Categorized under: Process Videos

MELTING GOLD: Watch Pouring Ingot to Make a Ring

From the crucible to the ingot mold, watch where a ring truly begins to take shape. Fire in the Green Lake workshop is as daily an occurrence as is hammering and filing, and truth be told it ignites some magic and excitement in us every time:

MELTING GOLD from Green Lake Jewelry Works on Vimeo.

Green Lake Jewelry Works Artist, Lamoureux

Green Lake Jewelry Works Artist, Gary Lamoureux

BEHIND THE SCENES:

At Green Lake, Gary is our repair and restoration specialist. He says the best part of his job is seeing the smile on a customer’s face when he’s restored an old piece of family jewelry to its original look, especially when the customer tells him they took their jewelry to another jeweler and were told it couldn’t be fixed.

USING OLD GOLD FOR A NEW RING? 

We can help you to make something new with sentimental gold, by first melting it down much like it’s shown in the video above. It’s important to note, however, that not every piece is a good candidate for re-casting; there are a slew of variables that would cause the new, re-cast piece to be pitted or brittle. In most cases it also requires more gold to make new new piece than the old one is able to yield.  Nonetheless Green Lake is happy to do it – the torch and crucible are here waiting, just contact us directly at info@greenlakejewelry.com or check out our Restoration Page for more info.

Categorized under: Education, Jewelry

Buying a Diamond Online? Here’s what Diamond Certificates Don’t Always Show

     It’s never been easier to search the world’s diamond vaults for the absolute best quality and value. From your armchair, all of a diamond’s cuts, carat weights, clarity, and color (The 4 C’s) are virtually at your fingertips to compare. Be careful, though, because with all that convenience it’s easy to get caught up with technical descriptions of diamonds – instead of the diamond itself.

After all, it’s how the diamond actually looks that you’re really after. Does it radiate with brilliant, mesmerizing sparkle on the finger? Does it catch the light of the room and remind you why it’s there in first place? While 4 C’s are all key factors in selecting the perfect diamond, they simply can’t answer these questions on their own; you really have to see a diamond for yourself to know. It seems crazy to buy a diamond you’ve never seen, from someone you’ve never met, and yet it’s becoming the norm for online purchases.

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All too often, folks get caught up in finding the biggest and most clear, colorless diamond for the least amount of money. To find it, they’ll scroll through hundreds of certifications, poring over each granular credential with all the romance of  a Dewey Decimal search in the library. We think you should actually see your perfect diamond, and compare it amongst others to ensure your final selection is the right one.

Take for instance this tale of two diamonds pictured below: Both are round brilliant cuts of comparable carat weight. Both were graded by the same reputable institution, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Both are of the same color and clarity grading, and both are considered excellent. In fact, save for a few nuances in pavilion angle and girdle depth, theses two diamonds are ostensibly the same gem (at least on the laboratory report). But these two are not the same gem. Just have a look…

Diamond Specs

Promise, no doctoring to this photo has been done to dramatize the effect. These two diamonds pictured above look the same on the certificate, yet appear very different in person. One is clearly ‘crisper’ than the other, like a freshly cleaned mirror. So, what gives? If the 4 C’s on the certification are the same, what is missing?

BRANT

Clarity Isn’t Always Terribly Clear

A diamond’s clarity grade is based on the visible amount of microscopic crystals that formed in the gem at its birth, eons in the earth’s deep past. These tiny crystals may deflect light away from your eye, which causes a milky or cloudy effect in the gemstone. Can you guess which diamond in the image above has more of these crystals? Of course, it’s obvious.

Nonetheless, these types of inclusions are generally not shown on the plot of a certificate. They’re so small and numerous that it would be far too cumbersome to report, especially if they’re not deemed significant enough to effect the gem’s ultimate grade, and subsequent value. So they don’t show up, because they apparently don’t matter enough, but they will completely change the way the diamond looks. You would never know that the diamond wasn’t as stunning as the other unless you physically saw it to compare.

DIAMOND CERT

What Else May Be Missing on the Diamond Certificate? 

