All posts in Custom Jewelry at Philip’s

Always be touching your loved one with a fingerprint ring

A wedding band is a constant reminder of the connection and commitment to your spouse. What better way to  symbolize that than with a fingerprint on the inside of your wedding band! One of our amazing couples had us build this custom wedding band with the bride’s fingerprint on the inside of the ring so she’d always be touching her soon to be husband. This is the sort of thing that really demonstrates the magic of custom jewelry! If we didn’t do all of our own design and manufacturing work in the store, we wouldn’t be able to pull of a design like this. Amazing!

Tell us your crazy jewelry ideas, they may not be as crazy as you think!

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Do you want to tell the world how much you love photography without having to keep a big camera hanging around your neck 24 hours a day? Now you can! Take a look at these camera lens-inspired rings by Ben High. Each ring takes the defining characteristics of various lens and integrates them into a ring!

The original idea came about when looking at an old Polaroid SX-70 and realizing how perfectly the distance scale wrapped around the lens would wrap perfectly around a ring. It wasn’t long until there were prototypes built and there was a white gold SX-70 focus ring on the finger of renowned Polaroid/Impossible Project photographer Patrick Tobin. (Really, you should go look at the work he’s done on instant film, it’s exceptional – Patrick Tobin on Flickr)

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After that the store manager here at Philip’s Diamond Shop thought, “I should make one of those for my son’s birthday!” (You can see his work here – Aaron Lurth Photography) It only took a little awkward questioning to find out that his favorite lens was a particular 24mm tilt-shift lens from Canon and the next focus ring was born!

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We got a big boost from the photo website Petapixel when they wrote about the focus rings as well. As more and more people found out about the rings we got to make even more of them!

This one was for a well-known aviation photographer who still couldn’t stop thinking about the first lens he really fell in love with, the Pentax 50mm/1.7.

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Another photographer on the East Coast wanted a ring that would go along with his Canon 70-200 lens, so we built a minimal representation of the fabled Canon lens and it turned out remarkably!

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Do you have a lens that is special to you? Would you like to immortalize it in silver or gold and wear it around every day? We can make that happen! Drop us a line – ben@philipsdiamonds.com – and let us make your ring!

There’s one more exciting ring design we haven’t talked about yet though. The MOVING Focus Ring. That’s right, it’s a ring that really focuses, or at least it moves like a real camera lens does. It’s very very cool.

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Unfortunately, this prototype costs a jillion dollars because of all the time, effort and metal that goes into building it and making it work correctly. We’re currently working on a production model that is getting close to finished! If you want to know when the moving focus ring is ready for production and want more information, you can sign up using the form below to be the first to know when it comes out.



Heartbeat Diamond Pendant

In our 2014 Valentine’s Day ad, take a look at the Heartbeat Diamond Pendant as well as some Philip’s Collection pieces designed and built here at Philip’s Diamond Shop.

“Philip’s Diamond Shop’s Heartbeat Diamond Pendants shake and shimmer with every heartbeat. They need to be seen to be believed, and starting at $99 they’re the easiest way to make her heart skip this Valentine’s Day. Also, come see what we can design for you, our custom designers are always up to something exciting!

Philip’s Diamond Shop, serving the Marion and Cedar Rapids area since 1976.”

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Here at Philip’s Diamond Shop, we make rings for people every day. It’s not uncommon for us to be working on all kinds of weird projects, but it is particularly exciting when someone comes in and has an extra challenge for us. This was just the case not long ago when we got a call from Chicago. The caller was panicked. She had recently been working with another jeweler to make a wedding ring based on her grandmother’s ring and after seeing how far off the other jeweler’s designs were, she didn’t know if she’d be able to get the ring made right and made right in just one month’s time. Despite being in Chicago, she’d heard good things about Philip’s Diamond Shop and was hoping that we could make her dream of a ring to match her grandmother’s ring a reality.

