I wanted to save this ring’s blog debut until I had its official portrait taken, but the piece was whisked off to the Kristen Farrell Gallery before I could get it to a photographer! So here is a casual snapshot of my latest creation for ANZA Gems.
This one-of-a-kind 18K rose gold ring features a rare, orange-y pink Padparadscha sapphire weighing 1.54 carats. The sapphire is surrounded by equally exotic cabochon-cut Paraiba tourmaline. I added some diamond accents because … why not?
As I’ve written before, ANZA Gems was founded in 2014 by Monica Stephenson of the jewelry blog iDazzle. ANZA offers a completely transparent journey from the gem mine to the customer. Monica travels to Tanzania and Kenya where she personally sources ethically mined, colored-gemstone rough. She brings the uncut stones back to the U.S. to be faceted by gem cutters here, and then has them incorporated into fine jewelry by designers with whom she collaborates. At least 10% of the proceeds from every sale goes back to East African schools. I especially appreciate the fact that ANZA and its partners work with women miners.
Many of ANZA’s gems are such a stunning color that they don’t need to be altered in any way to be worthy of beautiful jewelry designs. In 2018, I spoke about working with ANZA’s rough gems.
But, of course, it’s fabulous to work with ANZA’s major finished stones as well.
I don’t do my usual story-telling, elaborate, representational designs for ANZA collaborations, because the gems ARE the story.
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Absolutely stunning ring by @wendybrandesjewelry this golden and gree tourmaline are perfection. Thanks to @agta_gems for inviting me to the #agtaspectrum17 editor's day, I had a blast! Gorgeous tourmalines by @anzagems #wendybrandesjewelry #wendybrandes #oneofkindjewelry #ring #agta #finejewelry #handcraftedjewelry #amorajoyas #jewelryADD #madewithlove #handmadejewelry . . . . . #jewelry #bijoux #joyeria #joias #jewellery #schmuck #gioielleria #diamonds #gems #gemstones #smycken #tourmaline #goldtourmaline #greentourmaline #anzagems
I have a few photos of the latest ANZA ring as a work-in-progress. I started with a couple of different sketches and then advanced to playing with little paper dots placed on a ball of wax.
After that, a wax model was created. The gems are just pressed into the wax here, as I continued considering the layout.
A mold was made from the wax model; molten gold was poured into the mold. The sapphire was set.
The settings were drilled for the Paraiba tourmaline around the sapphire, while I used marker to plan the layout of stones on the other end of the ring.
I kept reviewing the placement of the Paraiba tourmaline because I had a limited number of those in varying sizes, and it’s to be expected that some smaller stones will break during the setting process. So, like GPS, I kept recalculating my route to the finished ring.
Now all I need is a glamour shot of this!
I’d like to do a video as well, because you really have to see jewelry move in the light and on the body to fully appreciate it. After all, it’s wearable art, not something to be viewed from a distance, so there’s more to come on this one. Thanks again to Monica for letting me work with these unique gems.