When I finally made peace with the realization that I actually wanted to marry my girlfriend, thoughts about the typical next steps made me cringe: backroom bargaining in the diamond district, endless visits to mall jewelry stores to try to learn about cuts and clarity, spending way too much money I'd rather spend on traveling or tools or meat. Fortunately, my nascent furniture-building hobby has accustomed my girlfriend to appreciating my lovingly flawed home creations, so I decided to go the same route with the ring. Googling "DIY wedding rings" immediately brought me to Sam Abbay and his one-man shop in New York's financial district.
Sam is a 33-year-old who's been building jewelry since high school and set up business as New York Wedding Ring here in the city a few years ago to teach people how to create their own engagement rings and wedding bands. Since I had wanted to keep this a surprise, I didn't ask Lisa much about what she had in mind, but I knew she liked antique and estate rings, so I searched for images of Art-Deco-era designs. When I found one I liked, I met with Sam to talk about the build and materials. He walked me through the various metals and their properties, and we settled on platinum. Then we turned to stones. Lisa had made it clear she didn't want a diamond and let slip that she liked sapphires, so Sam explained lab-grown versus mined (the former is lighter, just as beautiful, and about a sixth the price), and showed me samples of different sizes until we found one that was right for my design. Then we scheduled two days for the build -- the week between Christmas and New Year's, when I could lie and say I was at work.
Turn the page to see the finished ring.
Great piece. Congratulations Haney!
Good work there :).
I love sapphires myself :)
A beautiful ring and a beautiful gesture to begin your life together! I love it that more people are moving away from the "traditional" wedding diamonds that were actually ushered into tradition by mass advertising on the part of the diamond industry. I don't know too many people whose grandmother actually had a diamond engagement ring - most of them were made from beautiful colored gems. Thanks for sharing the details of the process!
Very nice ring - and cool that this option was available to do something both creative and personal. I'm not the hugest fan of diamonds myself - they have their place, but there are so many wonderful colored stones. Anyway, this story makes me want to go take a class in jewelry-making!
Actually there are colored diamonds as well - synthetically "colored" as well as naturally. The colors result from small atoms penetrating the crystal lattice - nitrogen for example gives the colorless diamond a yellow (up to brown) color. These are the most common ones (thats why the normal colorless diamonds very often have a slight yellow hue, and the coloring grade starts at pure white and ends at light yellow).
There are other elements that can penetrate the lattice as well, for example boron which give the diamond a blueish-grayish color. The crystals can also be colored by some physical dislocations, resulting in red and pink.
The rarest natural color however is green - resulting by irradiating with alpha particles.
Naturally colored diamonds in a decent quality are quite rare and hence extremely expensive
The diamond industry (De Beers mostly I believe :P) are really trying to force on people the idea that diamonds are extremely rare (especially colorless), but that isnt precisely true - hence them stockpiling diamonds in secret vaults as to not drive prices down..
Oh well, felt like typing a bit of useless info :D.
Wow, good job. I make knives once in a while as a hobby, so I can appreciate the fine, tedious work you put in. I also understand the desire for something unique- she's worth it, and you want to show it.
She is a very pretty girl, too. Congratulations on your fine work, it is beautiful!
Your article mentioned you were interested in making things- knives are a similar thing, kind of their own zen. If you're interested message me.
Brilliant idea! I love the personal touch - a custom ring with a good story to go with it.
Mark Foster, Editor | www.onewhitewedding.com
That's cool, man. I hope you and your girl will be together for as long as the prongs hold the stone in place. LOL. Just kidding. I also want to try it, probably will contact Sam. But with my tight sched, I'm torn between making a DIY or a Jamesallen diamond engagement ring.