If you long for meaning and permanence in the era of instant gratification, fast fashion, and cheap costume jewellery... If you ask yourself what you are leaving behind for the next generation... If you wonder whether you will have a story to tell your grandkids about the ring you bought online from an unknown source... If you are concerned whether that piece of jewellery would last till your ten's anniversary...
Today we will share what drives us to create outstanding jewellery that stands the test of time and the stories behind the four dress rings that four different clients recently commissioned us to design and make. Each of those stories is as unique as the clients themselves and the circumstances that lead them to discover Red Cloud Jewels and our head jeweller, Wayne Doyle, the master behind each of those remarkable creations. Hopefully, you will get inspired to rethink your own approach to jewellery and commission something genuinely bespoke.
Dress rings (sometimes referred to as cocktail rings) belong to an unusual category of jewellery. Unlike wedding bands or engagement rings, whose sole existence and purpose are deeply rooted in traditions, dress rings do not require a particular set of circumstances to justify their existence. Any lady of any background or upbringing can wear a dress ring that fits the occasion, or the outfit she is wearing, or the mood she is in at that precise moment. So when it comes to designing a dress ring, there are no strict rules or traditions to follow. It is one of those rare cases where, apart from your budget, the sky is the limit.
The Green Sapphire Dress Ring
Fifteen years a couple from Central Queensland were taken aback by the beauty of the green sapphire they discovered at a store in one of the gem field towns. They purchased the stone, but for a long time, they could not decide what to do with it. The local jewellers in Rockhampton could not offer any advice or produce a suitable design concept, so the sapphire was left to collect dust in a drawer.
One day the couple heard about Red Cloud Jewels and made a three-hour trip to Agnes Water to check out what the whole fuss was about. In the atelier, they found plenty of examples of intriguing designs commissioned by other clients. After a brief chat with the head jeweller, they decided to give it a go. The rest, as they say, is history. The owner now has a beautiful story to tell about the special trip to our atelier and this gorgeous dress ring featuring a green sapphire set in 18ct gold.
The Blue Sapphire Dress Ring
Sometimes our clients bring us jewellery they just inherited and ask us to breathe a new life into it. In this case, the sapphire and diamonds came from our client's late mother's ring all the way from the UK. Because of the natural wear and tear, the sapphire itself had to be re-polished and the ring itself had to be remodelled entirely.
Featuring the original sapphires and diamonds set in 18ct yellow and rose gold, this ring now reminds its owner of her mother and brings all those warm memories of love and care she received from her mum a long time ago.
The Tanzanite Dress Ring
Our next ring also has a mother-daughter connection. This client wanted to repurpose diamonds from her mum's jewellery. Instead of a traditional eternity ring, our head jeweller offered a very bold concept. He paired the diamonds with a Tanzanite stone, known for its powerful colour chord, because depending on the orientation of the stone, it appears blue, violet or burgundy.
So the final result is striking, memorable and definitely unique. By the way, the gold itself was sourced by our head jeweller too, and like the centre stone, it came from Tanzania.
The Blue Topaz Dress Ring and the Process Behind It
Our next story will reveal a bit more about the process of commissioning a dress ring. Sometimes clients come to us with a blank page, and our head jeweller has to guide them step by step from the initial idea to the final piece. Here is what happens.
- Our initial consultation starts with a discussion about the apparent parameters, such as budget and time constraints. Considering the shape of your hand, the lifestyle and even your occupation, our head jeweller will then guide you through design options that are suitable for your circumstances. These are just initial brush strokes to make sure that we are on the same page and going in the same direction.
- After you sign off on the initial design brief, our head jeweller will produce a so-called design concept . Depending on your circumstances and your budget, the design concept can be presented to you in different forms. It can be a hand sketch or screenshots from a fully workable 3D model that we build using specialised CAD software.
- If you are happy with the design concept, we proceed to source all required raw materials, including the gemstones. At this stage, you will be asked to make a 50% deposit, so we can allocate materials and timeslot for production.
If there are no delays with the raw materials, it usually takes six to eight weeks from the initial consultation to the final fitting.
This is precisely the process we stepped through with this client, who wanted to commission a bespoke ring for herself, but in the beginning, had no idea where to start.
After just eight weeks, she was happy to put on this stunning 9ct yellow gold ring featuring a dazzling blue topaz - a perfect symbol of the blue skies and golden beaches of Queensland - a place we are lucky to call home.