It starts with one small idea; a round bouquet of flowers. It is nurtured and guided to grow into the physical manifestation of grace and light. The Grand Bouquet ring checks all the boxes for a one of a kind, handmade ring that will be treasured for generations to come. Read about designer Angelina Manley's role in helping bring this ring to life and its journey.
I’ve always loved diamonds since an early age. When I was just four, I once “borrowed” my mother’s diamond necklace and wore it to pre-school, much to her chagrin when she received a call from my teacher! I had been working in investment banking and rediscovered by love for diamonds when I was designing my own engagement ring, and since then I never turned back. I quit my job in finance and earned my GIA diamond graduate certification here in Hong Kong as well as a course in jewellery design in Bangkok. It’s been three years since I’ve done this and I love every minute of it. In fact, I love it so much that I’ve redesigned my engagement ring three times already. I joke that it’s an occupational hazard that I see so many beautiful designs every day that I can’t help myself! One of the greatest perks of my job is not only seeing beautiful diamonds everyday, but also the journeys I take with my clients, from our first consultation, to the initial concept of a design, adding to and developing it to a final sketch, and then watching it slowly come to life at the hands of our master craftsmen.
The client came to us with an initial inspiration, and this was the Kesh diamond band that we had previously done. Not wanting a delicate piece and preferring a thicker look, she asked for a band that was at least 10mm high. She loved the intricate swirls and the level of handcrafted detail in the Kesh, which was reminiscent of the beautiful curves and shape of a bouquet of flowers. She also wanted to modify the design so that it can accommodate a round brilliant diamond center stone. Furthermore, the client had several small diamonds, a marquise diamond and several round brilliants from her old rings that she wanted to include as they had sentimental value to her. After sourcing a beautiful 1.60ct round brilliant diamond for the ring, we then worked to design this piece so that we could retain the beautiful details of the inspiration and include the old diamonds but also feature the stunning new center diamond while making it a comfortable ring that can easily be worn daily.
We initially had the diamond sitting in its basket on top of the band in the first sketch but decided that having the band meet the diamond by rising from the sides would be a much more elegant design, as it was a great transition from the band to the center diamond. Frankie, our master craftsman, also made some valuable recommendations such as having a double layer of filigree around the bezel, which would balance the center stone against the thickness of the band. This type of advice make a significant impact on the overall look of the piece and is why I appreciate having a knowledgeable and experienced in-house master craftsmen here at RYDER.
The ring in its raw metal form, called the mounting or pre-setting stage, is so different from the final product! Clients come in at this point to inspect the mounting before the final steps to completion are in place. I normally have to precaution them that this is the ring before the final polish, the plating (this is what makes the metal shiny), and the diamonds are set, making the mounting look quite industrial. This is a great opportunity to see the ring before the finishing stages are complete as we can make minor changes to the design (thickness of the band, size, etc) and it can be checked for proportion. It’s a complete 180 from mounting to the final product. What was once a dull piece of metal, potted with holds (for the yet unset small diamonds) transforms into a beautiful, sparkly piece of jewellery!
When I saw the finished ring and my design finally come to life, even I was taken aback at how beautiful the ring was. The delicacy of the stones was intricate without being too overwhelming, and the filigree added a wonderful vintage detail to the ring. All the lovely swirls and details conveyed the image of a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the form of a stunning diamond ring. This unique piece is something I will always be proud of and a project I will never forget!
-Angelina Shin Manley