It all happened quite slowly

February 11, 2011

The search for the perfect diamond finally came to an end x-mas week. Two beautiful diamonds arrived in the post, one of them, which one diamond supplier had been looking for, for weeks, ticked all the boxes, it was the right size, colour, clarity and shape. 1.20ct, F/SI1 cushion, and most importantly the price was right.

Then there was the second stone, slightly smaller, 1.01ct, but it was D colour, and VS1, and the same price. So what do you do?? And what did I do? I had a good hard look at both stones, and then realised that the 1ct stone was getting me very excited, and that was the feeling I had been waiting for, for all those months while stones came and went because they didn’t do it for me. This bad boy did.

The 2 cushion diamonds that arrived at the same time. The stone i chose is the one on the left. Click on the image if you'd like to have a closer look.

What having the 2 stones in front of me made me do was, follow my own advice. Time and again I tell customers to choose quality over quantity. For the briefest of periods I have to admit to being very torn, but then the more I looked at both of them, the more the D-colour stone was it. It’s a very hard feeling to describe, I got excited and very happy. So I took a few pictures and sent them on to my darling, just to keep him in the loop and up to date on everything. This was also pure necessity as he was stuck in Cork due to the bad weather which made travelling up and down everyday a bad idea.

Enough about the weather, lets talk about my stone again. The shape is another thing that swung it, it was just the right proportions. I had been swinging between a rectangular shape and a more square one, but I’m very pleased that I have ended up with a more rectangular diamond.

The Chosen One!

I was telling someone about my quest for a cushion and he asked me, why, if I didn’t know what i wanted was I so set on getting a cushion shape. That was a good question, and it made me think for a minute and then it bubbled to the surface again, the main reason being is that it most resembles an old cut stone and I love love the softness of the shape.

So I have my stone, now what to do with it???


Frustration Station

December 13, 2010

It’s been while since my last post and lots of other things have happened in the mean time, Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged, diamonds have been demanding record prices at auction, and one lady in the UK reported the theft of her snowman to the police. But one thing that hasn’t changed??? I’m still no further with finding a suitable diamond to make my fabulous ring. I have a few people on the case, and I was sent some lovely stones again during the week, but they just weren’t right, this time it was size. I have to admit that sourcing a diamond hasn’t been a top priority the last 5/6 weeks, as I’ve been very busy at work. Which isn’t something I’m about to complain about. One of the things that has kept me busy are the Beacon pendants I’m doing for Wish, a fab little shop in Skibbereen. We did a limited edition pendant in August, which proved to be ridiculously popular, so we now have a different design, called Silver Beacon. Also super popular and this time it’s not a limited edition!

Silver Beacon

Now xmas is just around the corner and a part of me would have liked to have had the ring ready by now. It’s a strange deadline xmas, for presents it makes sense. But you hear people say, oh we’ll be moving house and we’ll be in for xmas. Talk about putting yourself under pressure. Having a deadline can be good, as you have something to work towards, but it has to be a realistic one, and for me xmas is such a busy time of year that it was a fanciful deadline to set myself, so I got over it and got on with my work!

I mentioned Kate and William earlier, and maybe its an old story already, and I should have posted about it at the time, but i still think it would have been really nice if they had split the ring between the 2 brothers and then they both could have given their future brides something that was very dear to them. Another reason I say this, is because I think the ring is a little bit too old-fashioned for Kate Middleton. But that’s my humble opinion and I’m also in the business of redesigning jewellery, so its nothing strange to me.

For now I should just worry myself about my own ring….

Learning curve

October 22, 2010

Not a whole lot has happened on the diamond front. The guys are back from their trip to India, but unfortunately no joy. So the search continues, but I thought I would share this with you.

Last year I spent a week and a half in Antwerp doing a diamond grading course with IGI. The main reason for doing this course was to polish up on what I knew already about diamonds and to learn how to properly look at a diamond when I’m presented with one.

I was already most of the way there, I knew how to look at the colour and clarity of a diamond, but I wasn’t too clued up on the cut, what is a well cut diamond??

So off I went to Belgium, not somewhere I had ever really spent any time. Passing through on the motorway to get to France doesn’t count. (quick update here for those who don’t know me, I’m irish, but grew up in Holland from the age of 7)

Antwerp is a lovely city, and I was quite excited about going down to the diamond trade area. Turned out to be not that exciting, what was more exciting were the swanky chocolate shops!

Back to the course. It was an 8 day course and it was brilliant. There was a lovely group of people on it, from those who had never held tweezers or a loupe to those in the trade and needed to brush up on their skills like me. Although I was the only one who made jewellery. It was very interesting and actually quite tiring. Concentrating and staring into a diamond for 6 hours a day takes it out of you.

