I’m sitting at my my desk, working.
An email from had arrived. I opened it with some trepidation. This would be the CAD (computer aided design) version of James’ initial sketch of my ring.
I had an image of what the design would be like clear in my mind. I scrolled down. And stopped. Oh. Even though I’d been warned that the colours wouldn’t look right, none of the versions on my screen looked as I’d thought they would.
one example of the CAD design
This was a bit of a shock. I sat back in my office chair and peered at the screen, trying to look at the design more analytically. It was what I’d envisaged, but not quite. Two of the smaller stones felt as if they’d been placed too high against the central sapphire. If they could be slightly, well, squashed down so the design was elongated it would work. Right?
Trying to describe in words what I meant was difficult, but James took on board my slightly – who am I kidding, very – anxious feedback and reworked the the design, coming back to me with within days with alternatives.
Either would have been perfect. I breathed again.
With the first of the two revised options selected, the construction of the ring was now in the hands of James’ workshop in Birmingham. Here are some shots he took of the process.
A couple of weeks later I was on a train back home from a job in London. My phone pinged again. Another email from James. This time, to say the ring was ready.
So soon. I’d thought it would be another couple of weeks at least. Finally I let myself start to get excited.
Two days later, the editor took delivery of the ring while I was out. He left it on the kitchen table with the rest of the bills and junk mail. Didn’t text me to tell me it had arrived of course…
He was grafting hard in the garden in brilliant sunshine when I got home and saw the package. I grinned and took it outside. He put down his spade and we sat on the wall as I tore it open. Two thoughts went through my mind as I lifted the lid of the matt black presentation box. Would it fit (not a disaster; jewellery can be resized), and would I like it. Bit scary, that one. But worst of all would be that I kind of liked it, but didn’t really love it.
You need sunlight to really see the complexity of colour in a parti-sapphire.
the finished ring
The blues and greens and yellows of the extraordinary Australian stone sparkled as I took it from the box and held it towards the light. A scatter of green, turquoise and white diamonds set it off beautifully. The ring was fabulously pretty – and fitted.
For days, I couldn’t stop staring at my finger. Quietly, I could tell that the editor was pleased at my giddy delight.
It does however turn out that there are only so many times that wearing a brand new sapphire and diamond ring that you don’t want to get mucky will get you out of doing the washing up.
All pictures copyright James Newman