While these little pin point crystal inclusions account for a majority of hidden differences, there are all sorts of subtle attributes that can equate to big disparities. For instance, fluorescencethat is the amount a diamond will glow under an ultraviolet light to reveal otherwise hidden mineral traces – is reported on the certificate, but bears little relevance to how the diamond will look in a ring on your finger. Most of us don’t live under the glare of an ultraviolet lamp, but hopefully we do get out in the sunshine – how does it look out there? That may better satisfy your own fluorescence criteria than a report alone.

Another important contribution to how bright and sparkly a diamond can be is its scintillation, that glittering iridescence that makes the diamond almost appear as though it’s on fire. A grading certificate will report the quality of the polish, and that is indeed a gauge of scintillation, yet it does not detail its facet arrangement. Diamonds cut by hand will conceivably differ slightly, which will affect their overall scintillation. The take away here is that no two diamonds can really ever be exactly the same and it’s best to see them side by side with your own eyes.

Green Lake’s Selection Process

Just as each ring at Green Lake is hand crafted and custom made, our diamond collection is hand selected. We source our gemstones directly, negotiating hard for the best value for our clients and accepting only the most beautiful diamonds while returning the rest. Whereas most online sites don’t personally view the individual diamonds they pick from a list and send out sight unseen, Green Lake meticulously inspects every diamond we present.

JIM

We are artists who put just as much passion into gem selection as we do in our craft of fine jewelry making. Be it in our Seattle studio or through our website, it’s our gemologists, designers, and jewelers – not salespeople – who seek to provide you with the perfect diamond. Because our singular aim is to create the most beautiful rings possible, to out-do ourselves again and again, it’s in our interest to connect clients with the absolute best diamonds available within their respective budgets.

Are you in search of the perfect diamond? Get even smarter about your purchase criteria on our Understanding Diamonds page, and if you want to speak with a buyer or gemologist directly, contact Green Lake’s Gemstone Laboratory today and get some expert help: gemstones@greenlakejewelry.com

Categorized under: Education

What Makes Sapphires So Blue?

3.7ct Asscher Cut Natural Blue Sapphire

Second only to diamond on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, sapphire has always been a popular choice for heirloom jewelry to last the ages.

Second only to diamond on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, sapphire has always been a popular choice for heirloom jewelry to last the ages.

    From Victorian era jewelry to contemporary design, sapphires are a favorite gemstone for bridal pieces to last the ages. Second only to diamond in hardness, sapphires are an especially durable gemstone for jewelry to be worn on a daily basis. Where diamonds are treasured for their lack of color, sapphires are most valuable when they are rich in it – especially when they’re blue. But what makes a sapphire blue? And is one hue of blue considered necessarily better than another?

Why Sapphires Are So Blue

Sapphire is a gemstone from the mineral variety corundum and gets its blue hue from the element titanium as the crystal develops over eons, deep within the earth’s crust. Comprised namely of aluminum oxide, corundum alone is actually a transparent mineral void of color. This is where we get a ‘white sapphire’ from. But when nature adds in trace amounts of titanium oxide into the mix with just the right temperature and pressure, you get the rich blue hue sapphire is renowned for. Subtle differences in this combination, such as varying amounts of iron, can produce sapphires that are dark and inky to others that are lighter, with a cool iridescent sparkle.

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Rubies & Sapphires

Did You Know Sapphires & Rubies are of the Same Mineral?

Sapphire’s color palette doesn’t stop at just blue. Virtually every color of the spectrum, from candied pink to canary yellow, can be found within the various combinations of corundum and its elemental impurities. When corundum has enough chromium in it that it becomes red, however, it ceases to be sapphire entirely. Instead the gemstone is termed ‘ruby.’ The word corundum is actually a derivation from Tamil language’s word for ruby.

Varying Shades of Blue

There are many different shades to choose from when purchasing a sapphire: From pale cornflower to deep indigo or green and violet undertones that offer flashes of color change. Which one is considered best?  Well, as many gemologists will tell you, while a sapphire with subtle hints of violet may demand a higher price in the market, color is very much subjective. The value in color is ultimately determined by the wearer; it entirely depends on what you like.

