A Heart Shaped Tradition

by silvermarc on February 7, 2021


A while back, I met a newly married couple at a community event. We were fortunate to sit next to them during a meal ~ remember being face to face? We exchanged stories about what we did for a living and the next thing I knew, she was asking me to help her with a special project.

In her family, there is a tradition of cutting heart shaped sections out of a single piece of china and making them into necklaces that the women of the family can wear in celebration of a marriage.

Working with fine china presents a unique challenge: it is not flat, it is curved. We had to customize a setting deep enough to securely hold the china and flat enough on the back for comfort and engravability. She also asked for diamonds to be set around the heart shape. Adding diamonds posed another challenge: we had to make sure there was enough gold surrounding the center section to hold each diamond securely.  

We collaborated on the design, the metal, the quality of the diamonds, and the bail (which is the little loop that connects a pendant to the chain). I shared my knowledge and expertise of the mechanics of jewelry design, and came up with this one of kind piece. 

I’ve never seen anything like this before, or since!

Heart Shape China and Diamonds Pendant by JB Jewels #finejewelryredefined

What is your family tradition? If you don’t have one yet, what would you like to create for yourself? I’d love to help you.

Tip: When working with several different materials, how you clean the materials becomes very important. The china will respond to mild soap and water, but the gold and diamonds need specialized care.

Happy Valentine’s Day ~ Jane

www.jbjewels.com    (212) 923-3328   jane@jbjewels.com


Why Custom Engagement Rings Are Best

by silvermarc on August 24, 2020

I’m so happy for my friends when they get engaged that I don’t necessarily need them to hire me to custom make their engagement ring, because my friendship is more important to me than the sale.   With that in mind, this particular couple trusted I would make exactly what they wanted, in the right time frame, at the right price. As I say, “It’s not my money, it’s yours, and you’re the boss.”   She had found a style she really liked from another retailer and asked me to appraise the ring, but we found it was less valuable than what they paid. Our solution was for me to recreate the style with cleaner and larger diamonds.

I called one of my favorite diamond dealers who generously put a collection of emerald cut diamonds together, reminding me that he doesn’t do this for anybody else (he usually gives me the diamonds and says “Good luck, let me know what the client says,”) but this time he invited all of us into his office outside of the diamond factory.

We scheduled three meetings to take place over four hours and all four of us sat and found the perfect center diamond, two matching emerald cut diamonds that flanked the center, and twelve smaller diamonds for the shank of the ring. He custom made the setting in under a week so that the third time she came, she was able to put something on her finger.

The original diamond they looked at had so much fluorescence (fluorescence refers to a diamond’s tendency to emit a blue glow when subjected to ultraviolet light) that it diminished the value of the diamond.

Interesting to Note: Most jewelers stay away from flourescent diamonds, but if you’re going through some retailers, they don’t necessarily tell you this. My clients had no idea until we pointed it out to them.

We found the larger emerald cuts with no flourescence and had to sort through 150 smaller diamonds to find twelve that did not flouresce for the shank.

 My goal is to educate my clients so they know exactly what they are getting. Most people focus on color and clarity, but it’s also about the cut and carat weight, and then further, when you read a gemalogic report, all the other fine points of buying a diamond that a gem expert like myself can point out to you.

TIP: Remember when you’re washing your hands to use care with your rings, and to wash underneath them, not just on top of them. I’ve gotten into the habit when I get home of taking off my shoes, then my jewelry, and then washing my hands. Wishing you all safety and good health! – Jane

  www.jbjewels.com    (212) 923-3328   jane@jbjewels.com