Tips for Choosing your Metal Color

MetalChoices.jpg

It's officially engagement season and I'm loving all these new orders! Many clients have trouble deciding which gold color they prefer. Each has their own draw, but I do have a few tips: 

White gold or platinum stands out the most on any skin color. If you really want people to notice your ring, white is a good way to go. It's also very traditional and "deco". When ordering with diamonds, you'll want to get stones with a higher color rating because a yellowish tone will be more noticeable. The white color also blends my designs together into a sparkle cluster, which is good if you want it to look like a massive rock, but a downside if you want to emphasize the design.

If you still want traditional metal coloring, yellow is a very good candidate. Yellow gold looks best on olive skin or skin with yellowish undertones. You can cheat on diamond color with yellow gold, as the stones tend to pick up more of the yellowish color anyway.

Rose gold looks beautiful on dark skin, or any skin with pink undertones. It's a less traditional choice than yellow or white, but lends a vintage feel to the designs. Rose gold makes the stones appear whiter, and gives the greatest contrast to emphasize the design. It also blends the most with skin coloring, softening the overall design and making the ring blend more with your finger. 

One more tip: my rose gold is on the coppery side, and less "pink" than most rose gold that you will see. I'm not a big fan of pink rose gold, but I adore the more copper toned coloring of my rose gold, particularly on my pale pinkish colored skin tone. 

Posted on September 17, 2015 .

Moissy.com is now live!

In April, I was given the opportunity, along with two other designers and four bloggers, to take the Willy Wonka tour of the magical Charles and Colvard headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have worked with their Forever Brilliant Moissanite for several years now, and was excited to get a behind the scenes peek at the process.

A beautiful North Carolina rainbow spotted at dinner

A beautiful North Carolina rainbow spotted at dinner

The headquarters/factory has recently relocated to a sprawling building tucked in amongst the southern greenery, adjacent to a picturesque lake. You could feel the buzzing energy of innovation from the moment you walk in the door. We were whisked from room to room, each with their own eye popping indulgences: the cutting room, the grading room, the display room, and most astonishingly, the heavily secured vault full of these sparkling treasures. 

There is a lot to read out there about the scientific aspect of the discovery and creation of Moissanite. This is all very fascinating - but what most attracts me most to their product, as an artist, is the tremendous amount of passion and geekery for development. It’s a process that utilizes the best eyes and minds of the industry, including the former head of Helzberg Diamonds and trained GIA gemologists who individually grade each and every gemstone that passes into the market.

The cutting process in overview

The cutting process in overview

The grading process is performed by GIA certified gemologists that carefully review each stone for it’s cut, color, and clarity

The grading process is performed by GIA certified gemologists that carefully review each stone for it’s cut, color, and clarity

The grading scale 

The grading scale 

A major highlight of the trip was the selection of a single gemstone that we designers are to utilize in one of our pieces. I (along with Kristin and Konstanze) was giddy upon the discovery of the gorgeous, blue-gray, limited edition 8mm round moissanite. This is a color that I have admittedly obsessed over for several months now, and I’m very excited to incorporate it into one of my designs paired with rose gold and diamond accents.

The stunning blue gray 8mm (2 carat size) moissanite that I selected for my dream ring

The stunning blue gray 8mm (2 carat size) moissanite that I selected for my dream ring

New design coming soon

New design coming soon

My overall impression is that the Forever Brilliant company is about creativity and innovation; it’s about streamlining and fine-tuning a diamond/gemstone alternative that is ethical, sustainable, and just plain beautiful. They are not attempting to replace diamonds in the market: their goal is rather to create a high quality alternative for the ethical and budget savvy consumer. I am proud to offer their Forever Brilliant gemstones in my original designs, and look forward to their new creative endeavors! Check out their new website, now live at www.moissy.com, to see more behind the scenes of the tour and learn more about their beautiful stones. 


Posted on May 20, 2015 .