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How Sapphires Are Graded

In searching for a sapphire, you may discover that grading is far more nuanced and relatively inconsistent a process when compared to diamond grading. Though still important factors, the old familiar 4 C’s (color, clarity, cut, and carats) do not necessarily apply in the same way here. For one, it’s especially rare to find sapphire free of natural inclusions. In fact, tiny inclusions can even lend a velvety appearance to some sapphires and increase their value, as is the case with the treasured the Kashmir variety. So ‘clarity’ seldom plays a primary factor in assessing a sapphire’s value.

Color is key is assessing a sapphire’s value. A sapphire’s color determined by its elemental make up. Sapphires with more titanium oxide and less iron will be a more vivid blue.

Color is key is assessing a sapphire’s value. A sapphire’s color determined by its elemental make up. Sapphires with more titanium oxide and less iron will be a more vivid blue.

Another key aspect in valuing gemstones is their total carat weight (TCW); that’s essentially how big they are. Nevertheless, sapphires can share an identical TCW yet vary widely in value on account of their color. Indeed, it’s almost color alone that determines a sapphires value, superseding even the cut of the gemstone.

Hue, Tone, and Saturation

Color in a sapphire is graded by its hue, tone, and saturation.  Hue refers to the gem’s inherent color. More often than not, a sapphire will exhibit a predominate color (in our case blue), with subtle undertones of another, like green, pink, or violet. Still, we refer to these gems as basically ‘blue,’ unless the other tones are significant enough to warrant a more accurate description like ‘violetish-blue’ or ‘greenish-blue.’

Hue refers to color and differences within gemstones can be very subtle.

Hue refers to color and differences within gemstones can be very subtle.

Tone is used to describe the amount or depth of color present. If two sapphires share the same hue of blue but one is endowed with more of it, that sapphire will appear darker than the other. This difference will be described as one sapphire being ‘blue’ while the other perhaps as ‘deep’ blue.

Color Gemstone Hue

Looking for differences in tone between gemstones.

Saturation refers to the extent to which the basic color is not masked by other brown or grey hues. A sapphire that is largely free of these drab hues will be described as ‘vivid,’ meaning the truest color is visible.

Grey or brown tones can subdue the saturation of color in sapphires.

Grey or brown tones can subdue the saturation of color in sapphires.

The Best Way to Gauge Color

Best way to see just how blue a sapphire is? Just look at it! Observe the gem in natural daylight as well as in various artificial lights to best determine the true color. And just like finding the perfect shade of paint, compare the gem side by side to others with similar hues. Working with a gemologist will also lend a trained eye and some expert advice to your selection.

Jeremy Dunn

Know What You’re Buying

Because there is no one entity that grades colored stones, it can be difficult to know what you’re getting. There is a common framework of assigning colored gems ‘A,’ AA,’ or ‘AAA’ ratings to denote levels of quality, but the application of such ratings is rather subjective as they are often performed by the sellers themselves. Working directly with a reputable buyer or seller will help to ensure you receive the most value in your sapphire purchase.

Dan Cavinet

Where Sapphires Originate

Sapphires come from deep within the earth’s crust in the mantle.  A mix of extreme temperature, crushing pressure, and the proper chemical elements (e.g., iron, titanium, etc.) all work together to create blue sapphire. This is a process that has taken place all over the world as sapphires are found on most every continent, from India and Southeast Asia to the Americas.

Though not yet pictured, Canadian efforts in Greenland show promise for large deposits of corundum deep under the icy earth.

Though not yet pictured, Canadian efforts in Greenland show promise for large deposits of corundum deep under the icy earth.

Additionally, sapphires from certain regions can fetch a much higher price than others. Rarity of new finds, difficulty to mine, and unique shades are all contributing factors toward increased value. Take for instance sapphires from the Kashmir valley; with a signature cornflower blue hue these gems are considered some of the most exquisite sapphires in world.

