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Selecting Your Stones

Hi folks! As we’ve seen a lot of interest recently in engagement style rings and in rings with set stones in general, we wanted to offer some helpful tips for choosing stones for a ring design. We’re always happy to help source stones if needed, but we thought it would be good to give you a place to start from if you’re just starting out your design journey. Some types of stones are much better suited for rings than others, rings take a lot of wear, and many stones, while beautiful, don’t have the longevity needed.

No need to worry though, there are many great options for stones that are strong and long lasting! Our go to choices are diamonds, sapphires, and moissanites.

Let’s start off with the “classic wedding” option, diamonds. Everyone knows that diamonds are extremely hard, which makes them amazing for rings, but did you know that they can be found in a variety of looks and colors? 

Shown here are two more unconventional diamond options, a Cognac colored diamond, and an uncut diamond crystal. Diamonds can be found in many different colors, and even unusual shapes like the uncut one, for a fresh take on the old classic look. Another factor to consider with diamonds is whether you want to go with natural or lab grown. Lab grown diamonds are actually just as strong and high quality as naturally found ones, but since they’re grown in labs they’re a fraction of the price, so this is a great option if you want a diamond but you’re trying to keep to a tighter budget.


Now onto sapphires, nearly as hard as diamonds, and one of our favorite types of stones to use in designs as they’re incredibly diverse and work for so many different looks, but still have the needed strength to last in rings.




Sapphires can come in every color of the rainbow, and even multicolor as seen here with this Montana sapphire! So they’re a great choice if you love color and/or are looking for something really unique. When we receive inquiries for colored stone recommendations, we usually will suggest sapphires. 


And last but certainly not least, we have Moissanites! More of an uncommon choice, Moissanites are an amazing stone option. These are man made stones, based on material originally discovered in a meteor crater in 1893 by scientist Henri Moissan. We like to think of them as cosmic space glitter. They are a great alternative if you want the diamond look without the cost, and are still high quality and very strong. 

Shown here is a hexagon cut Moissanite, to show the beautiful look that can be achieved. 

We know that diving into the world of ring designs and navigating through the incredible number of options for stones can seem daunting! So we’re always happy to help and give advice where we can to help you bring your vision to life. We source stones from cherished dealers who we’ve cultivated relationships with, and that offer consistently high quality stones. If you’re interested in a special piece for yourself or a loved one get in touch and start the conversation early! We’re now booking into March for custom work, so the sooner the better! 



Much love,

Arn Krebs Mokume

The Custom Design Experience

At Arn Krebs Mokume we offer the unique opportunity to customize and design an heirloom piece of jewelry within our mokume gane aesthetic. We are so honored to create these bespoke pieces for our customers and to work together to build truly special and one-of-a-kind pieces of work.

We have put together this overview to help you understand the steps and conversations involved in creating your completely unique piece of art, and hopefully make it a truly enjoyable process.

Read more about it here and check out some killer examples below.

 
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 Consultation & Design

How long this part of the custom process takes varies widely depending on how complicated the design is. Sometimes people come to us knowing exactly what they want, while others have more of a general concept or an idea for something new. We’ll work with you to build out the details from the ground up!

 

When you inquire about a ring design, we start the process of your custom order with a conversation about what you are looking for. Do you know what pattern, palette, finish, and other design options you’d like, or would you like some guidance? Do you want a plain band, or are you looking to incorporate stones? If you want to use stones, what kind? How would you like them set? And don’t worry — we’ll guide you through this process!

 

Also during this time we’ll create quotes, Arn may make some sketches, and we will answer any questions you have.

 

Communication & Details

 

Once all the details have been decided on, you’ll place your deposit and enter our work queue. We ask for a 50% deposit to get started, with the remainder due once production is complete.

Sizing

Did you know your ring size can vary depending on the width of a band? We’ll send you a few different sizers (plain metal bands in different sizes) for a $50 fee, and you’ll have two weeks to try them out and send them back. We recommend you wear them as consistently as possible, because finger size fluctuates throughout the day and even from week to week. We want to create a ring that will fit you comfortably every day.

Gemstone Sourcing (Heirloom, Lab-grown or Natural?)

After we begin our conversations, you are welcome to send us heirloom stones if you’re reusing them from older jewelry pieces. Please let us know if you send them by mail; we'll want to keep a close eye out for them. We love being able to give these sentimental pieces a fresh breath of life by incorporating them into new designs!

We have some great suggestions of gemstones we work with, and love, on a regular basis, but Arn is also available to personally source stones for your design based on the setting style and your tastes. We have trusted stone dealers with established relationships from whom we can source lab grown or natural diamonds, sapphires, moissanites, and other stones. Understandably, this does increase project scope and turnaround time. We also welcome stones that you have sourced, but Arn must check them out first to be sure they are quality cuts and suited to the setting.

