandma, but as much as she adored it, it wasn’t suitable to be her own engagement ring.

Using the original diamonds we designed a new ring, capturing the spirit and sentiment of the original. Here Jordan takes us through this personal process.

Using the heirloom ring

“Parker approached me and described the antique ring he had and what he hoped to achieve. He had seen my work and thought Gabriella would love my design style, so we knew SKYDOG would be a great fit for the surprise engagement ring he had in mind.

In our initial consultation, Parker told me about Gabriella and their life together, plus some information on the heirloom ring and his hopes for the bespoke piece. In the consultation stage of any new design project I also ensure budget and time frame expectations are aligned.

After agreeing on some initial ideas I asked Parker to send the ring to me so I could work up some designs based on its diamonds.

Until we unset an antique ring we can never be entirely sure exactly the size or number of stones we have to work with. A diamond or gemstone may have become chipped over the years, for instance, and we may need to have the stone re-cut and polished before it goes into a new piece. 

Happily, we didn’t have any such issues with Gabriella’s rings. Our setter expertly retrieved the stones from the original piece, leaving me a wonderful selection of diamonds to design around.”

Designing the heirloom remodel

“Heirloom engagement rings can use one or more of the stones from the original piece of jewelry, even combining stones from multiple pieces. Sometimes we will only use the one largest stone for the final ring, using the rest of the smaller stones to create another piece of jewelry such as a pendant. In other cases we need to add new stones, such as adding a diamond halo to an heirloom colored gemstone.

Parker was keen to use as many of the heirloom diamonds as possible in his design, so I proposed three different designs using a cluster arrangement of large and small diamonds. Parker’s ideas helped shape the design, as he told me about Gabriella and her style.

I laid the stones out on paper so Parker could begin to see how the final arrangement would look. From the three designs, Parker chose his favorite - and then we began to bring the ideas to life.”

Transforming the design to a three-dimensional CAD render

“After he had chosen his design, I wanted Parker to see what the finished piece would look like.

We created the ring using CAD - computer aided design - technology, creating an on-screen model and realistic render so Parker could picture the final ring. Renders allow us to show different metal types, such as choosing between white or yellow gold, and even show how the piece will look to scale on the finger.

At this stage, any tweaks and changes can be easily made to ensure the finished ring is perfect. Full of confidence, and excitement, Parker signed off the design. We created a three dimensional model, and sent the ring for manufacture.”

Crafting the heirloom ring

“Once the heirloom design has been approved, the crafting process follows the same route as any SKYDOG ring.

Our experienced setters know exactly how special heirloom stones are, and are experts at carefully setting each stone into the new piece.

An heirloom remodel can take between 6 to 8 weeks to design and complete - but the final piece will be treasured for another lifetime.”

Want to sound Jordan out about your own heirloom rework? Drop him an email on jordan@skydogjewelry.com.

July 15, 2022 — Jordan Dzierwa