Simple & Timeless Ring Styles
The Handmade Tale
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Over the years of making engagement rings and servicing requests to reset others, some styles have come to a comfortable point between lust and love. As much as love needs work to be true, beauty with an enduring aesthetic needs to be simple before it can be timeless.
Making it simple is not the same as making it work. Form and Function must be considered to make simple work its magic, even if a simple design. It goes without saying every hand is different, that is form. And that form must serve its function, the person’s deeper self and day-to-day habits.
This is one reason why we insist on building each mount by hand, however simple (or ornate). In a simple design, when we build a ring from scratch, not casting or using a mould, we are able to control minutely details that make the ring soulful.
A more commercial make of the same design will make it ‘perfect’ such that it will be for you as much as for the next person. Sometimes this is enough. But through our way of doing things, the personal is so because of the person.
Three Stone Ring
A centre stone flanked by one stone on each side, this is one style that will favor any stone size.
Not properly known but properly ‘Midcentury Modern’, this three stone balance evolved from its Deco predecessor. Its perfection comes from adapting to a minimalism the excesses of Art Deco, its distillation so successful that it is the most endearing style today, across wildly different personalities.
Whether your main stone is big or small, the ease lies in adjusting the proportion of the side stones.
What is not so easy is choosing the suitable stones that will not take away the brevity of this design, yet add an ardent touch to this style that has so much possibilities.
Too small (accent stones) is almost always the problem, and rather than manifesting the main stone, the ring looks uneventful, its balance is lost to side stones with little stature.
A three stone ring is sometimes known as the Past, Present, Future ring. There is the option of using colored accents, a birthstone or favourite color, to attach to the ring a personal colorway.
Toi et Moi Ring
Two stones aligned at angle, a style that appeals to flow over structure, especially if the band is a bypass or swivel.
The Toi et Moi ring has a long history, favoured as a betrothal or promise ring for its youthful presentation in what is the serious business of marriage.
The angled pairing of a diamond with an other gem or color makes this style its own, with little risk of running outside the sweet spot of minimalism.
Less explored is using two bigger stones, which while not common will make an actual simple statement beauty. It is always a challenge when making a statement piece in the least strokes, where this is one such possibility in the Toi et Moi.
Beyond more traditional round stones, using other shapes or cuts will surprise.
A single stone held is a six-pronged setting is Tiffany’s legacy to classic.
By today’s standard, this style will make sense if it makes cents. The stone, if a diamond, will not look forlorn if it is at least 1 carat (an understatement).
This implies the bigger the carat, the more sense to do absolutely nothing in designing the ring, apart from catching the gem securely.
Th solitaire is slyly the best mount in ensuring the biggest stone gets sold (which really does say something about using this style for less visible stones). Little needs to be done to the mount for stoics who believe the stone is the story and not a frill more.
Its cousin below is when the stone is framed instead of clawed (or bezeled instead of pronged).
A single stone framed in gold instead of prongs.
This is not as common as its Tiffany cousin in the promise of love because its immediacy is not feminine but rather androgynous. This is despite the fact that history’s first betrothal ring was a bezel diamond ring, worn by Mary of Burgundy in 1508.
A bezel stone ring not only feels secure and wears without catching to clothing, it carries an unfussy sentiment of artistry and subtlety. This allows big stones to be displayed without a feeling of ostentation, and small stones to be outlined with pride.
It is unsurprising rings bearing certain intuitive energies will be set in bezels. Big or small, from primitive to expressive, a stone caught in a bezel is the oldest style in humanity’s need for ornamentation.
The main stone bordered by a ‘halo’ cluster of stones.
A single halo cluster makes for a classic style, though a two-row halo cluster can still look timeless if proportioned well.
Generally, the smaller the diamonds, the more stones there will be in a cluster. Trendy modern halo rings do this to give an illusion (by way of size contrast) to the main stone, though sometimes this backfires when the ring looks ‘constricted’.
The tip to a successful white halo is not to whinge on the diamonds, size and color wise. A few bigger hence fewer stones is gentle, keeping the accent genteel. And never replace diamonds with white sapphires! The latter will cloud quicker than diamonds in day-to-day wear.
If the main stone is stunning, so should the accents be nurturing and best of all, surprising. A halo does not always have to be diamonds, where floral halos begin to decorate a ring beyond everyday.
What gold should I make my ring in?
For an everyday ring, in platinum for a white body, and in 22k gold for a yellow body.
The same for an engagement ring. High quality stones are usually set in a platinum top for security, even if the rest of the ring is set in yellow gold.
Most modern fine jewelry are offered in 18k, while many ethnic jewelry makers prefer 22k gold, such as Indian jewelry. The truth is, once you have grown used to wearing ‘virgin gold’ (gold purity of at least 22k) you will always want to craft your jewelry as purely as possible.
Ancient jewelry has always been high karat, perhaps because humanity has always imagined gold to represent the sun. Without Nature’s ‘fire’ there would be no life. Beyond gold’s natural beauty, its purity has something to do with radiating an aura. The purer the gold, the stronger this aura of warmth and well-being.
A common misconception is that 24k or even 22k gold is ‘too soft’ to forge jewelry for modern wear. This is not strictly true. While higher karat gold is indeed softer, how ‘robust’ this gold is will depend on whether the gold work is solid or hollow.
For reasons of strength and to preserve gold’s aura, we build our gold bands in 22k, 24k, and platinum, including most of our handmade jewelry.
To get anything white, we prefer to use platinum or even palladium in place of 18k white gold. White gold has other alloys mixed in and still has to be plated in rhodium to achieve its color. Like rose gold plating, this white rhodium plating will wear off over time. Personally, alloying then coating the gold to get it desirably white seems to weaken the bonds of yellow gold since much of its aura is hidden or lost.
However, when weight is an issue, such as in drop earrings, heavier metals like platinum may not be a good choice.
Try 22k and you will not look back, it’s a metaphysical thing!