Because Sarah’s mom provided a large number of stones for the project, my first task was to determine which stones blended together in the best way to tell Sarah’s story. Ultimately, I went with the blue-hued stones, tying her ring into the waterways that she loves to kayak. Given the number of stones I was going to work with, I thought a ring would be the best way to showcase them, allowing me to create a nice, tight design without trying to spread the stones out over a bracelet or necklace. I settled on a ring design that Sarah could easily wear to a special event but one that isn’t so fancy that she couldn’t wear it daily.
Whenever I work with a client on a custom piece, I try to find an element of her story that we can tie into the design. It helps me to create a great piece of jewelry that also has an extra special meaning to it. It shouldn’t be something literal; it’s more important that it be subtle. Maybe a piece just looks like a pretty ring, but when you hear the story behind its design, you fall in love with the story and the design, not just one or the other. For this piece, I wanted to incorporate Sarah’s love for Africa and its people so I created a pattern on the undercarriage of the ring that’s based on patterning found in traditional African textiles. It’s created using a blend of engraving and texturing so that it has a fabric quality to it.
I set the stones in an 18k white gold head but opted to create the rest of the ring in 18k yellow gold. I also added a few diamonds to the front of the ring as accents. To add some additional detail to the piece, the shank features a unique profile that also helps to enhance the patterning on the back of the ring. The shank thins out at the top, forming a bowtie-like shape that helps direct the viewer’s eye toward the center.
Adam Foster is the owner of Adam Foster Fine Jewelry in St. Louis, Missouri.