Author - Mandira

Marquise Aquamarine and Diamond Bridal Set in 14K Rose Gold

Simply bedazzling! We love this bridal set in 14K rose gold — such a warm and radiant color.  The open weave puzzle ring bears a 1/2 CT to 7/10ths CT marquise aquamarine – we’ll select the largest one available in that range when you order.  The shadow band with five graduated diamonds sparkles more than any photograph can show.  It’s a customized bridal set that will show your exquisite taste and allow you to show off to your friends your skill in assembling your puzzle ring.  This set is available online in sizes 3-10.5 and in any other size upon request.


Like all of our custom bridal sets, this one takes a little while to produce for you. We prefer to deliver the engagement ring first — let’s make sure she says, “Yes!” and that it fits her perfectly. One we know that, we’ll pick up the engagement ring and retain it while we make the shadow band.

Your puzzle ring will be hand-woven by our master artist, and as for the shadow band? It will be created from a hand-carved wax which will then be molded and cast and finished with a high polish and diamonds. It’s a painstaking process with hand-work from start to finish for a truly, one-off, artisanal bridal set.


New! Shadow Band for a “Tight Weave” or a “Standard Weave” Engagement Puzzle Ring

If you love a standard or tightly woven puzzle engagement ring, this is the shadow band for you! We are so excited to present this subtly curving ring that looks beautiful with a closely woven engagement ring.  We now show this wedding band in a listing where you can purchase only the shadow band, though we show it on that page with the Athena, so you can be sure you know what your ring will look like.

As with all of our shadow bands, your ring will be custom-made just for you – to go with your very puzzle ring. So we will need to pick up your ring and retain it while we make the shadow band to fit perfectly with your existing ring. Why is this? Because every single puzzle ring is different: The weave, the weight, the size of the stone, and the ring size all intersect to ensure that your engagement ring is a one-off original, so therefore, your shadow band must be an original, too.


Remarkable Treasures Found in Wales

One thing we don’t typically experience in the U.S. is finding centuries-old artifacts under a farmer’s field. That very thing occurs in England and Wales on a fairly regular basis, and when it does, it’s newsworthy, usually showing up on multiple news sites in the United Kingdom! I invite you to check out these treasures:

Interestingly, in the UK, when ancient treasures are uncovered, there is a procedure.  An inquest is held, at which the items are inspected and evaluated. If an item is declared to be a “treasure,” then an independent Treasure Valuation Committee assigns a value to it and submits the value to the Secretary of State. The committee is comprised of five experts on coins and jewelry treasures; each expert is appointed for a term of five years. One committee member is assigned the task of representing the finder of the item. The finder may be allocated a reward as may be the landowner on whose land the treasure was found. The value assigned to an item tends not to be an anticipated retail value but rather the value expected to be fetched at auction. Ultimately, museums then have the right to acquire such an object for their collection.

A 250 Year Old Posy Ring

Imagine finding a 250 year old, gold, posy ring. That’s exactly what happened when a gentleman in Kent, England was out recently.
The article states:  The inscription is believed to be in Old English, and eerily reads ‘Feare God and love thy choice’, which essentially translates to ‘Fear God and love your spouse’.  The jagged, flowing style of the inscription is heavily reminiscent of the Elvish script seen on the One Ring from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.

Check it out here:

Our Earth-First and Fair-Trade Commitments – How Ours Compete with the Best in the World!

We are a small, family-owned business. We’re not a high-volume business by typical commercial standards, though we are happy enough with it! We don’t have the resources to visit the mines from which our gold, platinum, palladium, diamonds, and colored gemstones come to ensure that employees are treated and paid well nor to examine the entire supply chain for consistent ethical practices. So how can we make commitments to ensure that we act on your fervent environmental concerns, especially for the most meaningful jewelry purchase of your lives: engagement and wedding rings?

In the early years of our business, one business principle was etched into our minds: Know your suppliers. This has served our company well since 1983, and it is more important than ever today.

When we had stores in California (Concord, Pleasanton, Capitola, and Cupertino variously from 1989 to 2005), we had about 100 suppliers. Today, with our business solely online and more focused, we use very few vendors. Every vendor we use for precious metals, precious stones, and semi-precious stones meet our criteria for:

1. An Earth-First Commitment and
2. Use of Fair Trade principles in the entire production process from mine to finished products.

And perhaps most importantly, our single diamond, gold, and platinum group metals supplier is a certified member of the Responsible Jewellry Council (RJC). RJC is an international body headquartered in London that certifies fine jewelry product vendors for responsible ethical, social, and environmental practices throughout their operations. Certification and membership require an independent third-party audit covering all aspects of operations from supply chain and production to business ethics and employee health and safety. Members must meet RJC’s Code of Practices which respects human rights throughout the jewelry supply chain for diamond, gold, and platinum group metals. RJC members commit to implementing continuous improvement processes to increase performance and achieve higher standards.

In fact, all of our gold and platinum group metals from our vendor are recycled, so in addition to the clean supply pipeline, you can be satisfied that your metals meet the very highest standards of environmental safety.