Sapphire Snowflake – Green Lake Designer and Graduate Gemologist Dan Canivet

Sapphire Snowflake – Green Lake Designer and Graduate Gemologist Dan Canivet

Owning A Natural Sapphire

In a modern world of synthetic gemstones, lab created sapphire makes its way into many products – from semiconductors to mobile phone screens – and is an economic alternative for use in fine jewelry. By selecting a natural sapphire, however, you are ensured something that is one of a kind, unmatched on this earth, and therefore more rare a possession. Similar to snowflakes, no two are the same!

More Unique Sapphires

Yogo Sapphires

Popular especially in the Pacific Northwest, Montana sapphires are a very unique shade of blue - pictured here, a pair of round brilliant cuts.

Popular especially in the Pacific Northwest, Montana sapphires are a very unique shade of blue – pictured here, a pair of round brilliant cuts.

In the mid 19th century, little blue stones served more a distraction than an opportunity to the ambitious gold miners of Montana’s Yogo gulch. For it wasn’t until 1895 that these stones were finally recognized as sapphires. Today, Montana is recognized as the largest producer of gem-quality sapphires in the nation, offering what Green Lake gemologist and jeweler Annie Van Lenten deems “some of the most beautiful sapphires [she’s] come across so far.”

Padparadscha Sapphires

Rare indeed, a Padparadscha sapphire radiates with a distinctive pink tone, akin to that of a lotus blossom.

Rare indeed, a Padparadscha sapphire radiates with a distinctive pink tone, akin to that of a lotus blossom.

Perhaps one of the rarest and most valuable varieties of sapphire isn’t even blue. The Padparadscha (that’s Sanskrit for ‘color of the lotus)’ is a distinctive yet elusive salmon pink color, with flashes of orange iridescence. Though found in parts of Vietnam and East Africa, it’s synonymous with the old world of Ceylon, or present day Sri Lanka.

For more information on how to find the very best sapphire for you, contact a Green Lake gemologist directly at: gemstones@greenlakejewelry.com

Categorized under: Process Videos

HEAVY METAL: Hand Engraved

   Here is a men’s wedding band unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s an inlayed, relief engraved mokume gane ring, crafted entirely by hand – and there’s only one. Not surprisingly, it’s available exclusively at Green Lake Jewelry Works.

Relief engraved mokume & rose gold inlay koi band

Relief engraved mokume & rose gold inlay koi band

   Green Lake specializes in making totally custom, handmade, one a kind wedding jewelry. To offer this level of craftsmanship, our Seattle studio is also home to many artists of varying disciplines. Take for instance the artist who conceived of this piece: Joe Worley, a classically trained goldsmith in the European tradition of hand fabrication – and the guitarist for local heavy metal band, Pharaoh Hound.

   Watch Joe fashion this ring to his own tune:

HEAVY METAL: Hand Engraving from Green Lake Jewelry Works on Vimeo.

ABOUT the RING 

   The Koi Pond is hand fabricated from 14 karat palladium white gold and sterling silver Mokume Gane billet with 14 karat rose gold cold forged inlay. The traditional Japanese folk art theme depicts a Koi pond framed by a blossoming Cherry tree. The use of ancient Japanese materials combined with Japanese iconography was an easy choice to explore this new take on Mokume Gane in jewelry design.

Rose gold inlay is used to accent and add an iridescent sparkle to the cherry tree - $6995.00

Rose gold inlay is used to accent and add an iridescent sparkle to the cherry tree – $6995.00

   In general, Mokume Gane is twisted while heated and manipulated with various tools to create a pattern, then fabricated into a ring or other jewelry piece. This process explores the idea of rolling up the ring blank without twisting the compressed billet (thin alternating layers of different metals stacked on top of each other) to use like paint in a pallet. It is deeply hand engraved exposing the different layers to create contrast, definition, and in some cases subtle forms like clouds or shadows on rocks. The finish left by a graver is too shiny to show contrast so it must be sandblasted to reveal any progress, making it a slow and deliberate process.

