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All images by {according to ame} unless otherwise indicated

 

I have not done a Wednesday Wow in a while. Ok…I haven’t done a lot of things in a while.  But I have a really good one today!  Brian Gavin Diamonds has made me another beautiful creation, and I have been dying to share this with you for a couple of weeks now. After more than a month of overcast and rainy skies, we got some sunlight on Christmas and that made for a fun photo session.

An unfortunate side effect of my accident was that my rings got damaged. My hands, thankfully, did not get injured, but my rings did. I sent my wedding band in to Tiffany, and they were able to repair it very well, and for a reasonable (actually, for a ridiculously reasonable) fee. I had it back in two weeks and it looked brand new!

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My engagement ring setting was a different story. It was warped beyond repair, out of round, and flat on one side. Likely due to the combination of me squeezing my hands tightly around the wheel and the force of the impact. Because of the extent of the damage, I had to make a claim on my jewelry insurance on the setting portion. I had the spectacular diamond vendor and jeweler Good Old Gold, where I’ve purchased this and other diamonds, inspect the stone to confirm it was, in fact, in perfect condition. My inspection at home indicated it was OK, but I wanted the pros to confirm it against the data they had on file.

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I hadn’t planned on a reset and was not really sure what I wanted. Post inspection from Good Old Gold (their new website design is spectacular, BTW), I locked my stone up for a little while in the safe deposit box and set off looking for a replacement. As much as I love Good Old Gold, I didn’t find anything I loved there and wasn’t interested in custom work, even if it was through someone I trusted implicitly. I’d just had so much frustration with it in the past.

I wanted something simple and clean, that would work with any band, especially my current ones. I contacted several manufacturers and jewelers, local and afar, about various pieces to see if a band could be narrowed or a stone could be set higher than shown. I usually met with a lot of resistance: “It is how it is.”  I was getting mightily frustrated and at one point considered selling my stone and just not having an engagement ring at all.  I know! That is blasphemous!

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Photos by Brian Gavin Diamonds

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I worked with Brian Gavin Diamonds on my Bezel Set Studs earlier in the year, and was ridiculously pleased with them. My brother and new sister-in-law actually went through them for her new wedding bands, also bezel set. I poked through their setting options a number of times, and kept going back to the Tapered Tiffany Half-Round Setting. Considering I wear a Tiffany wedding band, I thought, “It should go together nicely.”

This style of setting is pretty common. There are some exquisite recreations, and some less-than-exquisite attempts.  From the photos I’d seen online, Brian Gavin has repeatedly crafted this style of setting with precision and fluid grace.

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After a week’s worth of deliberation, I decided to go for it.  (OK, saying it was a week’s worth of “deliberation” would be a massive understatement. I drove everyone nuts, including the infinitely patient folks at Brian Gavin Diamonds.) My stone had been loose in the safe for quite some time at that point, and I was dying to have a wearable ring again.  After just over 2 weeks, I got word it was on its way back to me, and received the “glamour shots.” It looked amazing, though set a little lower than I would have preferred. When I received it, the height was of concern, but it was otherwise pretty spectacular.

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Photo by Brian Gavin Diamonds | Indicating the Culet at the height I requested

In communicating this with the folks at Brian Gavin Diamonds, we were able to get the ring back to them immediately and have it rectified to my satisfaction. Since we were dealing with a holiday, and the holiday proposal timelines, I felt kind of bad for having this happen, not just to appease my OCD, but because I did not want to mess up someone’s proposal. But because they wanted 100 percent satisfaction and knew they were dealing with my picky perfectionism, they got it done quickly and wonderfully, and did not mess up anyone’s timelines to do so.  And it’s just right. The height is absolutely bang on.

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The shank is really delicate. I was actually surprised at this, for some reason. I was somehow concerned it would be “too wide” at some point, despite knowing the actual measurements didn’t exceed 2mm.  The tapered area plus the knife-edge really make the stone pop.  The knife-edge doesn’t go between the fingers at all, with the rest softly half round.

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Their logo is laser engraved inside the shank. It is small, super crisp and very well done. It’s also off to the side in the shank in a manner that would not interfere with resizing or sizing beads, which I appreciate.  Lots of forethought there.

all images by {accordingtoame}

all images by {accordingtoame}

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Since I’ve purchased from Brian Gavin Diamonds before, I knew their presentation was pretty incredible. And this was even beyond the presentation of my first purchase. The packaging (y’know, ignoring the FedEx required boxes), is in-credible. I have not done business with a single other jeweler that does it this nicely, even local brick and mortar stores. Tiffany has some pretty memorable boxes, obviously, but the whole Brian Gavin presentation is just…wow. Obviously in my line of work, that’s something to which I pay great attention. I’ve designed plenty of packaging in my career and this made me say “WOW!” out loud several times.  So, if you guys are reading this–WOW. Have I said WOW enough?

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When you get the package, the box is tied in a bow, and then you untie the bow and slide the little inside box out. Bubble wrap is holding the ring down inside. A little plastic “Brian Gavin” tag is tied with a gray thread to the ring, like a fancy jewelry store would do with a designer piece. That tag is placed on top of the bubble wrap so when you slide that box out you see it. It’s spectacularly presented.  I am not normally a fan of open-topped boxes, but this is a very nice box.

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Also included is a logo’d tin of mints, a polishing microfiber cloth in a nice plastic sleeve to keep handy, and a microsuede pouch, and this pouch is ridiculously nice. At first glance you’d think it’s a lot like the Tiffany pouches, but darker and it ties off nicely vs a snap. But I’ve got several snap pouches from Tiffany and these from Brian Gavin are made of significantly higher quality material. They’re thicker, embossed with the logo in a very elegant and subtle manner, and are all around more high end looking. They’re really nice for keeping in a purse for if you need to take your rings off at work for some reason and put INDIVIDUALLY in your pouch sections and then into your pocket. Note the INDIVIDUALLY in all caps and bolded.

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What a strange little reflection of the paper’s texture in the bottom left of the stone! Cool!

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These are not ideal photos in every case, but in a few instances, it was at dusk, and I used what little natural light I had left plus my monitor to light these and had to try to use the camera’s timer to get them. Others are under horrific office lighting with my iPhone. Sometimes it still didn’t turn out. I don’t think you’ll mind because…oooo shiny!

I went to lunch with a friend recently, and had the chance to stop in the local Tiffany store, where we were given a robin’s egg blue candy cane…I used it as a prop in a few of the images.  The sales girl offered to clean my rings…that to me was a testament to the quality of workmanship AND the design being awfully consistent with the classic Tiffany solitaire design.  I was pleased that it was convincing. I thanked her for the offer, but politely declined.

A few fun fire shots since we finally got some sun on Christmas Day (talk about a perfect day for me–sunny and 55 degrees!)

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Just so you know the daintiness factor…this is the setting beside my my Tiffany 2mm Channel set band:

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With my 2mm Plain band:

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I am ridiculously pleased. It showcases my stone beautifully, is classic, clean and simple. Just the ticket. Well done!

Besides being incredibly gifted in jewelry craftsmanship and diamond cutting…check out their accounts on Social Media. They are on point with award winning “channels” on Vine, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and have fantastically beautiful Pins, full of …uh Pinspiration… And, yknow, bling photos.

Happy Sparkling New Year!

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