Our puzzle ring artist has been with our diamond and precious metal supplier since 1972, two years after their founding, and Crystal Realm has been with them since 2005. Why reinvent the wheel?

Selecting an Ethically Sourced 1CT Marquise Diamond for Your Engagement Puzzle Ring

It’s important to me that you know something about my diamond “worldview” as you approach me for an engagement puzzle ring with a diamond of about 1CT in weight. Here I share with you my thoughts so we can be together in our thinking, and so that – if there is something in particular that you want – you may be explicit in describing it to me as you already know the assumptions under which I make a search for your particular diamond. 

Before going into details about diamonds, I want you to know that we use only ethically sourced diamonds of any size, colored gemstones, and recycled metals from our world-class suppliers. You may read about our Earth-First and Fair Trade vendors here

When I first set out to provide quotes for an engagement ring with a larger diamond, I make certain assumptions. For example, for a diamond that will be worn on a daily basis, I assume that you are not looking for an investment-grade diamond. I could quote you on a 1CT marquise diamond ring with a diamond that’s internally flawless, and prices would start at several times higher than those shown on our site. But that’s not what most – read any – of my clients are looking for. That diamond would, when not set in jewelry, likely be kept in a safe.

Measuring Diamonds by Carat Weight or Millimeter Dimensions
You might ask what is the 1CT range? Great question! Generally, that means a diamond of any weight from 0.90CT to 1.10CT. The 1CT-range diamonds offered by our diamond house are almost always found at weights of 1.0CT to 1.04CT, and if we slide down even a few points to 0.93CT, you may not observe a difference in the visual look.

Diamonds are cut to the size that is best for a particular stone in the estimation of the diamond cutter. So, for example, a 1CT-range diamond will likely be close to 10mm x 5mm, which produces the “ideal for marquise” ratio of 2:1, meaning the length is double the width.

But a 1CT diamond-range stone may vary in the millimeter dimensions. 9.8mm x 5.3mm. 10.5mm x 5mm. It could be 10mm x 5.9mm. Diamonds therefore don’t always demonstrate the much-desired length:width ratio of 2:1. The ratio can vary depending on whether a diamond is cut with a greater or lesser depth. To procure a diamond with the 2:1 ratio or close to it, if desired, it’s necessary to look at the millimeter length and width of a given diamond. (And . . . as a caution . . . to reflect that what is “perfect” for someone else may not make a diamond perfect for you!)

If a diamond weighs 0.90CT and has a length of 10.2mm and a width of 5.25mm, its ratio is 1:94. But note that the millimeter dimensions are greater than 10mm and 5mm, so this diamond will look just as big as a 1CT diamond with the equivalent length and width. This is why we can sometimes, not always, get a 1CT-range marquise diamond that can save you some money by virtue of its slightly lesser carat weight.

Diamond prices rise exponentially with size. This means that a 1 CT diamond is not twice as expensive as a 1/2CT diamond. It may be 5-6 times more costly. So what I like to do is focus on the aspects of diamond quality that make a difference to how beautiful and sparkly it looks on the hand.

Despite what many may tell you, clarity is not the most important diamond characteristic. I think many jewelers like to over-focus on clarity, because they can impress us by showing diamonds with inclusions under different microscope settings. “In this diamond, you can see inclusions under only 10x magnification. But now . . . look at this one! The inclusions are so tiny, it takes 25x magnification for you to see them. This is a great diamond!” Do we really care about that if it’s going to be on her hand every day?

We can save significant money by going down a few steps in clarity, because as long as a diamond has internal flaws (inclusions) that are only visible with a microscope, it doesn’t actually matter how much smaller inclusions are or how many fewer inclusions there are – or even if there are no inclusions – because none are visible to the unaided eye and thereby on the hand.

We can also save some money by sliding a tiny bit in color. The top of the range includes colors D-E-F. Those are known as colorless diamonds. By contrast, diamonds with K-L color are yellow-ish. Our site states that we always provide D-E-F color, and we can do so for you, too, but we can save money if we slide a teensy bit down to G or H color. Those are known as near-colorless diamonds. Typically I only do this for larger diamonds for which the savings is significant or if there is an outstanding smaller diamond with G or H color. And I only do this with full disclosure, discussion, and agreement.

I may go a little overboard on the discussion because unless we had gemological-institute-trained eyes and the proper jewelry examining equipment, you and I couldn’t discern the difference between a G or an H diamond when compared with a D-E-F diamond. So that little change in color doesn’t affect how the diamond looks when she wears it.

There is one other criterion for a beautiful marquise diamond that you won’t hear much about, but I’m picky about this. Some diamonds may have an optical illusion known as bow-tie across the center when looked at from certain angles. It makes the marquise look grayish or black in the shape of a bow-tie, again, only if you see it from the angle at which it shows. Some jewelers say, “Bow-tie gives a marquise diamond character.” I disagree. I think a tiny bit of bow-tie can give a diamond a little character, but we generally seek diamonds with the least evidence of bow-tie possible.

