Thursday, 28 June 2012

Solitaire Customization: All in the Tray?

Solitaire rings can be simple yet very different most of the time. However when a client says "I want a classic 4 prong design, but i want it different", this always ends up as more of a challenge than bombastic organic designs.
There is only so much that can be done in a classic ring. Let's take a look at what makes a Classic Solitaire.

Most of the time we can dissect a classic 4 prong ring into 3 sections:

1. Prongs: These come in various sizes, shapes and orientations. Most of the time the classic ones would look as simple as this.


Small or Large?

Small prongs allow more visibility to the diamond, however the trade-off is the security of the diamond naturally. Clients usually ask us to go as small as possible, to a point where security is not affected. Prongs that are too large may look too bulky and cover up too much of the diamond. However, provides high security for the diamond.

Single or Double?This is not entirely aesthetic. Double prongs provide higher security for the diamond, the trade-off once again is that it does cover up more of the diamond. However, specific diamond shapes such as cushions or radiants flush well with double prongs. Double Prongs are not easy tasks for craftsmen, and average skilled ones would end up creating more of a hideous concoction.

There is always cases where some clients want to play with color within their ring, changing some parts to rose gold or yellow, just to create that extra "oomph". However, it may sometimes look too "forced" and result in a ring design that may be attracting the wrong attention. Another consideration is such: Rose gold and Yellow gold prongs may cause the color to "leak" into the diamond and cause certain parts of the diamond to appear "reddish brown" if rose gold, or "yellowish" if yellow gold prongs are set. Hence, when purchasing a high colored diamond, we always try to recommend not doing this.

2.Tray: The tray adds as a security bench, allowing the diamond to not simply "drop" and wriggle out if ever the prongs loosen over time. This also provides aesthetic beauty!

As I make more entries in my blog, you will notice we do alot of "play" with the tray customization. Reason being is that this portion is not visible from face up, which retains the overall simple classic look of a solitaire ring when viewed from the face of the diamond. However, take a 90 degree turn and you'd notice something special, a tray different from your usual straight prong to prong trays in all classic 4 prong rings.

Design and Color of tray?
Simply because our diamonds do not leak light, we have all possibilities to play around with the color of the tray, be it rose/yellow gold. The center diamond would not pick up these reflections because light enters and and goes out fully with all our super ideal ranged diamonds. Design is of course, up to each individual client, we have done really funky stuff with this portion of the ring! From symbols to alphabets to old European vintage filigrees, the options are limitless. Ultimately, when viewing the finished ring from the top view, this still retains the classic - 4 prong look. And the tray reveals a personal design.

Let's Take a look at one of our projects, and we decided to play around with the tray.

PROJECT 1 "i want a classic 4 prong solitaire, but i want something a little different"

Diamond: JP Super Ideal Hearts and Arrrows 57 facets

Here is the 3D CAD Picture of Irene's ring. We took the tray and modified it a little to look like an arrow pointing to the diamond. The band was tapered as she wanted the diamond to "appear" larger. The synergy in this design is that the band and tray look like arrows, pointing towards the centre diamond, giving an illusion of focus towards the diamond.

After the CAD was approved, we went ahead with the WAX model. This is to allow us to check for potential problems that may occur in the future in the ring such as; prongs being too small, weak attachments that may compromise the durability of the ring and the comfort level as well!

Here is the final ring!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

My Past Projects - Crocodile Skin and Diamonds?

This was one of my projects that I started, before I joined the Jann Paul team.

During my school days, I wanted to do something different. Something that stands out in the crowd, that no one has done before. I came up with this idea, of combining 2 luxurious goods together. Leather and Jewelry. I wanted to pick the top quality in both materials, and ended up using Crocodile skin and Diamonds! This was where this project was born.

In the beginning, I was met with many obstacles. No one has ever done this fusion before, of combining crocodile skin and diamonds. I wanted to keep this affordable and used Sterling Silver as my base metal, and had it white gold re-plated (This was out of the norm, as no one has set diamonds on silver). Another problem, was how am I going to fuse all these elements together into a single piece?

I sourced my crocodile skins from Heng Long Pte Ltd. It's a locally listed company and are one of the top 5 crocodile skin tanneries in the world. They provide the highest quality crocodile skins and exported their leather to big brand names, such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Hermes, and luxurious watch brands. Recently, the company has been bought over by Louis Vuitton. 

The problem with crocodile skin, is that you can't use just a small piece. The beauty of crocodile skin is the patterning on the leather. In order to appreciate the crocodile skin, a wider surface area is needed. Thus, the ring has to be wide.

This was what I came up with..

You can still appreciate the detailing of the crocodile skin. I also added a diamond in the middle of the ring, giving it a bit of sparkle :) However, a down side of this design, is that the ring cannot be re-sized.  Also, notice the edges of the leather has to be covered by a border. This is where I "tuck" the leather skin, so that you won't be able to view any gaps. If you notice, most crocodile skin jewelry products (like bangles), have gaps between the skin and the metal. This is because, they cut the skin and glue the skin directly on top of the metal. As crocodile skin is an organic material, it is extremely difficult to cut it perfectly to fit its slot.

When I started, no crafter was able to fuse the crocodile skin and the ring together for me as this was never done before. So I had to make each piece individually, myself. 

And I later moved on to make a men's version, without the diamond.

This project was also a finalist, in the Lee Kwan Yew Business Plan Competition in 2006. It was also featured in the Business Times Newspaper. 

The crocodile skin diamond ring took off very well and I received good responses.
Although I managed to overcome most of the technical difficulties in the ring. One problem that remains is that Crocodile skins are not water proof. This means that whenever you wash your hands, you must remember to take off your ring! (which people always forget to do). When the ring comes in contact with soap or detergent, it ruins the crocodile skin. As a result, most people ended up wearing it as a necklace pendant. 

I hope you guys had a good read :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Casey Lai, An introduction

About Me 

Hi i'm Casey Lai and i'll be entering posts on this blog to show our clients what goes on behind the scenes at JANNPAUL! I'm a 2nd generation diamond expert born and bred in Singapore, my family has been in the trade for approximately 40 years. 

Currently, I'm a partner at JANNPAUL, Singapore's leading diamond team on Super Ideal Diamonds. I handle operations and management in the company, making sure each piece of jewelry purchased from our private clients meets the highest of standards that we are known for. After each client has picked their life partner diamond, I run the process of customization, manufacture and delivery with the JP team.

What to expect here

On a weekly basis, you will be able to track how rings are actually made, from the meticulous hands of a craftsman, to the quality control, to potential problems faced in jewelry that people never knew! New clients can personally request from me to showcase their rings on my section of the blog, if you'd like to see the birth of your jewelry piece. Just drop me an email!