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Blue Zircon Is A Rocking Gemstone - We Love It October 06, 2017 15:37

Blue Zircon is a natural gemstone - most folks immediately think of the man made cubic zirconia or "CZ" when you mention blue zircon. NO NO NO!

Blue Zircon is the traditional birthstone for December. 

One of the main reasons we LOVE it is the way it sparkles because of the high refractive index and strong dispersion characteristics. What all the mumbo jumbo means is that blue zircon sparkles and winks like crazy! 

It is our belief that blue zircon is waaaay underappreciated as an accent gem or even as the Main Event! Here is an engagement ring we just did for a couple. She stopped in the other day to tell me she had been getting a ton of compliments:

10kt White Gold Vintage Ring With Blue Zircon Center

Another recent ring we did involved using blue zircon to accent the center stone:

White gold engagement ring with blue zircon accent gems

 

One last example for you - we made this rose gold bracelet for a couple - blue zircon is her birthstone and we alternated them with diamonds. Suh-weet!

Custom rose gold bracelet with diamonds and blue zircon.

One closing statement - NONE of these pictures capture the sparkle and fire of blue zircon. You really need to see it in person to fully appreciate the POW! this gem will bring to your jewelry.


Estate Jewelry Sale At Chimera Design in Lowell 4/27/17 March 03, 2017 16:12


We can modify this ring for YOUR diamond. January 13, 2016 11:35

We had a tremendous response to this ring when we posted it on our Facebook page. It was in our Estate case. We had actually made the ring originally several years ago.

We had four people who wanted to buy it. 

Vintage style ring

With the fourth lady who came in, we explored the possibility of making the ring
for her and setting her 9x5mm marquise diamond in it.
No problem - we can do that.
Here is a CAD image of the actual ring with the marquise cut diamond "installed" in the ring. As you can imagine, we could modify the ring to accept almost any shape or size diamond - in other words - we can set YOUR diamond in this ring if you want. The ring is 8mm wide and has 14 accent diamonds that are .80 mm each. 

Same vintage ring with a CAD installed 5x9mm Marquise diamond.

 

We can also make the ring in your choice of metal -

yellow gold, rose gold, white gold

put us to work!

(Personally, I think this would look tremendous in rose gold.)

Here is an idea of what it might look like in rose. My CAD program changed all the

surrounding space to rose color, but this is an idea:

Cool vintage ring - what it might look like in rose gold.


Engagement Rings V4 - Jewelry Fabrication September 24, 2015 11:55

We have a variety of ways to provide you with a unique engagement ring or other piece of jewelry. So far, we have shown you our Chimera Showcase online jewelry design app, which allows you the freedom to design your own on your phone, lap top or PC. We have also provided examples of CAD/CAM design with lost wax casting. Over the years we have established relationships with some high quality vendors for engagement rings, too.

Now we want to shine the spotlight on the way Julie makes engagement rings and other fine jewelry. It is called "fabrication"  - instead of cutting a wax and casting the piece, Julie takes metal (gold, sterling and Mokume Gane) and she cuts, shapes, hammers, and solders it into jewelry. It allows you to do some things that cannot be done via lost wax and it gives a more organic or hand-crafted look to the jewelry.

The most popular example of engagement, partnership, or commitment rings that Julie makes are from when she creates two rings from one sheet of metal. Below are images of ring sets she has made for couples over the years - she has made them in sterling, mokume (a combination of sterling and copper that gives a wood grain look), as well as white and yellow gold. They have been just plain bands or set with gems and/or diamonds.

You can see the contours that make it evident that the rings were from one sheet of metal, even when they have a large size difference. Two rings from one piece of metal is her romantic riff on the "two shall become one" .

 
Another popular design for wedding rings - or rings just for the fun of it -
are what Julie calls "Diamond Bubbles" - they are a series of diamonds and/or
other gemstones set in bezels. Here are some examples:
 
Fabrication also allows for other things. Thing engagement ring includes some
yellow gold accents that were taken from a great-grandmother's ring:
Here are a couple more examples of what can be done with fabrication.
If you are looking for a non-traditional ring, we can do that - YES WE CAN!

Engagement Rings V5 - Examples From All Sources September 23, 2015 19:00

We have posted the various ways we can provide YOU with the engagement ring of your dreams. Please allow me to recap the methods.

  1. You can use our online Chimera Showcase App.
  2. We can use CAD/CAM technology and lost wax casting.
  3. We have a variety of great vendors.
  4. Julie can fabricate engagement rings.

In this post, we just want to share some of the engagement rings we have done to give you ideas.

 

 


    Engagement Rings V2 - CAD/CAM and Lost Wax Casting September 23, 2015 12:15

    We love technology at Chimera Design. Cliff and Jere have been working together using CAD/CAM and the art of lost wax casting to create custom engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry for almost ten years now. Here is a quick overview of the process:

    • Cliff & Jere take your vision and create a CAD/CAM image.
    • Once you approve the image a wax model is cut.
    • You can inspect the wax before we cast it.
    • We cast the model in your choice of precious metal.
    • The stone(s) are set and BINGO - you have your jewelry creation.

    Sometimes people come in with a design they have sketched out, sometimes they come in with pictures they have found on the net - sometimes they just come in with one or more diamonds looking for ideas. YES WE CAN - we can make a piece of jewelry as unique as you are.

    Victoria had a yellow gold band with she loved. She wanted to celebrate 20 years with Todd by getting a new solitaire diamond set in a ring that would match the shape of the ring she had. This collage of photos shows the band, the CAD/CAM image, the wax model and the finished ring.