Behind the Scenes

 
 

I AM NOT ONE FOR SELFIES, BUT I JUST GOT A MANICURE ;) I ALSO THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE NICE FOR ALL OF YOU OUT THERE TO PUT A FACE BEHIND THE BRAND AND TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE ABOUT MY BACKGROUND.

MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR NINE YEARS. MY ORIGINAL ENGAGEMENT RING WAS A SOLITAIRE PRINCESS DIAMOND IN WHITE GOLD. FOUR YEARS AGO, I LOST MY RING AT MY PARENTS HOME IN COLORADO OVER CHRISTMAS - I FIGURED THAT I WOULD FIND IT THE NEXT TIME I CAME TO VISIT, OR THAT THEY MIGHT FIND IT IN THE MEANTIME. THAT SUMMER, THEIR HOME BURNT TO THE GROUND ALONG WITH 350 OTHERS IN A WILDFIRE, REDUCED TO THREE FEET OF ASH. I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE END OF MY RING! HOWEVER, AN ORGANIZATION THAT SEARCHES THROUGH ASHES FOR VALUABLES SPENT THREE DAYS AT THE HOME AND MIRACULOUSLY FOUND MY RING - INSIDE A PIPE! ON MY BIRTHDAY! IT HAD BEEN WASHED DOWN THE DRAIN, AND IF THE HOUSE HAD NOT BURNT DOWN, IT WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN FOUND. THE RING WAS BURNT TO A CRISP AND SLIGHTLY WARPED, BUT OTHERWISE INTACT (IT'S THE ONE ON MY POINTER FINGER). MY HUSBAND AND I DECIDED TO PURCHASE A NEW RING, AND I BEGAN TO SEARCH THROUGH MY OPTIONS. WHILE I WAS ATTRACTED TO VINTAGE STYLE, I WAS LARGELY UNIMPRESSED WITH MY CHOICES: BOTH ANTIQUES AND CONTEMPORARY PIECES. EVERYTHING LOOKED THE SAME AND I WANTED SOMETHING UNIQUE BUT NOT WEIRD. ULTIMATELY, I DESIGNED AND BUILT MY OWN RING: THE GATSBY IN ROSE GOLD AND DIAMONDS. AFTER 6 MONTHS OF WEARING THE RING, I REALIZED THAT OTHERS WERE LOVING THE DESIGN AS MUCH AS I DID, AND THUS BEGAN MY CAREER IN RING DESIGN. WITH A BACKGROUND IN FINE ART DESIGN AND ART HISTORY, I ATTEMPT TO MERGE THE BEST OF THE OLD AND NEW TO CREATE WORKS THAT ARE FAMILIAR BUT DIFFERENT - DELICATE BUT STRONG, WITH GREAT ATTENTION TO DETAIL. 
 

MORAL OF THE STORY? I BELIEVE THAT GOOD THINGS COME TO YOU, LITERALLY FROM THE ASHES, WHEN YOU HOLD YOUR LIFE AND POSSESSIONS WITH AN OPEN HAND, DON'T TAKE YOUR "THINGS" TOO SERIOUSLY, AND STAY TRUE TO WHAT YOU LOVE! I DESIGN EVERYTHING FOR MY OWN TASTE, ONLY BUILDING SOMETHING THAT I WILL WEAR. I FIGURE THAT IF OTHERS HAVE THE SAME TASTE, THEY MIGHT JUST LOVE IT AS WELL. I SUPPOSE THAT ALSO EXPLAINS WHY I HAVE THE COOLEST CLIENTS OF ALL TIME. 😉

Posted on April 19, 2015 .

Actual Scale of my Ring Designs

I'm very excited to offer a new tool that will prove extremely helpful for visualizing the scale of my designs. You can view the PDF here.

Print the document and cut out rings to better understand the scale of each design on your own finger. As always, each ring is custom built to order and will vary slightly in scale from the examples. 

Posted on February 24, 2015 .