Shadows on the rocks are actually different layers of noble metal revealed; the darker metal pictured is palladium

Shadows on the rocks are actually different layers of noble metal revealed; the darker metal pictured is 14k palladium

   Once the desired tone or color is reached the material can be sculpted by chasing for desired effect. Notice the white head of the Koi with dark background or the rocks showing a consistent light source with highlights and shadows, all cut to different depths then hammered into shape. Bark on the Cherry tree and scales on the Koi also illustrate the effect of cutting down through alternating metals. The edges of the band were sculpted to both showcase the alternating layers better and provide a stone frame for the scene. 14 karat rose gold inlay was chosen to form the Cherry blossoms and break up the monochromatic scene, adding drama and life. As everything is sandblasted the final engraved cuts were left shiny to use light reflection for definition of some shapes.

“The edges of the band were sculpted to both showcase the alternating layers better and provide a stone frame for the scene.”

“The edges of the band were sculpted to both showcase the alternating layers better and provide a stone frame for the scene.”

To purchase this ring, visit the gallery page.

ABOUT the ARTIST 

Green Lake Gold & Platinumsmith, Joe Worley

Green Lake Gold & Platinumsmith, Joe Worley

 Joe Worley is a classically trained Gold and Platinumsmith in the European tradition of hand fabrication. Under a formal apprenticeship with Master Jeweler Joe Sauer, he repeated basic projects in copper and brass until the strict standards of his mentor were achieved. Hand fabricating fine jewelry under the guidance of a traditional Master Jeweler is a very unique privilege in today’s world – and an increasingly rare skill as more jewelers enlist computer aided design programs to lower production costs. Worely began with Green Lake in the old lakeside studio as a bench jeweler in 2004. In 2007 he strengthened his repertoire in managing the creation of fine jewelry in another local workshop and in 2012 returned the Green Lake family, where he now fashions the most dazzling hand fabricated, custom made rings.

 

Categorized under: Proposals and Engagements

VAL + RACHEL: A Custom Masters of the Universe Ring

he-manBy the power of Grayskull…this ring is awesome! Ok, had to say it – but If you’re a baby of the 80’s then you know what we’re talking about. The power sword, if you recall, was what Prince Adam would raise to turn into He-Man (admit it, you remember).

Green Lake Jewelry Works is really only one of a handful of places in the world where a single, one of a kind ring can be crafted to incorporate just about anything you can dream up – even He-Man’s power sword. It’s the key inspiration for this custom engagement ring:

Custom cast 14k gold mounting with a round brilliant cut center diamond. Both sides of the ring are adorned with small icons symbolizing different stages in the couple’s time together.

Custom cast 14k gold mounting with a round brilliant cut center diamond. Both sides of the ring are adorned with small icons symbolizing different stages in the couple’s time together.

VAL + RACHEL

It will come as no surprise that Val is comic book writer and artist, not to mention a He-Man aficionado. It was actually on he-man.org where he and Rachel first met. Over a decade later, Val proposed at Power Con, an annual Masters of the Universe enthusiast’s event he organizes.

Um, yeah - she loves it!

Um, yeah – she loves it!

But there’s more to this proposal than just being at Power Con – Val quizzes his bride-to-be on all the special moments in their relationship that led them to this point, then reveals they’ve all been included into the ring!  Huge thanks to this couple for sharing with us this special event. You can read his full story on the Power Con site, and see the whole proposal here:

VAL + RACHEL: A Custom Masters of the Universe Ring from Green Lake Jewelry Works on Vimeo.

Categorized under: Proposals and Engagements

Cool Together – One Man’s Truly Custom Proposal

Talk about creative! Recent Green Lake custom engagement ring client Ethan W hand made this wintry terrarium to propose with – of course she said yes!

Handmade terrarium by Seattle custom engagement ring client Ethan W

Handmade terrarium by Seattle custom engagement ring client Ethan W

See Ethan’s gallery for the ring here and meet Samantha, the designer he worked with here at Green Lake.

 

Categorized under: Proposals and Engagements

The Perfect Engagement Ring for a Young Doctor

Custom made rose gold vine pendant with a custom platinum and sapphire mounting, representing an upside down heart with a drying flower in the middle.

Custom made rose gold vine pendant with a custom platinum and sapphire mounting, representing an upside down heart with a drying flower in the middle.