 

Recycling Your Metal

We’d love to be able to re-use your metal, but unfortunately we can’t properly fuse metal with unknown alloys into mokume. BUT, we can take it and melt it down and give you a credit towards your final purchase. Or, if the the metal has sentimental value, we have a few creative ways to incorporate the metal into a rail or a dot in all of our rings.

Production Time

Production time varies depending on the design and pattern. Most of our standard bands will be ready to ship in 6-8 weeks, but more complicated and customized rings can take closer to 6 months, so keep this in mind while planning! We do offer rush services for an extra fee, but it’s always best to plan as far ahead as you are able.

If you have questions that come up while you’re waiting for your ring to be completed, we are always here to answer them!

 

Project Completion

Once your ring is finished, we’ll be in touch to let you know that we are sending over professional images of your completed ring so that you can preview (and have a keepsake). Once you approve your order, we’ll send an invoice for your final payment and ship it out! So exciting!

Shipping

We use secure USPS Priority shipping for our US orders, which is included in your final cost, and UPS for international orders, which is an additional fee. Both are very reliable services, and we purchase insurance for all shipments. We’ll notify you when your ring ships with all tracking info, and follow-up to make sure you love your ring!

 

We hope this has answered your questions and shown you that designing a custom ring is really quite simple (especially when someone else is doing the hard work!). We'd love to share more and guide you through the process, so please don't hesitate to contact us by just hitting reply to this email, or clicking the button below. Lastly, check out our NEW website, it's gorgeous!

Be well!

Arn Krebs, Sue Freda &
The Arn Krebs Team

mokume gane, wedding planning, custom design, custom ring design, mokume, handmade jewelry, custom jewelry

Choosing a Width That’s Right for You

Firestorm Ring

Ring width is a very important part of a ring design, and deciding what width will work best for you depends on several different factors. In general, we always suggest going with the widest ring you’re comfortable with for both fit and your own stylistic preference. Wider rings mean more room for patterning! And the same pattern can look different depending on ring width and size, the proportions of the pattern change with these measurements. And tapering is always an option as well! Tapering is a great option for making a wider ring more comfortable and/or aesthetically pleasing. 

The width of rings also plays a part in their fit, as wider bands generally tend to fit a little more snugly than thinner ones, even on the same size finger! With sizing, one of the best ways to help find an accurate fit is to try out sizers or test rings of some sort that are the same width as the ring you are looking to order. Learn more about sizing here.

When deciding between different width options, it can be difficult to imagine what those widths would actually look like on your hand. To help with this, we often suggest that you cut strips of paper to the desired widths and wrap them around your finger to give you a better idea of what those would look like!

Choosing a Palette

We offer several options for metal combination palettes, and any of them could be the perfect choice for your beautiful custom piece! An important element to consider when making your selection is the different levels of contrasts of the palettes. Some are more subtle than others, and it just depends on your preference and the look you want for your ring! 

To offer some loose guidance for you, we’ve created this scale to show all of our palettes side by side and the range of contrast between them. All the palettes here are shown in the satin finish so you can see what the palettes look like with no additional assistance from etching or oxidizing. 

We also want you to keep in mind that all of our product shots are done professionally on a pure white backdrop with full lighting, and as with any type of physical item, colors look different in various lighting and environments. We do try to represent the colors in the rings as accurately as possible but do want to emphasize the differences between a photo and the naked eye. 
palette contrast scale 321

How to Find Your Ring Size

ring set

Sizing is such a crucial component of creating (and purchasing) rings. However, often times it can be a confusing and tricky process, especially for those not used to wearing rings! Many are not aware of how a ring should actually fit, but we’re here to help. Sizing is an art and not a science, but Arn has some tips to make it a little easier to figure out.

A properly fit ring should go on easily, and for removal require 2-3 seconds of gentle pulling while rocking over the knuckle. You want to bend the knuckle and work the ring over it, rather than keeping your finger straight and trying to pull it straight off. The ring should feel snug, but not painful or cutting off circulation while on. We have a video here for reference of Arn demonstrating with his own Mokume Gane wedding band that he wears every day. 

Something important to keep in mind is that if you aren’t used to wearing rings, the feeling takes time to get used to, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that your ring isn’t the correct size! (band width affects ring fit as well. Learn more about width here) We always recommend trying to wear the ring as consistently as possible for at least a few weeks before going through with resizing, especially if it feels like only a minor adjustment would be necessary. And finger size can actually fluctuate easily due to a number of factors (salt, heat, cold, hydration, etc), so it’s best to see how the ring fits overall in your day to day life. 

Ring Fit Demo

Ring Sizing


phone: 401.287.8050

30 Cutler Street
Suite 221
Warren, RI 02885

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