The course has been invaluable, and I took away some interesting bits of knowledge about diamonds and myself. I now know how to properly evaluate a stone with or without a certificate. And that sometimes you don’t need a cert to tell you if a stone is wel cut, experience will tell you that too, although I have to say the tutor we had didn’t agree with me at all on that one. But then she was all about fact and not about selling diamonds to someone who was going to have it in their engagement ring! Something can look good on paper, but it has to appeal to you on an emotional level too.

The course has taught me something very important about myself too. That despite thinking I’m not the most creative person around, I actually am. Before I headed off to Antwerp I had half thought that maybe doing something with stones would be an option, but after 8 days I was starting to go a bit stir crazy. I needed to make something, do something with my hands, anything. And that makes total sense. I make jewellery for a living, so I don’t see that everyday creativity as anything special, its part of my day to day life, and it’s not even a chore, and hard to call work sometimes.

What didn’t help either was that for nearly 2 weeks I had to eat out. There was no cooking, no making my lunch. I could think about what I would like for dinner, but it was out of my control to make it. Now I did have some lovely meals, but sometines. your own cooking is just a total pleasure!


The waiting game

October 9, 2010

Well not whole lot has happened this week on the fabulous ring front. I’m waiting for a phonecall or email from my stone guys. They travelled to India last monday and would be meeting up with a diamond guy at some stage, so fingers crossed they will come accross a beautiful cushion and make me a very happy lady!

If they don’t find a suitable stone then it’ll be a matter of hunting around some more. I’m not in a rush and i’m prepared to wait until the right stone comes my way, but I am getting very excited about it all, and i wouldn’t mind get cracking properly on the design.
I find it a lot easier to design with a stone in front of me. It gives me something real to work with. Although sometimes its nice to work freely and not have any constraints, and let the creativity flow. But seeing that i know sort of what i want already there’s no point in going all out. The other thing is too, is that I can get on with my day job and not be distracted by the fabulous ring. Would that be such a bad thing though???

Dreaded words

September 29, 2010

Perhaps I should explain the name of the blog “I’d like something different”,  these can be dreaded words when someone calls in to start the process of getting a piece of jewellery made. I dread them for a few reasons, like, has the customer given any indication as to what they do or don’t like or how far-out do they want to go? And here’s a surprising one….. am I having a creative day? That can be a tricky one, obviously most days are fine, I only realise I’m not feeling it when I have very few idea’s to give to the customer. This is an incredibly frustrating feeling, a little bit like having a word at the tip of your tongue.
So, I was quite surprised when I started to think about what kind of ring I’d like for myself, and in my internal monologue I said those dreaded words, and I didn’t have a clue what I wanted. So I could make life very difficult for myself. I hope I won’t though, or I’ll have to have a little word with myself!

I did settle on the idea of having a cushion shape diamond as the main stone,this is a brilliant cut diamond, but in a soft square shape.

Here are 2 cushions that were sent to me during the week, 1.06ct and 1.27ct D/vs

Before diamond cutting was standardised diamonds used to be cut to make the most of the stone, so the shapes would be irregular, sometimes more round other times a bit more square. The old cut diamonds that are available are split into a number of groups, 2 being, Georgian and Victorian. The Georgians are the style that I prefer, they’re squarer and can be quite high and what I would call lumpy.

A few small Georgian cut diamonds.

A packet of lots of little georgians. The sparkle didn't translate into the picture, but believe me, they sparkled!

So, so far the idea is to have a main diamond, probably a cushion shape. I briefly looked into finding a large Georgian for the main stone, but they’re not easy to find in nice quality large stones, and when you do, they demand a high price. So I might be opting for a possibly controversial combination of stones, a large modern stone and smaller Georgians. Purists might say that they shouldn’t be put together, and maybe they’re right. But for now it’s an option and until I have worked some more on my design I wont be counting anything out!

where to start?

September 23, 2010

So this is another first for me, starting a blog. The other first is getting engaged and the reason i’m starting this blog. I decided to share with you the process i’ll be going through, in order to design and make my own fabulous wedding band.
I’ve said those words a lot in the past week. I dont like wearing really wide rings and i dont like the look of narrow rings on my hand, so i’m left with one option really, one ring.

Some people reckon I should be wearing an engagement ring, because i’m in the business of designing/making/selling them. And they’re kinda right. So what will probably happen is that i’ll wear my fabulous ring on my right hand first and then when we tie the know, switch over to my left hand. This is a nod to my time spent in Holland, well a good excuse to wear it before the wedding anyway.

I’ve made a few phonecalls and spoken to some of my stone dealers, so we’ll see what will be coming my way in the next few weeks. It’s nice to not be in a rush and to have time to look at stones and decide when i find whats right for me, and not just suitable at the time.

My initial thoughts are to go with an “old cut” diamond, this is a diamond that isnt a perfect cut, and although the name suggests they are old, Victorian, most these days are modern reproductions. They were cut before the modern brilliant cut was designed and they can have a softer look about them. The other option that I’m leaning towards is a cushion cut.

So I’ll wait and see what arrives and then it’ll be down to business and try to come up with a design.