What makes for the perfect engagement ring to a new medical school graduate bound for long hours, latex gloves, and exam rooms? Jasper H, a recent Green Lake client and creative product manager for leading online company, came upon just the solution: A pendant shaped to hold her engagement ring close, even when she couldn’t wear it. While he’d seen similar ideas to hold a ring around the neck, Jasper had a very clear vision for this piece’s look and use of materials and could find nothing like it – this was something that had to be custom made.

Initial sketches by Green Lake designer and jewelry, Amber Worley.

Initial sketches by Green Lake designer and jewelry, Amber Worley.

At Green Lake, Jasper worked from the other side of the country with Seattle jeweler and designer Amber Worley to bring the dream alive.  Amber understood that Jasper was looking not for a matching set, but rather a ring and pendant to stand on their own as separate pieces, and fit together as a happy coincidence. The pendant, in warm rose gold, was fashioned like a vine. The platinum mounting was designed with a petal-inspired setting for its sapphire, resembling a drying flower when placed into the pendent. On their own they are stunning, and together deeply meaningful.

What a cool surprise! Beautiful images courtesy of Jasper H – we wonder how they were presented!

What a cool surprise! Beautiful images courtesy of Jasper H – we wonder how these pieces were presented!

Thanks to Jasper for updating us at Green Lake that all went well with the proposal and that she loved it – congratulations to you both! To see more on how this piece was made and the people who made it, visit the client gallery here.

 

 

Categorized under: Jewelry

10 Unique Engagement Rings from 2013

Ever since the very first one-of-a-kind engagement ring we crafted, Green Lake has been fashioning increasingly delicate, precise, and creative custom pieces year after year. The art of fine jewelry making demands decades of skillful apprenticeship that evolves into confident mastery. Artists at Green Lake are ever chasing new design challenges, creative interpretations of old world techniques, and above all, the opportunity to out-do themselves. Here are 10 custom engagement rings made in 2013 that truly embody this pursuit:

THE LINE UP

1 – Gold and Platinum Pierced Mounting with Pear-Cut Center 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

Yellow gold made a huge comeback this year, especially high carat weight. This custom mounting in 18kt yellow gold with an ornately pierced platinum setting (which is actually re-purposed from an heirloom pendent) is an absolutely stunning example. The ring seems to bear all the hallmarks of crown jewels – from the flowing scrolls and meticulously milgrained edges to the decadent appeal of its pear cut center diamond – yet looks like nothing we’ve ever seen before. This is undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind piece!

2 – Platinum Leaf & Vine Ring with Green Diamonds and Kite-Shaped Center Setting 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

Many clients seek out Green Lake to craft their ring for our specialty in making subtle, botanically inspired bridal jewelry that’s not too fussy, but still sophisticated and contemporary all the same. This custom engagement ring really captures that sentiment: The platinum is modernized with a cool matte finish; the filigree is thicker and its under-and-over weaving bring the pattern alive; and the green side diamonds, as well as the kite-shaped setting of the center diamond, all combine to make this ring a lively, vibrant work of art.

3 – Heirloom Inspired Rose Gold Halo Setting with Rose Cut Center Diamond 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

Rarely seen in bridal jewelry nowadays (save for antique pieces), the rose cut diamond harkens back to an earlier period of hand-cut diamonds throughout Europe. Perhaps for its namesake, this diamond has been set into a halo mounting of 14k rose gold and the genuine look of old world craftsmanship is completed with ornate filigree in its gallery and a delicate wheat pattern on the side face, demonstrating an exemplary skill in hand engraving.

4 –  Euro-cut Diamond & Opal Ring 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

With the geometric symmetry and delightful complexity of a Moorish tile, this custom platinum ring centers on an old European-cut diamond center and is framed by opaque blue opals. Fine milgrain applied to every angle of this exceptional ring is just one of its many surprising and subtle details. When clients come to Green Lake with their hearts set on a ring as tailored as this one is, artists really have to step up how they envision and execute making a ring like no other – this one definitely counts as a memorable ring we made in 2013!