If you want to contact me for individualized quotes for diamonds of 0.90CT or greater, please feel free to email me. My name is Mandira, and I’ll be glad to help you!

Check out Our New Six Band Engagement Puzzle Ring with a Marquise Ruby and Accent Diamonds

This ring was on our site long ago and then it fell off along the way. Recently a long-time customer ordered it for his wife, and we got new images. What do you think?
The ring is shown in platinum. The genuine ruby is 1/2CT, and the side diamonds are 5pt each or 0.05CT.  Of course, we can make this ring with a center diamond or any colored gemstone of your choice: aquamarine, blue sapphire, blue topaz, green Tsavorite garnet, tanzanite . .  .  or whatever you prefer. We rarely make two rings the same, so please contact Mandira directly to inquire about your choices.

marquise ruby royale six band puzzle ring with accent diamonds

This ring is a stunner! The rich color of ruby contrasts beautifully with the crisp, sparkling white of accent diamonds. With six bands shown in platinum, it is also available in 14K white, yellow, or rose gold, usually made with all 14K white gold settings.

We are Over the Moon about Our New Gaelic-Lettered Shadow Band Bridal Set

We lost our hand-engraver some time ago when he retired from a long and illustrious career. How sad that someone of his talent – with genuine old-school training and experience – was lost to us! So we’ve been without new lettered rings for two or three years! Well, when my (Mandira) husband and business partner of 37 years,Tom,  decided to take over our shadow band designs a year ago, suddenly it opened the possibility for us to cast shadow bands with lettering in. It was only a little while before we were asked to make a shadow band with Gaelic lettering: ‘grá mo chroí’ meaning, ‘love of my heart.’

We think this set turned out beautifully! Naturally, you can order a set just like this, or however you prefer it! Diamond? Check. Ruby? Check! Any colored gemstone you want, whether genuine or created? Check!

And we can make your shadow band with your choice of words and lettering style. We’re not Gaelic experts, though, so if you want words in Gaelic (or any other language for that matter), please provide us with the words and spelling you want. As for the lettering style, we have a number of very cool, proprietary letting fonts that you may choose from. A number of them are Gaelic in style, but you can choose any style you want. Email Mandira the words you want, and she will provide them for you in a number of lettering styles from which you can choose. 


Marquise green tsavorite garnet engagement puzzle ring with Gaelic lettered ‘love of my heart’ shadow wedding band

A Marquise Rose-Cut Black Diamond Engagement Puzzle Ring Sparkles!

Increasingly popular black diamonds are a creative choice for the woman who wants a stone that is truly unique for her engagement ring. We’ve long offered black diamonds with a more traditional cut, and now we bring you rose-cut black diamonds. Here we show a marquise shape, but we can also offer rose-cut, round black diamonds. You may select this ring in your choice of precious metals: platinum or 14K rose, white, or yellow gold. You can also request a combination of metals. This would be fabulous in four colors of 14K gold (the three aforementioned plus green gold).

Full disclosure on black diamonds: Black diamonds are different from white diamonds in one particular way. A black diamond will almost always have one or two small unpolished spots on the underside of the stone. The difference between our black diamond vendor and others is that ours is committed to providing you with a black diamond that only has small flaws on the underside. Some black diamond vendors provide stones with small, unpolished surface areas on the top of the stone. Plus Mandira inspects every black diamond before it’s mounted in a puzzle ring. “I don’t do that with every stone, because I let our puzzle ring maker inspect stones. We will simply not put a poor quality stone in our rings. But inspecting the black diamonds is more my thing, because of the relationship I have with our black diamond vendor. If I receive one that isn’t up to my expectations, I’ll return it right away and get you another one.”

Present her with a rose-cut, black diamond, engagement puzzle ring in your choice of metal.

A rose-cut black diamond sparkles! Note the facets on the top of the diamond which make for a whole new look on an engagement puzzle ring.

Three-quarter view of a rose cut marquise black diamond puzzle ring

Here you can see the rose-cut black diamond puzzle ring in a three-quarter view. The top of the diamond is faceted to be rounded in shape.

At Last! Marquise Blue Topaz Engagement Puzzle Rings

I believe our first order for a marquise blue topaz engagement puzzle ring was in 2010. We’ve made a few since then, but it wasn’t until just this year that we finally got images. Tom and I are in New Mexico, and our puzzle ring maker is in California, so many times we don’t get images of new creations if they must be shipped directly to our clients.  I have long desired to add these rings to our website because they are simply delicious in blue topaz. Now to get these added to our online store! In the meantime, if you love this ring and must have it, please feel free to call me (Mandira) at 1-866-573-7381.

A genuine, marquise blue topaz engagement puzzle ring in 14K rose gold

A marquise blue topaz puzzle ring is lovely on 14K rose gold.

Marquise blue topaz engagement puzzle ring in platinum

A one-half carat marquise blue topaz is effulgent on a platinum engagement puzzle ring.  Shown here with an open weave; you may choose from a standard or tight weave.