There are many ways to make a ring uniquely yours by adding design elements to its profile. In many instances consumers aren’t aware of the options that are available to them. In this brief post we will describe the design elements that can be added to add a personal touch to a piece.
Filigree is the shaping of thin metal wire into designs or arrangements and was popularized in French and Italian metalwork in the 17th-19th centuries. The intricacy of filigree is limited only by the amount of “canvas space” available in a design and a person’s imagination. Some common filigree motifs are “fleur de lis’, “scrolls or other designs. Filigree work in general adds an antique theme to a design which matches beautifully with vintage inspired jewelry. Victor Canera filigree work is highly detailed due to its hand fabricated nature which can not be achieved using casting.
Ajour at its basic definition is the process of drilling holes or sawing metal thereby creating negative space and producing a design from a piece of sheet metal. The term ajour is a French word that means “lace” as in lace textiles. Lace ajour is very similar to what is achieved in metal with jewelry ajour. The term ajour is used interchangeably for other things in jewelry as well such as the openings created underneath diamonds and other jewelry work.
A basic yet beautiful form of ajour is done by “piercing” metal using a very thin saw blade. This form of ajour is typically referred to as “piercing work” in the trade. The process begins upon an empty “canvas” consisting of a blank sheet of metal. A basic design concept is decided upon and the metal is “pierced” into shape using a jeweler’s saw. Ajour can become quite intricate and take many many man hours to complete. The amount of detail is dependent upon the amount of canvas space available to the craftsman. The themes of the designs can vary from edwardian to art-deco or even Japanese inspired themes. Ajour can be used to give that finishing touch to the profile of a ring as in Model 20.1126 which features ajour along the profile of the center stone.
Another form of ajour that doesn’t involve “piercing” is ajour formed from metal wire that is shaped into different shapes and designs. This technique is very similar to filigree work except for the much thicker metal used in creating ajour. Wire can potentially be formed into shapes such as pear shapes, marquise shapes and combine together to produce a visual similar to the petals of a flower along the profile of a ring design. As an example Model 20.1206 features ajour of this type along the profile which is comprised of marquise shaped pieces of wire that resemble the petals of a Lotus flower. Furthermore, ajour formed from wire can be set with pave producing a very sparkly and textured visual.
A simple and elegant way to add a small unique touch to a ring is by adding millgraining to its profile. Millgrain adds a micro dotted texture to metal giving it a vintage flair. Adding millgrain to the bottom and top edges of the basket of a center stone is a simple and easy way to make a ring's profile more interesting.
Engraving can also be added to parts of a ring such as the profile of the center stone. The types of engraving span all design themes but are typically very vintage stylistically. For this reason engraving is recommended to ring designs which already feature an antique inspired theme.
In summary there are a lot of tools in a jeweler's arsenal to make a ring's profile more unique and interesting. Open communication is needed between the designer and the consumer to explain what options are available to them. In many instances the consumer is not aware of the myriad of options that are available and how they can drastically improve the look of a ring and give it that unique, finished touch.