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Sarahs Ring Story Part 3, The Rings

Sarahs Ring Story Part 3, The Rings

And...DONE! What do you think?

Heirloom redesign white gold vintage diamonds Heather Perry Maine jewelry designer

Every time I work through a design and finally see it come to life as a finished piece of jewelry I am amazed how much more beautiful it looks than I ever could have imagined!

There's really nothing like holding the finished piece in your hand. It's the motion of the body during wear that activates jewelry more than any image or drawing, no matter how well conceived. This time is no exception. I love the sparkly vintage feel of these rings. What’s more Sarah and her daughters do too! And trust me when I say there is A LOT of sparkle to love in these rings!

I was thrilled to help you keep the story of your family alive in these rings, Sarah,


Do you have inherited jewels stowed away you wish you wore more often? Email me right now: Let’s turn your heirlooms into meaningful jewelry you’ll want to wear every single day! xo, H

Sarahs heirloom diamond ring redesign story Heather Perry Maine jewlery designer


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Sarahs Ring Story Part 2, The Making

Sarahs Ring Story Part 2, The Making

How to make a diamond ring...

Part of Sarahs purpose for redesigning her family rings was to honor the memory of the two amazing women who raised her. Her intention was to give the finished rings to the two amazing women she raised-her daughters. With this in mind we decided to maintain the square arrangement of the diamonds honoring the original shape of both rings (and her grandmothers design style) while minimizing the size for functional every day wear.

Functional everyday diamonds-YES, PLEASE! I love the way Sarah thinks!

After establishing a general direction for the design of the rings it comes down to arranging the diamonds within the available space. In all we had 37 diamonds to work with!

Here’s the final version sketched out after many discussions and design variations. It includes 12 diamonds of varying sizes surrounding a center .5ct diamond in each ring-SPARKLE!


Now, how to put it all together? For these rings I decided to use Computer Aided Design. When a high degree of precision is required for a design the use of CAD saves time and money-a win for everyone!

I know you’re curious, so here's a nutshell description of how jewelry is created using CAD:

Once the design is sketched the physical drawing is converted to a digital file that can then be manipulated in the computer. When it’s just right the file is sent to a Rapid Prototype Machine which carves a three dimensional version of the digital drawing in wax. This wax prototype is the model used to make a mold in order to reproduce the wax rings, which will be cast in metal. Fun, right!?

This is what a digital CAD image looks like:

Sarahs ring heirloom diamond ring CAD drawing Heather Perry Maine jewlery designer

In our case, we cast the rings in 14k white gold. After casting the metal is burnished and stones set. Final ring size correction, stone check for secure settings, polish to a brilliant shine, et voilà, DIAMOND RINGS!

Check back tomorrow to see part 3 of Sarahs Ring Story AND the finished rings!

Sarahs ring heirloom diamond ring drawing Heather Perry Maine jewlery designer


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Sarahs Ring Story Part 1, The History

Sarahs Ring Story  Part 1, The History

Every ring tells a story.

Sarahs ring story begins with two treasures she had stowed away in her jewelry box for years. I met Sarah when she called me explaining that she wanted to honor her family history by creating something new with the diamonds from her heirloom rings. Of course, I was immediately interested!

Here’s what we had to work with:

Sarahs ring heirloom diamond ring story Heather Perry Maine jewlery designer

The Rectangle Ring, c.1910 (left in photo) Sarahs grandmother was a stylish St. Louis woman who believed in good quality, great design and had a passion for DIAMONDS. Around 1910 she had a ring made for herself, a lovely art deco style platinum cocktail ring with a .5ct diamond center and sixteen smaller diamonds scattered around in filigree. It’s grand, like her, and Sarah remembers admiring the ring often because her grandmother wore it all the time. Sarah eventually inherited this ring

The Square Ring, 1940 (right in photo) When Sarahs mother graduated from high school a special gift was in order. So naturally Grandmother (of the grand cocktail ring above) had a diamond ring similar to her own custom made in platinum! She used the .5ct diamond taken from her original engagement ring, which was available since her engagement ring had been elegantly re-designed. Twenty smaller diamonds surround the center stone.

According to family tradition, Sarah inherited the square ring from her mother when she graduated from high school. She wore it every day for years and years until the gallery work (the open spaces under the settings that let light pass into the stones) weakened causing one of the corners to fall and the loss of a diamond. She was heartbroken and resigned it to her jewelry box where it sat for years.

Not satisfied to let her beautiful family rings live out their days in a small dark box, Sarah and I set to work on a design that would elegantly connect her past to her present and timeless enough to pass on to the next generation.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Sarahs Ring Story!

Sarahs ring heirloom diamond ring story Heather Perry Maine jewlery designer


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Voting and the Holloway Brooch

Voting and the Holloway Brooch

What’s on your mind today-the election maybe?

There was a time, as women, the election remained just there, in our minds. We had no legal right to act on our thoughts, no right to vote. Thankfully, TODAY we do. And it seems a crucial act, as a woman, in the current political climate.

While those of us who will vote today do not have personal memories of a time we had to fight to possess that right, jewelry can tell us about some of the women who did.

Pictured above is Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), the British political activist and suffragette. Her women’s advocacy organization, the Women’s Social and Political Union, operated on a premise of “deeds not words” some of which included hunger strikes, assaults and destruction of property. Their acts of disruption and outrage caught attention of the authorities, and many members of the WSPU landed themselves behind the bars of Holloway Prison. This did not stop their deeds. But then, it is difficult to contain the acts of a group of people who congregate to acknowledge their shared oppression.

This is where the jewelry comes in. Emmelines daughter, Sylvia, wanted to create a symbol of their unity, strength and dedication to the cause of women’s rights and the right to vote. This came in the form of a brooch meant to be worn as a badge of honor for those women of the WSPU who served time in Holloway Prison. You can see Emmeline wearing her Holloway Brooch at the neck of her blouse. She earned it.

The Holloway Brooch

As with most jewelry in the Victorian era, it was rife with symbolism. The body of the brooch represents the House of Commons portcullis and chains, and the broad arrow, or the “convict symbol” is a direct reference to time served. The colors-Green, White, Violet-were associated with some groups of suffragettes and is meant to be interpreted by the first letter of the colors to read “Get Women Votes”.

These colors show up in a lot of jewelry from the time of the suffragettes in either gems or enamel. But it is difficult to determine, without provenance, weather the colors were intended as an homage to the suffragettes or just meant as pretty jewelry.

So, on this day that we can act on our minds and conscience (and that we still have some fighting to do for true gender equality), maybe you will be inspired to find a beautiful jewel of Green, White, Violet to wear to the polls in honor of how far we’ve come and the work yet to do. And, of course, because jewelry brings a happy sparkle to your day which can’t be a bad thing. Happy voting!

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