    Juli saw some ring designs online. There were certain elements she loved, but others that she did not like. We incorporated the parts she loved AND used most of the diamonds from two rings she already had - added a new, larger center diamond and Juli had the ring of her dreams. Here are two CAD images, one of the ring and one of the top. Below that is the finished ring.

     

     

     

    Susan had an idea for a new ring for her diamond. She loves nature and wanted something that resembled a tree branch for her diamond and she wanted it accented by some blue sapphires.

    One of the most popular ring designs we have ever done was for Sandy. She had an idea based on two or three ring styles - she took the halo element from one, the bezel set diamonds front and rear from another, and diamonds combined with rubies from yet another. We have made several rings that were inspired by Sandy's but PLEASE don't let her know!!!

    Sam saw a ring on the website of a very famous jewelry designer, but a) he did not want to pay the premium price and b) he wanted to use different sized diamonds. Yes, we can do that.

     

    This last example is a ring we made for Peter and Sarah. Sarah wanted her ring to be made with an uncut, unpolished diamond. She also wanted to incorporate some small, cognac colored diamonds from a ring Peter had given her. Sarah sent us some images of rings she found on the web for a starting point. Here is the end result:

    Cliff and Jere would LOVE to work with you in the design and creation 
    of YOUR unique engagement ring or other piece of jewelry. Stop in the store, call 
    Cliff at 616-897-9480 or shoot him an email to get the process started:
    cliffy777@comcast.net

     


    Engagement Rings V1 - Design Online September 23, 2015 10:20

    This is the first of FOUR ways we offer engagement rings (and other jewelry) to YOU. We have a Showcase App that will let you try hundreds of configurations from your phone, laptop, or PC. Not only will you get instant images to see the changes you make, you also get real time estimates for what it will cost.

    Above are 5 completely different designs Cliff did on the Chimera Showcase.

     

    Simply click on the link here, then choose "Flexible Designs" and give it a try. It is FREE and you can try out all kinds of combinations with no risk or obligation. If you settle on a design you love, click "Add To Quote" and Cliff will contact you with a solid estimate on the price for your creation.

    Click Here: Chimera Showcase.

    Here are some examples of rings design by our customers using this app. The image on the left is taken from the Chimera Showcase and on the right is the actual finished ring.

    First, is a 14kt white gold ring we made with Deb. She had inherited two diamonds from her mom and wanted to have a ring to remember her with. She wanted her birthstone (May - emerald) in the center of the ring. She considered several different shapes for the center, before settling on a round slightly larger than the two diamonds. 

       

     

     

    Next is a ring for Will and Allyson. Allyson is concerned about the environment and wanted to use only lab created gems. So we used Moissanite for the accent stones - Moissanite is a lab grown substitute for diamonds - combined with a lab created sapphire in the center. We started with a round center, but ended up with the oval shape lab sapphire you see on the right.

     

     

    Just so you know the Chimera Showcase is NOT just for the ladies, here is a ring designed for Frank using the app. He wanted a modern, updated version of yellow gold and black onyx - a classic combination for men. 

       

    As you can see - there are almost limitless possibilities for YOU to create your dream engagement ring with the Chimera Showcase app.

    Click and design!


    Yes, we can do that - Episode 2. Re-creating an inexpensive ring as fine jewelry. September 18, 2015 17:30

    For the second time in the last few months, we have had a customer come in with an inexpensive ring that they LOVED and asked if we could make one just like.

    Try that at a big box jewelry store! Not going to happen. Not only do we know HOW to do something like this, we enjoy doing it.

     

    Dobbie brought in this ring she had been wearing so much that the silver plating was worn off and the copper was showing through. She really loved the beaded area on the sides of the stone and wondered if we could duplicate the ring in white and yellow 14kt gold AND set the stone from the original ring into the new one.

    Yes, we can!

    Full disclosure time - this ring was a bit of a challenge because we needed to make a mold AND then cut the mold so that we could cast the two pieces in different color gold. (Jere pulled some of his hair out until he found just the right mixture of wax that would allow him to work his magic!) 

    What made the experience even better for Dobbie was the fact that she had some white and yellow gold jewelry that she no longer wore. We were able to re-use her gold which means that she only had to pay for the labor and saved several hundred dollars in gold cost.

      

    She now has a ring in a style she LOVES that will last for decades
    and will never turn her finger green!

    Yes - we can do that! Chimera Design does things other jewelry stores won't or can't. Ep 1 September 18, 2015 16:57

    We enjoy doing jewelry repairs, alterations or customizations that other stores cannot or will not do. Deb recently came in with her ring. She had worn the top part to the point that one of the diamonds had fallen out and the others were not safe. 

    She had a tremendous attachment to this ring, but she also wanted to update the look a bit. Deb liked the look of two tone jewelry and she liked the modern look of bezels or half-bezels. We came up with a plan that allowed her to keep the shank of the ring and we custom built a new top with a combination of half bezels and prongs for a unique look Deb Loved. 

    Jere carved the wax for the new top, we cast it in white gold, soldered it to the shank of her existing ring and set the diamonds. That was part of the old ring was still there. New look, secure settings for the diamonds and we salvaged the sentimental value as well.

    The Big Box stores generally do not have anyone on staff who can complete this kind of job. Moreover, the salespeople are there to sell NEW jewelry and they do not like to spend the kind of time and energy to deal with a situation like this.

    We LOVE this kind of challenge - bring it on!