5 – Carved Engagement Ring in Platinum 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

We love to share our most innovative work online, and when we shared this one earlier in the year, thousands of people were quick to let us know just how much they liked it, making this ring the people’s choice from 2013. While the settings are relatively simple, the delicately carved platinum and whimsically curling branches that wrap across the finger makes this ring not only aesthetically beautiful, but fun to wear as well.

6 – Diamond Lotus Ring in Warm White Gold 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring, how this piece was made, the designer behind it, and the jewelers who made it.

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring, how this piece was made, the designer behind it, and the jewelers who made it.

We at Green Lake strive to illicit the ‘Oh my God, where did you get that ring??’ reaction for our clients, who will wear a piece from us for a lifetime. Using a warmer tone of white gold (that is, an alloy with less nickel content), a stunning round diamond center, and lightly layered petals throughout, this lotus ring is sure to attract a lot of questions like these for the wearer. It’s definitely a piece that screams custom-built – it’s not something you can just go out and buy, and it is absolutely one of our favorites!

7 – Yellow Diamond Mounting with Antique Details 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

Green Lake fashions many beautiful rings with bold, pierced patterns leading up to the center stone, but this particular ring from 2013 is captivating for two reasons: First, just look at that color! Yellow diamonds really pop when set into the crisp white luster of palladium. Secondly, that intricately carved pattern – what seem like tightly curled fern fronds – lends a rich and regal texture to the band, making this ring a definite stand-out this year.

8 – White Gold Daisy Ring with Rose-Cut Center 

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

What a year for old European rose cut diamonds! With this white gold flower ring, however, the rose cut isn’t seeking to emulate an heirloom, but rather to modernize a classic with bold shapes in high polish. On the hand, this ring is obviously custom made, designed specially and specifically for one person only – and that’s exactly what we want!

9 – Platinum and Sapphire Wrap Ring with Diamonds

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

The intense and uniform color in over 7cts worth of these natural blue sapphires is what really makes this platinum mounting a piece to showcase for 2013. What’s more, the fishtail set diamonds and organic flow of this wrap design make it an especially breathtaking original.

10 – Delicate Antique Style Engagement Ring in Platinum  

Visit the Client Gallery to see more images on this ring and how this piece was made.

Good things do come in small packages! This hand-engraved platinum and diamond engagement ring is incredibly delicate – and with tiny little hand fabricated feathers in the side panels, unbelievably detailed. For many jewelers at Green Lake, working on this scale is where serious skills are required and serious talent proven. Go small or go home.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

As a jewelry studio that spends so much time creating rings (not just selling them), there is a story behind each piece we craft. Narrowing a year’s worth of work down to a short list of 10 is really impossible. The rings selected above represent a few of the wonderfully unique specialties Green Lake offers, but by no means cover our entire portfolio. To keep up on our latest and greatest creations, follow our Pinterest page, where there are even more pieces from the past year you might just fall in love with!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categorized under: Process Videos

GOLDEN TATE: Touchdown Jesus

Professional Football Player, Golden Tate

When local pro football wide receiver Golden Tate first called on Green Lake Jewelry Works, we thought for sure he was looking to make a custom ring. After all, that is the core of what we do. However, Green Lake has also recently produced some big, custom pieces – from Pawn Star Chum Lee’s face pendant to numerous Hollywood glam items that showed up on the red carpet  – and that’s more of what Tate was in the market for.  

What did Golden Tate want custom made? A gold rosary-inspired necklace with black and champagne diamonds, of course:

Cross: Custom carved, black rhodium plated solid white gold with 2ct worth of black and champagne diamonds. Rosary: Faceted black onyx beads separated 6 section of solid rose gold, strung on the highest grade of black silk threading.

How it Was Made

Green Lake master jeweler Dat Le at the bench.

Green Lake Jewelry Works designer and CAD modeler Kelsey Kudrievsteff approached this custom project with almost as much enthusiasm as she has for football. Though Seattle would claim him as their own, Golden actually comes to us by way of his home in Tennessee and his alma mater in Indiana.  As Golden sought to tastefully incorporate each aspect of his story into a single piece, the project fast became a complex design challenge for Kelsey. Luckily, the basic elements of a traditional rosary that inspire Golden’s pendent made it easier to segment out each meaning.

