Introducing Erika Winters Custom Jewelry Design: Meet Project Minna

Erika Winters Custom Jewelry Design: Project Minna – with French cut diamonds and a 5.04-carat old-mine cut diamond set in platinum

I am thrilled to announce the official debut of custom jewelry design services at EW Designs. After launching my bridal collection earlier this year, I’ve begun quietly working with clients on custom creations, including variations on pieces from my existing line and new designs. Today, I’m happy to share one of these custom creations–a very special project for a lovely client: Project Minna.

Minna is, in a word, spectacular. My client wanted a very simple platinum 4-prong solitaire for her stunning 5-carat old-mine cut diamond that she acquired from my retail colleague, and purveyor of antique cuts, Grace Lavarro of Jewels by Grace. (Grace also carries my bridal collection at her online boutique).

For Minna, a name that holds special meaning for my client, I was asked to create an elegant design that showcases the distinctive qualities of her 5-carat stone. My client also asked for my help sourcing a unique set of antique-style French cut diamonds. Naturally I wanted to use the very best French cuts, so I worked with one of my favorite diamond designers, Yoram of GemConcepts LTD., who custom-cut an exquisite graduated set of French cut diamonds for the ring.

As an old-cut lover, I have seen many French cuts over the years, but I have never seen them interact with light in quite the way these stones do. There are many qualities that make these French cuts so distinctive, but the two that resonate most with me are their scintillation and fire. For those who are new to diamond terminology, scintillation is the flickering of light you see as you move a diamond. I like to call it dancing, and these French cuts really know how to dance! Fire is the colored light emitted by diamonds, and Yoram’s French cuts are crafted to maximize that fire. As a result, you see an incredible display of light that moves in harmony with the ring.

Matching the stones: Like many old-cut diamonds, Minna’s center stone is a warmer color, a GIA-graded L color, so we made sure to match the color of the French cut side stones to the center for a fluid look.

The Design:
For Minna, I produced 3 versions of a 4-prong solitaire, and my client chose one with double-claw prongs and a gallery that is a sister design to my Laurel solitaire. With such a large center diamond, I wanted to showcase it to full effect while also keeping the design delicate and feminine. So I created curves and peaks that nod to Laurel’s shield-shaped gallery and set the gallery lower to allow the light to surround the diamond. The gallery is also set with old-mine cut diamonds to complement the center stone. I usually work with a mixture of finishes including my signature finish and high polish, but my client wanted high polish throughout, so my team spent many hours polishing it to perfection. The prongs are double-claw and pointed. I’m a stickler about prong work, and for Minna, we created durable prongs that appear very delicate.

And finally, the ring was finished with lovely milgrain detail. I’m also a stickler for milgrain (Okay, I’m a stickler about everything, as I’m eagle-eyed when it comes to all of the details in my pieces), but milgrain is one area where I require balance. Too much milgrain can overwhelm a piece. And with all of my designs, you will see that balance of elements, as I value simplicity and elegance above all.

So now, meet Minna! I’m so happy for my client, who received the ring a couple of days ago.

This is what she had to say when she opened the box:

I can’t believe Minna has arrived!! The moment I opened the box containing Minna…she absolutely, absolutely took my breath away! Everything about her is a work of art! Your team did incredible work!! I absolutely love the gallery profile with the diamond accents and the little peaks with milgrain. I love, love the French cuts!! They are stunning and perfect! In my eyes, she is perfection!

We think so too, and we thank Minna’s owner for the kind words! Okay, on to the pictures!

Erika Winters Design Minna French Cut Diamond Custom Engagement Ring

Erika Winters Custom Jewelry Design: Project Minna – set with a 5.04-carat old-mine cut diamond

Erika Winters Design Minna Custom French Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Erika Winters Custom Jewelry Design: Project Minna – with French cut diamonds and gallery that nods to EW Designs Laurel solitaire

Erika Winters Design Custom French Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Erika Winters Custom Jewelry Design: Project Minna – open and elegant to showcase a 5.04-carat old-mine cut diamond

A Laurel Engagement Ring for a Lovely Couple

Congratulations to A & T!

Before launching my bridal collection, I had admired many couples celebrating their engagements on social media. But I had never experienced that incredible feeling of creating something special for soon-to-be life partners. So when a couple sent me pictures from the moments after their proposal, my heart skipped a beat. A & T, the beautiful couple in the pictures above, shared these moments with me, and I must admit that my eyes got a little misty after reading A’s email, which ended with: “I’ll be able to look at her hand for the remainder of my days, and know that there is nothing else like it…and of course, no one else like her.” Still swooning. And I feel honored that one of my designs could be a part of something so beautiful. Congratulations, A & T!  Enjoy your engagement! Wishing you the best on your upcoming nuptials!

Below are some close-up pictures of the ring–a Laurel solitaire in 18k yellow gold set with a stunning old European cut diamond.

Erika Winters Designs Laurel Solitaire Engagement Ring - Photo © Erika Winters

Erika Winters Designs Laurel Solitaire Engagement Ring - Photo © Erika Winters

Erika Winters Designs Laurel Solitaire Engagement Ring - Photo © Erika Winters