Resetting a diamond into a non-engagement ring
February 2, 2007 7:52 AM   Subscribe

I have a 1 carat platinum diamond engagement ring and am now divorced. It’s a gorgeous stone and I want to do something with it. I’d really like to reset it as a ring (I have a pendant and can’t afford a match to convert it into earrings). Any suggestions on how I can design this without it looking like an engagement ring?
posted by anondonna to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Search for "right-hand rings" for inspiration.

It might be a bit hard to get a solitaire diamond to look non-engagement-y. I'm not sure that need be a very big concern, though -- people do inherit engagement rings, and just wear them as nice rings. And, who cares?

But. If you're stuck on non-engagementy, I suspect you're also stuck on more stones. Any design with a lot of metal trying to make it say "I am not a plain solitaire" would, I think, just hide the beauty of the diamond.

Or -- well, how much metal can you put up with? For example. What shape is the diamond?

You don't need anything expensive. A very small number of small diamonds -- perhaps in graduated sizes? -- would do it. Small semi-precious stones are quite cheap, as are lower-quality precious ones. Especially if bought wholesale.

Hit the library and look for books on modernist and post-modernist jewellery design. There're loads of solitaire diamond rings out there made as engagement rings for the non-traditional type that still don't look a thing like "engagement rings."
posted by kmennie at 9:06 AM on February 2, 2007

I would void solitaire type settings, because those always looking very engagement ring-ish. You could try to set it as a three stone ring, either with two smaller diamonds or other stones (sapphires are lovely) to wear on your right hand ... I'm not sure what shape your stone is, but if it's a round brilliant cut or a princess, you could accent it nicely with two pear-shaped sapphires - something like this.

I was in a similar situation to yours and I ended up selling my ring to someone in the jewelry business who was also a family friend. For my ring, I ended up with a gorgeous pair of diamond stud earrings and a few other pieces. So, that's an option for you as well.
posted by discokitty at 9:07 AM on February 2, 2007

This may be difficult depending on where you live, but try to find a jeweler who carries non-traditional styles, hand crafted if possible, and see if they can set your stone or design something for you. The platinum setting you have would be valuable to a jeweler, so find out how much it's worth alone and maybe make some kind of a trade. I know Lynn Oburg here in Oakland who makes gorgeous stuff and would totally enjoy designing a ring to represent independence. There's a store in Santa Cruz called The Vault with a huge selection of designs, and in Sydney Australia there's a great place called Love and Hatred that has really eclectic designs. I've seen this ring (top right), by Steven Kretchmer in Santa Cruz, and it's gorgeous. With the asymmetry and modern design is doesn't look engagement-y at all. Think about wearing it on your middle finger, too.
posted by tula at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2007

I'd second the idea of more stones and more metal. Also, the more modern/artsy you go, the more it'll look like a statement piece and less like an engagement ring.
posted by christinetheslp at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2007

If you find a jeweler who does work you like, the jeweler may have some great ideas to make you something new from your original ring.

After Mom's first divorce, she had the metal from her wedding and engagement rings combined into a cocktail ring. The resulting ring is asymmetric and reminds me of an impression of a flower with the diamond on the edge of the setting.

After her second divorce, the metal was reshaped into a ring with an elongated sideways "S". It reminds me of a heart beat blip on those monitors in the hospital. The diamond, a 1.5 ct marquis cut is set in the middle.
posted by onhazier at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2007

In addition to wearing the ring on your right hand, maybe you could consider getting a different size, to wear on another finger. I also second adding semiprecious stones. What about pearls flanking the diamond, in a very traditional, old fashioned setting (maybe even some filigree)? Something that could make it very vintage-looking and romantic.

And then make up a cool story about it, like it was your great-aunt's in the roaring 20s when she was a lounge singer and all your cousins are jealous because Aunt Norma gave it to you.
posted by folara at 11:08 PM on February 2, 2007

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