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J.Grahl Design (Colored Stones)


How do you re-size the ring? I see diamonds all the way around the bottom of the shank…Gerry Lewy!


Hi Gerry,
With an eternity band you are sizing up by the diameter of one stone ( or more as needed) and, while you can put in a bar, it somewhat defeats the effort of creating symmetry. One can also sleeve the ring down with very thin sheet stock, ( I prefer platinum) and simply swedge it in, or very gently heat the gold, it will expand, and the platinum will slip right in, when the gold cools and shrinks the platinum will nor come out.
If the ring is all platinum, chamfer the inside edges of the ring, sleeve, and take a large dapping die and tap the edges over the radius. To size up, again, the one stone rule (+ as needed) then sleeve back to the ideal side.
Laser will work, as will 1000 degree plat solder… If you’re really brave, 1100 degree will work too. Come in from the back, make sure the fit Is exact, use a burnisher to work the surface and the solder line will be ( nearly) imperceptible .


This 2,75 ct Tsavorite garnet ring is modeled on another blue/green sapphire several posts above.
I rarely duplicate, or create very similar pieces, but this stone begged for this design (It’s all in my head… I know…)
These are stunning stones, one of only two greens that show up in the rainbow of garnet colors, and, along with Demantoid Garnet, the rarest.
I find it s fascinating that color seems so simple, until one factors in all the hues and modifiers.
This Tsavorite has a decided yellow hue, though the Kelly Green dominates and without comparison. It would simply be “Green”
Enter Demantoid, found in Russia (next to extinct…) and Africa.
There is a prevalent blue hue that gives it the uniqueness of “Demantoid”
Yet, without side by side comparison. It’s simply…Green.
Again, Hand fabricated platinum + diamonds…


My friends went a traveling… wound up in Burma, land of MANY gems…
Michelle fell in love with this star ruby about 2.80 ct, very nicely cut.
She wanted something simple, a pinky ring.
Paul’s turn to provide Christmas…
End result, a surprise , hand fabricated in platinum and diamonds.
Good job Paul…


Years ago… early 1960’s,
Tiffany branded “Tanzanite”, As found, grey Zoisite is not particularly interesting, there are exceptions, but they’re more of a novelty.
What had Tanzanite take off was the incredible dichroism it possessed. True purple to an incredible velvety blue.
The stone shown here is from Andrew Sarosi’s collection, circa 1962. This is what Tanzanite is , unfortunately, you will rarely see this anymore, and if you do, expect at least 3 zeros, past the first digit… ($$$)I posted a build series on this piece too, but these shots are simply about the piece and the color.
Hand fabricated, platinum.


Another Kashmir Sapphire,
This in a Style that has a bit of old India in the design,
This is all hand pierces platinum and 18K yellow gold, and, with a very close look around the edges you will see a suite of natural pink diamonds accenting the other stones.
Again, for a dear friend who never ceases to challenge me (it’s always appreciated.


Hi Jim,

Excellent design with fine crafting. Thanks for sharing it.

Thanks and Regards,



Thank you very much.
Still have some ground to cover with this kind of piercing. Sure has me appreciate those craftsmen who sat on dirt floors with lamp light, using (?) for saw blades and drilling with bow drills (I still like doing that though…)
It’s amazing how many skills are lost due to fashion and technology.
Though I think the primary reason is simply money.
When fewer people had serious money, they treasured these skill sets and paid accordingly.
Now, with more equalized income, Cad dominating the tech world, and hand skills driven further down the food chain, It becomes more of a challenge to step up and charge for the hours of work it takes to master a skill. and it takes a special client to be willing to see further than the next fashion trend and buy for, not just their future, but their families’.
Best, and again, thank you,


Hi Jim,
Beautiful stuff! Incredible. In the interest of ultimate gemological accuracy, though, I have to note that tanzanite, as it comes from the ground, is trichroic…blue, violet and orange/brown. Heating removes the orange/brown and leaves two blue axes and one violet. Originally there may have been rough that was deep blue gathered off the ground, before that was all exhausted and tunneling began. Now the best rough is called “diesel” because it is the color of diesel fuel. Heating removes the brown and the other colors show. Some of the miners heat it in aluminum foil over propane stoves. Wonderful stuff.


Hi Roy
I agree,
I’m really just interested in the early find material. I was heavily involved in heat treating large (early) “Tanzanite” in the mid 60’s. A friend was bringing back incredible material back from Tanzania then.
That all dried up in the late 60’s as I’ve heard.
Charlie Carmona , Gemologist in Los Angeles (also at AGTA Tucson /Vegas, and the one responsible for setting up the lab for the Tanzanian government is the reigning expert in all things (currently) Tanzanite.
My experience was /is pretty much old guard, Sarosi, Kazanjian etc. At 70 now… i’m kinda in that game more and more.
The latecomers either haven’t experienced the great material, or have no reference point.


Brothers under the skin, The star of this suite , by virtue of size and presence is the Padparaja, This one a 4.78 ct flawless gem from Sri Lanka. Like is close neighbor from and earlier post, the Kashmir it’s resting with, these are both sapphires, separated by la continent and a few chemicals, these are effectively the same gems wearing two different color suits. The effect of trace elements have the wonderful , chameleon like effect on the parent Corundum family of gems, allowing for many wonderful colors to occur.
Of these, the three major players are the Padparaja, The Kashmir Sapphire and the Burma Ruby.
The Padparaja shown is what the Sri Lankan gem dealers call “Sunset”, a bit of a cognac hue mixed with a bit of pink under the right light.
This hand fabricated platinum and diamond piece brings the feel of the lotus flower into play, a reminder of the spirituality associated with these revered gems.


One of my favorites, and the darling of the gem collecting community, and yet,…
almost unknown in the public domain.
This is a true gem, Burmese in origin, stunning red with no modifying colors, bright. This will give the best rubies in the world a run for the money spent.
Affordable-Ish…, getting more costly by the year as supplies diminish.
The ring is hand fabricated in Platinum and 18K yellow gold and diamonds for accent.
Rare again…



The ring is absolutely stunning, as are all the pieces you show us, but
don’t all those diamonds hurt your other fingers?Especially when someone
shakes your hand? That hurts when the ring is just plain.


There’s no shaking going on, rather, it’s more like kissing the hand that wears this ring. :kissing_smiling_eyes:


Noralie, we shake with our right hand… so there might be a choice there, however, all kidding aside, no pain & no problems ever, I’ve been doing these for over 50 years wit not a single complaint…

Thank you… well said.
Best to you both,


Good to know! I must hang out with the wrong crowd!

I love your work, and am very envious of all that gold. I often wonder if
that quote “if you build it they will come” works for upgrading to gold
from silver.


Hi Noralie,
Its all in your head. If you question it you will probably spend more time in the question than the action.
Save a bit, Make a piece or two and create buyers. They won’t know what you"re doing unless you share (or their mind readers…)
If your dream is gold… do it.
Thinking about it will rarely produce the same result as doing it.


Leonid Surpin once said if you desire to work with gold, the first thing to do is get into the habit of making things that require very little metal. It’s more of a challenge than I thought it would be …cuffs are always on my mind. .


Thanks - great encouragement from both of you.

Looking through very old Lapidary Journals, I came across an article about
the Atocha treasures. For anyone interested, check LJ for September, 1995,
pages 46 and 81.


Another Padparaja…
This is the classic look, again, getting harder to find. This is a Sri Lanka, no heat and flawless 2.85 ct gem, in the truest sense.
The ring is hand fabricated platinum and diamond.
To one of my best friends and staunchest supporters, over 50 pieces in in 53 years.
All my thanks .