Jewellery remodelling gone mad? No, a practical solution for an engagement ring wearer.
We manage all sorts of engagement ring remodelling jobs. This was a great project where we have enabled a client to wear her engagement ring again and provide some longevity for finger shape changes.
Our lovely client was approaching her 36th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately she is also suffering with the beginnings of arthritis in her knuckles, which meant that she had been unable to wear her engagement and wedding rings for quite some time. She was practical enough to know that this was not going to get any better, and also sentimental enough to want to do something about it. She was keen to keep the original ring metal, but felt that combining her engagement and wedding ring bands together would hopefully create enough metal to make a single ring she could wear. Could we make a new wedding ring to match? Of course!
As anyone who is familiar with some of my blogs will know, I’m not particularly keen on melting down rings to make new ones with engagement ring remodelling. Here we were able to make an exception, as basically we took the existing shanks and milled them together, rather than melting them down and starting again.
Heirloom offers several solutions to ensure rings fit, and how to prevent rings spinning, which you can read more about in our Rings for Arthritis section. In this case, we discussed increasing the size of the ring shank (and adding inserts to prevent roll) which we felt was going to feel too big once the ring was on. Also considered was the option of a hinged ring, which was ruled out because of the complexity and cost. So we looked at the band shape itself. Our proposal was to create two bands of a more trapezoid shape – which would slide on easily, and then ‘lock into place’. While from the side, the design looks a little odd (when we are so conditioned the seeing rings as round), but this is a much more intuitive shape for the hand, as fingers aren’t round!
Our client was intrigued. She isn’t afraid to be different, and so she decided to take this route.
We started this commission with the wedding ring as this was going to be made in platinum, and was going to be a lot simpler to create and get right. Once we had the shape right for the client, we could then progress with creating the reworked engagement ring. The first working was slightly too big for our client (as you can see from the images), but she was pleasantly surprised at how well the ring fitted and felt.
We got back to work, and having got the ring to fit comfortably, turned our attention to the engagement ring. We milled the original wedding and engagement bands together, to create a single wire. It became obvious that with the ring size change, we were still going to need more metal. But you can see some of the steps taken below. We sculpted in the daylight shoulders with a little new metal.
The finished engagement ring and matching wedding ring look quite dramatic when viewed from the side, especially in comparison to the original rings. That is because we have an inbuilt voice shouting..”but rings are round!”. It is when the ring is worn it all makes sense. I have a fairly standard hand shape, which isn’t much use when trying to check a ring fit – but starting with me, as you can see looking at the ring, from the top it is very difficult to see that it isn’t round.
The end result
The rings were delivered back to our excited (and slightly nervous client) and were tried on. The fit was perfect and as you can see in the photo, they look stunning. Importantly, they weren’t cutting into the finger at any point, and also still had some leeway for an increase in knuckle size in future. Despite the fact they do look pretty unusual when then are off the hand, as my client commented “I didn’t have this done to not wear them!”
A lovely way to ensure that she is able to keep wearing the rings she has owned all this time.
Update – we checked in after a few weeks of wear to make sure that everything feels right. Our client is now used to the shape, and says that it feels no different to wearing a round ring – she doesn’t notice it. Which is exactly why I had suggested this route for the engagement ring remodelling project. It is great to hear how much she is enjoying wearing them again.