We’ve built a many many rings that need to match other rings, we’ve built and rebuilt antique-style rings before. The challenge here wasn’t in building a ring to match the grandmother’s ring, but in that we didn’t have the ring in our hands to measure and work with. Instead, we had only photos of the ring to look at and guess general dimensions and sizes from. Take a look at a few of the photos we were working from below and see what we had to start out with:

Recreating a ring like this was not going to be easy! Not only did we need to recreate the intricate patterns on this ring, but we needed to modify it to accommodate a larger center gemstone, a beautiful blue sapphire. It wasn’t just design that needed to be recreated but also custom hand engraving. We’re particularly well-suited to this as we now have a full-time on-site hand engraver! Not something you’ll find at many other jewelry stores in the country.

As we talked over what we were about to do we looked over the images from the other “custom jeweler” that had tried to recreate the ring. You can see in the images below that the other jeweler left plenty of room for the ring to be sent out for hand-engraving, but wasn’t able to recreate the shape of the ring at all. It, unfortunately, more resembled a men’s ring or giant class ring than an antique engagement ring.

Our challenge was laid out: We had less than one month to deliver a ring that replicated the look of the grandmother’s ring with a large blue sapphire in the center. This included all of the design work, casting the ring, setting gemstones in it and recreating the hand engraved details around the ring.

Were we up for it? Absolutely. Custom design is what we do! After being one of the very first jewelry stores to embrace CAD/CAM design and manufacturing, we’re pretty good at this sort of thing by now. There’s a reason that jewelers from all over the country call us when they need quality custom design work done. Not only that, but with a hand-engraver right here in the store, we would be able to get all of the work done, from design to casting to setting to engraving, all right here in the store and with time to spare.

After taking measurements and examining the lines and shapes in the ring photographs, our expert CAD modeler, Chad Little, built a model for the customer to see.

As you can see, the model is considerably trimmer than the other design shown above. The Philip’s Diamond Shop model shown above was quickly approved and we set about cutting a wax model and casting the ring. From there it was on to our jeweler, Dave Jacobson, to set the gemstones and polish the ring to get it ready for some hand engraved finishing touches from our hand engraver, Mitchell Lurth.

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Our customer was overjoyed and loved the finished ring. We were overjoyed that she was overjoyed (we were also overjoyed at how great the ring turned out!) The ring was all that she’d been hoping for from the beginning of her quest. Not only that, but it was done in plenty of time before her wedding!

Do you have a design idea you’d like to have made? Come in and see us and see what we can do for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re from down the street or across the country. We’ve been helping people realize their jewelry dreams for almost 40 years, maybe it’s time to realize yours.

This Philip’s Diamond Shop TV spot was made in-house and spotlights our custom design and manufacturing abilities. That’s right, we make fancy videos AND fancy jewelry! Take a look!

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Perfected by only the most talented jewelry artists, hand-engraving is an art practiced by few. Hand engraving involves actually cutting shapes, patterns, or letters into the metal. Unlike just casting a pattern directly into a given piece, hand engraving allows a much higher degree of detail and intricacy in the patterns. Working under a microscope, each line and pattern is cut into the metal by hand using specially prepared gravers. The artistry associated with hand engraving represents the pinnacle of the jewelry arts.

In today’s world of off-the-shelf merchandise, it’s not odd that when most people think of engraving it’s something like a name carved into the inside of a ring, or maybe a date on the back of a watch or locket. Jewelry engraving can be so much more though!

 

In the days when jewelry was almost entirely hand-crafted, it wasn’t uncommon for almost every piece in a jeweler’s line to be hand engraved. Look back at antique rings and some of the intricate details that, at the time, seemed to be quite commonplace. As jewelry manufacturing became more and more industrial and moved more and more to overseas factories, it became easier for companies to cut out the finer details (and their hand-engravers) until hand-engraving became a nearly lost art here in the United States. Most jewelers can still offer hand-engraving but often have to send the jewelry to one of a few hand-engravers operating around the country.

With the addition of Mitchell Lurth to our staff, Philip’s Diamond Shop has the ability to show you the possibilities that hand-engraving offers. From something as fun as engraving the back of an iPod, to intricate gun engraving and of course, beautiful fine jewelry detailing and engraving, we can do it here!

More of Mitchell’s work can be found at LurthEngraving.com