When I saw the amazingly beautiful alexandrite that I had to design Galina’s ring around, I was thrilled. The center stone is so spectacular that I wanted it to be the star of the show. I didn’t want to overwhelm it with a lot of unnecessary bling.
I decided to gather ideas and images from the incredibly rich visual tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church, with its jewel-tone colors, extensive gilding, and rococo-like embellishments. Carl Faberge wasn’t far from my mind either while I was working on this.
I wanted the ring to look important, playful, whimsical, and feminine, reminiscent of Galina’s favorite clothing designer, Lesia Paramonova. But while the ring appears lush and impressive, it is comfortable to wear and has a low profile so that Galina can dance to her heart’s content without worrying about her ring getting caught or in the way. To this aim, the center stone is set low, with bead-set melee; the bottom of the shank is canted at an angle to keep the stone straight while being worn on the left hand; and the shank is flared and flattish on the bottom to keep the large center stone at the top from spinning around the finger.
I designed the mounting to be 18k yellow gold, with platinum plates for the diamond melee. The center stone is set with four split prongs for an old-world feel, while the melle is bead-set in the platinum side plates with azuring underneath in the shape of a honey comb, symbolizing the honey in the traditional Russian porridge. The matching wedding band in 18k features the same setting technique on the melee.
Overall, the rings capture the feel of Galina’s Russian heritage and her interests while remaining very comfortable and wearable for a lifetime.