Last week we shared with you the sweet story of Sarah and Mike’s engagement. I referenced Sarah’s family ring a few times and how meaningful it was to their story, so I thought it would only be appropriate to show you a few photos of it after we reused the diamond for Sarah’s custom ring and restored the antique setting with a new gemstone for Sarah to wear anytime…
Sarah’s family ring is a beautiful Art Nouveau-style platinum and diamond ring dating back to the mid-to-late 1800s. Sarah’s great-great-grandmother had the ring made for her son, who gave it to his wife (these were Sarah’s great-grandparents). Her great-grandmother then gave it to her daughter, Sarah’s grandmother, who gave it to her son, Sarah’s father, who, as you know from her story, gave it to Sarah. It has been worn by three generations of women and, as a result, has seen decades of wear.
It was showing some wear with a crack in the setting and had become a bit too delicate for reliable daily use. So, she and Mike decided to use the heirloom diamond in their new design and restore the antique ring with a different gemstone so that Sarah could wear it any time.
Sarah referenced her antique ring for design inspiration for her custom ring. Overall, she kept the same flanked style of her original setting, but as you examine the rings closer you start to notice subtle differences in detail. Where the original ring features a flower accent at the shoulders, Sarah decided to bring a more geometric Art Deco accent, but maintained the organic line of a flower stem down the shank so that the design references a flower without directly emulating one.
She and Mike also decided to open up the shank with pierced-through filigree “windows” to allow more light to shine through the setting to better illuminate the diamond. They opted for a few small diamonds on the shoulders as well to give the ring more brilliance, and then decided to finish the entire ring with custom, hand-engraved milgrain and accent detailing along the shank.
Sarah’s original ring was beautiful before, but it needed some touching up to make it more durable and, of course, it needed a new center stone owing to Sarah and Mike repurposing its diamond into their new custom ring. Sarah decided to reset it with a beautiful Swiss Blue topaz and kept the original emerald baguette accents, creating a colorful alternative to her diamond engagement ring that she could comfortably wear any time.
We love how Sarah integrated referential design elements into her new ring, honoring her family heirloom while creating something truly unique for her own stage with this treasure.
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.