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J.Grahl Design (Colored Stones)


Was that the Sunstone ring?
Thanks, can’t quite picture which one you’re referring to.


Not to hound you with other questions, but could you give a little more back story on the precious topaz. I’ve never heard of a colorless topaz being referred to as such or as anything difficult to come by. I know there are countless incarnations of various gems which result in some really unique and rare stones and this seems like another one of those special-cases I’ve never encountered, but am eager to learn about.

(In my dream world, I’d have time to go get a gemology degree from GIA, but life just seems far too busy right now)



Hi Erich.
Well, while certainly not one’s normal call… it’s out there.
Interesting material, almost no color dispersion, probably a throw-a-way for some. But the client wanted clear material with a slight grey cast… It really took a while , the folks at One World Gem have been supplying rough for me for a few years now and doing a great job given I’m always asking for something weird. After a couple trips overseas the owner came across the material you see in the ring. It’s really rather nice, cool to the eye, and great with platinum. I haven’t a clue what the material would be worth under any other circumstances… This one has time, labor , cutting fees & too many phone calls layered on the rough to get an accurate read.
I actually have a duplicate (I had a back-up cut at the same time),
Not too sure it’ll get used for anything at this point.
It’s kinda like “Go find another” and who , or why would you want to?
But for this project it was the right thing…


Hi Jim,

Thanks for the information. I’m always fascinated to learn about the unique color-casts some stones can be found in. Your description of a “grey-cast” that is great with platinum definitely helped me understand it better. I think I can see where that would be difficult to find. Most colorless topaz are very “white” or light in nature and seem to have more of a faint brown/orange cast if anything. Finding one that had a grey cast without those other overtones doesn’t sound very easy… Thanks for the explanation! As always, it’s very much appreciated.


30 years ago, the word described a color, now a movement or statement comes to mind first.
When I did these in the late 1970’s, it was the color that drove the interest.
These are (aprox) 7 ct each, Natural, unheated Topaz.
fabricated 18K yellow /plat /diamonds and Akoya Cultured pearls.
Sort of a mid-late 50’s styling for a (then) 75 year old friend.
(Sylvia Bissonnette photo)


12.5 ct, old mine stock tanzanite,
natural fancy yellow and white diamond.
fabricated platinum / 18K yellow.
Circa 1985.Enjoy,


Hi, you made a ring " hand fabricated in 5 % ruthenium platinum, set with diamonds, Tsavorite garnets (green), and pink sapphires." you sent in a photo of it some time ago .

I noticed on the inside of the ring is an extra piece of metal. Could you please explain why its there and how you made it ?

I also enjoy looking at your photographs from different angles.
Your craftsmanship and design are beyond words for me. Thanks for sharing them.


Thanks for the note,
I’m still not sure which ring, (other than the Sunstone ring at the top,) you are referring to.
Could you post a screen shot?
I’m happy to go over the piece, just need to know which one.
Thanks, Jim


Sorry for posting this twice , i didn’t see it went through .
My question is about the inside of this ring shank . Thank you


That’s a spring, it compresses into the shank as you slip it over the knuckle.
It will compensate for about 1/2 size + a bit.
The little notches are so the spring’s tension can be adjusted.
Thanks, Jim


Hi Jim,

oh! very ingenious! so, is the spring attached at the bottom center, and then the ends are bent up to adjust the proper tension?

very cool!



Hi, you wrote the ring is made of 5 % ruthenium platinum,
Is the spring made of the same thing ?
And how is that attached that it does not loose its spring ?


Hi Julie,
The spring is 5% RP too, forged, not annealed.
Its soldered in with 18K white easy, It is low enough temp that it doesn’t impact the spring.
Thanks, Jim




The color Purple… has evoked a book, movie,
the hearts and eyes of Royalty for millennia .
This Siberian Amethyst has all the best, intensity, color and a beautiful cut.
Hand fabricated platinum with Diamond accents.


My friend had accumulated some quite nice green Jadeite, and, had a penchant for texture and the unusual in the design sense.
Adding a few Tsavorite (Green) garnets and 22k yellow gold & this got cooked up.
A little Romanesque , a little Asian, and quite pretty on the hand.


A Blue (ish) day…
The joy of Sapphire, a rainbow of color to choose from…
and then,
The surprise, two colors in one stone.
Called a “Color shift” sapphire, this one got caught by the camera showing both it’s blue and purple sides. Richer than Tanzanite and sooo much harder. This is a stone that is second only to diamond in durability.
Resting in a hand fabricated platinum mounting with pave’ diamond accents.


Something a bit different,
This black jade piece (in 18K yellow & Titanium)
Was carved to replicate an 2 Escudo gold coin recovered off the Atocha wreck.
I carved it simply because the client , while in love with the gold coin, couldn’t fit it into his budget. He loves black… so here you go.


I’m fascinated with ancient gold work like this. I’d love to know how much time something like this took a skilled artisan back then with their limited tools. It would be fascinating to know more about the “business” of it back then. . . how long training was and what it was like, how long they usually worked each day, what the price in today’s money was for such artworks, and how much time they were expected to produce them in, etc. Such amazing work. . .


Hi Eric…
I would love to have this questions answered too, I dig around that world a lot but there are few records.
This piece I made .
A bit rustic so I hope I didn’t misrepresent it.