Golden Tate & Green Lake Designer Kelsey Kudrievsteff working on this custom piece from scratch.

The Crucifix

Likely the only one of its kind, Jesus’ depiction on this particular crucifix draws direct inspiration from The Word of Life mural that visible from Notre Dame’s stadium where Golden played through college, or what is what is more commonly referred to as ‘Touchdown Jesus.’ On its reverse, the personal motto ‘Don’t Be Satisfied’ and his longtime nickname ‘Showtime Tate’ have been carved into overlapping typography.

 The Center Piece

While a man of great faith who also went to catholic schools, Golden himself is not catholic, and as such the center piece on this pendant has been switched with something more personally fitting: A football. This solid gold section also accounts for a majority of the diamonds in this piece overall.

The Beads

Talk about a guy who will remember your birthday. At the end of each stretch of faceted black onyx sits a solid rose gold bead and each is custom carved with birthdates of family members.

All in all, from the big fans here at Green Lake Jewelry Works, we had a blast collaborating on this piece. As are a majority of our custom jewelry clients, Golden Tate was creative, sentimental, and a great guy all around.

Golden Tate with a few from the Green Lake Jewelry team.

Oh, and here’s the video for how we made this piece, start to finish:

Golden Tate – Custom Made from Green Lake Jewelry Works on Vimeo.

 

 

Categorized under: Jewelry

A LUXE HALLOWEEN : Couture Jewelry that’s Scary Cool

Here are some of the most unique, one-of-a-kind pieces you will ever see in a noble metal. As Halloween approaches, we at Green Lake Jewelry Works are pulling these rings, watches, and necklaces out from the crypt and showcasing their darkly chic appeal. Each were designed and handmade here in our Seattle workshop and are strictly all one-offs, remaining as matchless pieces of wearable art for the ages.

STEAMPUNK SKULL RING

THE RINGS

Cast in palladium and exposed to ultra-high heat, Designer T.S. Wittelsbach’s Steampunk Skull Ring radiates retro-futurism through an eerie metallic luster. Mechanically precise details are set with red, green, and white diamonds throughout.

Available exclusively at Green Lake Jewelry Works $20,000.00 – See more on this piece here.

ACID NOUVEAU COCKTAIL RING

 

 

 With a glittering fancy-cut pink tourmaline in its center, this decadent Nouveau-inspired cocktail ring is bejeweled with ideal-cut diamonds and natural rubies that twist and flow in palladium.

Available exclusively at Green Lake Jewelry Works $12,000.00 - See more on this piece here

 

EVERLASTING EVENING DROP NECKLACE

THE NECKLACE

Drop dead gorgeous, from Designer Sophia Woc – With a waterfall of over 600 black and white diamonds, this delicately hand fabricated palladium necklace is adorned with faceted drops of black onyx and discreetly connected in the back under a black diamond bezel.

Available exclusively at Green Lake Jewelry Works $53,000 - See more on this piece here.  

Lastly, with the inner workings of an antique 1942 Hamilton 922B Military pocket watch encased in 6 oz of heat-treated palladium, The Steampunk Chronograph features an ornately sculpted motif that centers on the Eye of Providence on its reverse. The face, also of solid palladium, shows an meticulously engraved 24-hour clock to keep with astronomical time. In addition, a 5 oz palladium chain connects and moves like a spine, where each link is embellished with masterful ornament. The clasp, which conforms smoothly between one’s fingers, is punctuated with a solitary natural blue sapphire.

Available exclusively at Green Lake Jewelry Works $35,000 - See more on this piece here.  

STEAMPUNK CHRONOGRAPH

 

PHOTOS – Daniel Zetterstrom

MODELS – Jason Coman and Dagna Barrera

HAIR / MAKE UP – Vera Mikhaylik

WARDROBE: Lastwear / Helene Hawthorne Fashions

TEXT – Eric Robertson