Let's Talk about Rocks!

You’ve searched everywhere and finally found a ring design that you LOVE. Congratulations! Your style sense has teamed up with your pledge of devotion in one small but mighty accessory. Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of that design: choosing the stones. When you are working with a custom designer (yours truly), the possibilities are endless. You can choose the scale, the colors of the stones, the quality of the stones, the metals, the shape and size of the band, and so on. Everything about your ring is customizable. This can be daunting, but it helps to know a little bit about the most commonly used stones in my designs. 


White Sapphires

White sapphires are a fantastic option for anyone who wants a natural white stone without the big price tag or connotations of a diamond. Sapphires are durable (it scores a 9 on the Mohs scale), bright, and relatively inexpensive. When comparing to diamonds, they have a different sparkle, reflecting white light as opposed to the rainbow effect of a diamond sparkle. Therefore, I do not advise pairing them beside diamonds in a semi-mount or as the center (the halo is an exception, as I always use diamonds for the halo to give the max sparkle to the entire piece). White sapphires are best used in a ring as a whole, or paired with a colored (non-white) stone like a blue sapphire or black diamond. White sapphires also require cleaning every few weeks to avoid dullness and to maintain their sparkle. 

  • Compare a diamonds/moissanite ring with a white sapphire ring. The first photo is a good still comparison of diamonds and moissanite center (left) with white sapphires (right). In the video with the oval rings, the one on the left is yellow gold with white sapphire and diamond halo, the one on the right is rose gold with all diamonds. In the second video, the white gold Gatsby Petite is all diamonds, the rose gold one is white sapphires with a diamond halo.
 
 

Diamonds

Diamonds are the most au courant traditional engagement ring choice, symbolizing an enduring, unbreakable love, strength and stability. A diamond is a no nonsense stone, requiring little maintenance to keep it’s rainbow-like sparkle - it is also much more expensive than it's white stone counterparts. In my designs, the client is the one who chooses the center stone (the most expensive part of the ring) based on their preferences and budget. The quality/color/price of a diamond varies greatly, and each stone is priced according to it’s specific characterizations. I typically give the client several stone options and then match the quality/color of the outside stones to the chosen center. 

  • Helpful Hint: Save money by using a smaller center stone. In this photo, compare a 1 carat size (white sapphire ring) to a .8 carat (all diamonds) center Gatsby ring. Using the slightly smaller center stone saved this client thousands of dollars over a 1 carat diamond ring, without changing the overall look. 
 
1caratVS.8carat.jpg
 

Moissanite

More and more brides are opting for the diamond look without the price tag. Forever Brilliant Moissanite is an excellent stone, appearing just like a diamond - you can even fool a jeweler without a loupe! Read more about the discovery and history of Moissanite here. Because it is a created stone, larger sizes are available for a small fraction of the price of a diamond of the same size. Unfortunately, also because it is a created stone, it is not available in all cuts, particularly not in tapered baguettes which are commonly used in my designs. Therefore, most brides-to-be tend to pair the moissanite in the center (the most expensive part of the ring) with a surrounding diamond semi mount. This way, the center can also be replaced in the future for an all diamond ring. In my designs, I only use Forever Brilliant Moissanite. It has the best color and quality, and it comes with a warranty as well. 

  • All three rings in the video below have diamonds. Only one has a Forever Brilliant Moissanite center. Can you guess which one?
 
 
  • Give up? The rose gold Original Gatsby on the bottom has the moissanite center.
  • Another video comparison of an all diamond ring vs. a Forever Brilliant moissanite/diamond ring:
 
 
  • One more video comparison below. The rose gold Mid Gatsby is all diamonds, the white gold Mid Gatsby has a Forever Brilliant Moissanite center, diamond halo, with surrounding white sapphires. 
 
 

Whatever your preferences, your ring will be a unique, one-of-a-kind piece, hand crafted and specifically chosen for YOU! 


Posted on February 23, 2015 .