A lovely lady (who is originally from Maryland but now lives locally in Savannah - yay!) reached out to me about creating a redesigned ring made from two heirlooms. This hybrid ring would use materials from two very meaningful pieces of jewelry: her late husband’s wedding ring, a sterling silver band with a single diamond, and her own wedding ring, a 14K yellow gold band with floral patterns.
Both original rings were very unique and different, so my client was looking to reinterpret them into something entirely new that intentionally didn’t look like wedding rings. In this way, she could honor her late husband’s memory and the rings’ significance by wearing an everyday piece of jewelry that still maintained much of the original materials.
She told me right away that she was drawn to a mid-century modern look – something a little different, quirky, and artistic. She also loves nature so my signature organic patterns were intriguing to her. As I often do, I let my clients determine the way they want to communicate their design ideas to me. In this case, both she and I were very visual on this project. We used paper ring models, literally drawing the different materials onto each one – yellow gold, silver, diamond, and peridot (her birthstone). Using the paper models was a very different and fun approach for me, but it effectively showed us what all the materials could look like together and allowed us to work collaboratively in person.
Once she chose the paper ring she liked best, I created the silver model of that design to be sent away for casting into 14K. Once the gold band was back, I inlaid silver from the husband’s band directly into the piece. As you can see, it started out pretty rough but smoothed out after each cleaning and tailoring pass. One of the reasons this client sought me out was because she admired the signature Kristen Baird ripple texture, so naturally, we incorporated plenty of that throughout the new band.
Then, it was time to plan for the stones. I used more of the husband’s silver band for the three peridot settings. Something sweet we wanted to include as a nod to her original ring was three of its delicate flower designs framed by two stripes of her husband’s silver wedding band. I cut the flowers out of her band and inlaid them into the backside of the new ring. The front of the redesigned ring has the husband’s diamond and sections of his silver along with her peridot birthstones, and the back has her flowers framed by more of his wedding band.There’s sentimental value woven into the design and visible from all angles!
As I set the stones, this ring really came to life. As always, lots of cleaning and polishing must happen to turn what can look like an initial mess into a timeless treasure. The final piece has these very avant garde, negative space cutouts on both the front and back. She loved the versatility of the new ring because she can wear it either up or down, front or back. The end result is a triple asymmetric design with three peridots for her birthstone plus the diamond - which did I mention diamond was her husband’s birthstone? How nicely that worked out!
"After losing my husband last spring, not keeping his wedding band was not an option. And I never stop wearing mine. I thought the perfect idea was to have both rings combined. That's where Kristen came in. I wanted to work with a local designer since I was moving to the Savannah area. It was the best decision I've ever made. Kristen was phenomenal. I gave her a picture of a modern design and told her my vision. She came up with the ideas and it was perfect. The finished product was more than I could have imagined. I couldn't stop looking at my beautiful ring. I highly recommend Kristen. She will not disappoint." - CK