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The making of an engagement ring

In the late Summer, my sister's boyfriend came to my studio and asked me to create an engagement ring for her! I was so excited that he was planning on asking her to marry him, but also so honored that he asked me to make the ring. Luckily my sister had shown me a ring she loved a few months back that was a vintage ring from the 1920's which I modeled my design after. It was so fun and special to make this ring for her and really get to know her boyfriend during the process. Since I don't normally make work like this, it was also really nice to shake things up and step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself as a designer. The hardest part of working on this project was keeping this secret from my sister and whole family for 2 months! Luckily, my other sister Steph also knew so we could talk about it with each other without imploding with excitement. Derek asked Alli to marry to him this past Saturday, October 29 at our family's house in Montauk. Montauk is such a special place to my whole family and we've been going there since we were kids. That spot is especially meaningful to me since my husband and I were married on that beach last year! It's definitely filled with lots of love. See the step-by-step of how I created Alli's engagement ring below.

Diamond shopping! It's hard to go wrong when everything is so sparkly. We take into consideration the "four C's" - carat, cut, clarity and color

Diamond shopping! It's hard to go wrong when everything is so sparkly. We take into consideration the "four C's" - carat, cut, clarity and color

To create the model for the ring which will eventually be cast into platinum, I start with hard jewelry wax. Here is the beginning of the band.  

To create the model for the ring which will eventually be cast into platinum, I start with hard jewelry wax. Here is the beginning of the band.  

The first step to creating the setting is making a perfect shape seat for the stone.  

The first step to creating the setting is making a perfect shape seat for the stone.  

I used a square template to create the octogan shape for the outside of the setting. The ring is inspired by a 1920s setting - the circle inside of an octogan is very Art Deco and was used in jewelry a lot. 

I used a square template to create the octogan shape for the outside of the setting. The ring is inspired by a 1920s setting - the circle inside of an octogan is very Art Deco and was used in jewelry a lot. 

The octogan setting is carved with a channel for sapphires to surround the stone. 

The octogan setting is carved with a channel for sapphires to surround the stone. 

The underside of the setting is angled to continue the Art Deco feel. Each window was also hollowed out to let light come through and to bring down the weight of the model. 

The underside of the setting is angled to continue the Art Deco feel. Each window was also hollowed out to let light come through and to bring down the weight of the model. 

The band is attached to the setting using heat to mend the waxes together. The diamond is just resting on the setting, just in the photo for emphasis!

The band is attached to the setting using heat to mend the waxes together. The diamond is just resting on the setting, just in the photo for emphasis!

A leaf shape is added to either side of the setting - once in metal accent diamonds will be set in these. 

A leaf shape is added to either side of the setting - once in metal accent diamonds will be set in these. 

One more image of the finished wax model! Next this model goes to a casting house to get cast into platinum using the lost wax casting technique. 

One more image of the finished wax model! Next this model goes to a casting house to get cast into platinum using the lost wax casting technique. 

Here is the raw platinum casting of my wax model. You can see the extra metal on the top of the setting - this is called a sprue. A sprue acts as a passageway for the molten metal during the casting process. Next I will saw the sprue off and sand the entire ring rid of scratches until it's smooth.  

Here is the raw platinum casting of my wax model. You can see the extra metal on the top of the setting - this is called a sprue. A sprue acts as a passageway for the molten metal during the casting process. Next I will saw the sprue off and sand the entire ring rid of scratches until it's smooth.  

A side view of the raw casting. 

A side view of the raw casting. 

The casting has been finished and a channel for the sapphires has been opened up in the metal. Next, the ring goes to a stone cutter who specially cuts the sapphires to fit into the channel. 

The casting has been finished and a channel for the sapphires has been opened up in the metal. Next, the ring goes to a stone cutter who specially cuts the sapphires to fit into the channel. 

Sapphires have been cut - here I begin to lay them into place to make sure the fit is just right.  

Sapphires have been cut - here I begin to lay them into place to make sure the fit is just right.  

One last stone to set! Small beads were raised to set each stone which is called "millgrain" - this is a very traditional way of setting stones and gives that vintage feel.

One last stone to set! Small beads were raised to set each stone which is called "millgrain" - this is a very traditional way of setting stones and gives that vintage feel.

The finished ring! All the stones are set and the final polish has been applied to the ring.  

The finished ring! All the stones are set and the final polish has been applied to the ring.  

A side view of the finished product.  

A side view of the finished product.  

The ring features a 1.31 carat round brilliant diamond surrounded by 8 trapezoid shaped sapphires in a calibre style octogan setting. 2 diamonds are set in either side of the ring into leaf shapes set in recycled platinum.

The ring features a 1.31 carat round brilliant diamond surrounded by 8 trapezoid shaped sapphires in a calibre style octogan setting. 2 diamonds are set in either side of the ring into leaf shapes set in recycled platinum.

A picture of the newly engaged couple right after he proposed on the beach in Montauk, NY this past weekend. I'm so happy for my sister and soon to be brother! 

A picture of the newly engaged couple right after he proposed on the beach in Montauk, NY this past weekend. I'm so happy for my sister and soon to be brother!