Ring Redesign Part III: The Final Reveal

(If you missed the earlier parts of this series, catch up here: Part I, Part II.)

I eagerly awaited the CAD renderings of my new rings. When the email with the drawings from Andre finally arrived, I could not contain my excitement. As I clicked open the files and laid eyes on the images for the first time, my immediate thought was: “Oh no, I don’t love them!”

The bands were too chunky and wholly disproportionate to the width of the diamond. I disliked that both bands were about the same width. The bezel setting was flat and uninteresting. All told, the virtual appearance of the rings did not at all match my vision of them:

(As an aside, how amazing are these renderings?!)

After relaying my concerns to Andre, he called so we could chat over the phone about how to improve things. Both Andre and the CAD drawer independently concluded that the proportions we initially mapped out were way off. Andre made further suggestions about altering where the band met the crown on the engagement ring, and adjusting the bezel setting to have angular instead of flat side walls, which would expose more of the diamond face. I felt relieved and hopeful that the next iteration of renderings would show more promise.

The revised drawings arrived a few days letter, and they were much improved! The rings looked balanced, harmonious with each other and the diamond, and elegant:

I gave the green light to move forward. Andre explained that the CAD drawings would be used to create wax molds with a 3D printer, and that the molds would then be used for pouring the gold into the shape of the rings. This process–called the “lost wax process“–has been used to make jewelry for thousands of years.

About two weeks later, I received a text from Andre with this image:

The rings were ready!

I visited Andre’s studio again the morning of Halloween to pick up my new beauties. They were gorgeous in person, and everything I’d hoped and dreamed!

The one thing I hadn’t considered was that my diamond eternity band would look too white and pristine next to the blackened crown of my new engagement ring. I asked Andre if he could blacken the eternity band, too, and much to my delight, he performed the rhodium plating process while I watched! It involved “painting” the platinum of my band with a charged electrode dipped in black rhodium solution. Andre politely humored my 700 or so questions as he worked:

The final stack is absolutely stunning:

I truly cannot say enough positive things about how easy and wonderful it was to work with Andre on this project. He understood my vision, included me at every step of the process, and was able to provide exactly what I wanted at a super reasonable price.

In addition to working with clients to redesign their existing jewelry, he also designs original jewelry. Here are some of his latest beautiful creations:

You can reach Andre directly at andrelukawski@gmail.com.

Thanks for joining me on this exciting journey!


Stacks of Stacks

There are few things I adore more in the jewelry realm than ring stacks. I love the freedom to mix and match ring styles, metals, stone colors, and proportions. I love how well-curated stacks convey such a commanding presence on the hand. To me, bold ring stacks manifest luxury and power. Some nights, when I’m sitting in my daughter’s nursery rocking her to sleep, I run Google image searches of “ring stacks on fingers” and flip through a million photos. Is that odd? Maybe, but I trust this is a safe space for sharing.

Now that we’ve established I’m a Stack StalkerTM, let’s explore some of my personal favorites.

The Ruby Rose

I consider this first pairing to be my most successful stacking accomplishment to date. It brings together rings of several different geometries, metals, textures, and price points. Red is not a color I wear in clothes very often, but I love the fire and passion of this central ruby and how the bold color brings some spice to my otherwise temperate hand:

The higher the stack, the closer to God.

The two rose gold pavé bands with diamonds are both from Noémie, an excellent resource for ethically sourced, beautiful, and affordable diamond jewelry (and their online orders are delivered the next day). See here and here.

The asscher-cut ruby solitaire ring in rose gold was a custom design from a Michigan-based jeweler I found on Etsy. Similar pieces available here and here.

The octagonal black rhodium and ruby band is an unusual and edgy piece by jewelry designer Stephen Webster.

The twisted rose gold band is also from Etsy.

The Jewel Tones

This stack came pre-assembled by my trusty gal pal Kendra Scott. I love the earthy jewel tones and interstitial spiky bands that give the gemstones room to breath:

This one has always had a medieval vibe to me.

The Playful Pairs

I purchased this Swarovski mini-stack on a vacation in Italy. I normally like my stacks to feature an odd number of rings for balance, but there’s something so clean and feminine about this petite duo, which features black and pale pink faceted solitaires:

Don’t judge a ring stack by the hand that wears it.

Here’s another twosome I purchased at Art Effect, a local boutique in Chicago:

Definitely reminiscent of the pricier Ippolita Rock Candy line.

The Wedding Set

What would a post on ring stacks be without featuring my wedding set? I opted for two platinum pavé eternity bands–one with a simple circle motif and the other more fanciful–to surround the thin pavé band of my engagement ring, all from Steve Quick in Chicago (I highly recommend them for all fine jewelry needs – they are wonderful!):

The one downside of eternity bands is they aren’t easy to resize when fingers swell during pregnancy/summer.

Though I can’t claim it as my own, my friend Isabelle’s wedding stack is to die for. The beauty of her set is that any one of the rings makes an impact on its own, but they also look stunning together:

Isabelle’s covetable wedding stack.

The Aspirations

Jewelry designer Spinelli Kilcollin has a line of Galaxy Rings that feature multiple bands interconnected by smaller rings. The rings can be worn stacked or spread across multiple fingers. There are many options ranging from more affordable (with less sparkle, of course) to out-of-this-world pricey, but all are dazzling. I love the mixed-metal Vega SG style most of all (starting at $4,800):

Finally, if you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I’m a huge fan of UK-based jewelry designer Jessica McCormack. Her Instagram is chock FULL of drool-inducing stacks, e.g.:

Now it’s your turn to go forth and experiment. If you’re nervous to build your own stack from scratch, look for pre-arranged sets like these at various price points:

For further tips on how to perfectly stack your rings, check out these helpful guides.

How does your stack stack-up against the rest? Share your favorite stacks with me! My appetite for stacks is insatiable!