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Something unforgettable for my wife

Hi Everyone,

I’ll try to keep this as brief as possbile as I know time is
valuable. but any and all help/advice you can give me is greatly

First I’ll start off with a little background info so you don’t
think I’m crazy.

I’m not a jeweler, nor do I intend to become one. I just want to try
something new, while hopefully creating something unforgettable for
my wife this Christmas.

My wife and I began dating in early 2004 while we were in college and
were married just over 4 years ago. We settled in my home town in
Vermont - her family is all in Nova Scotia Canada, hundreds of miles
away. She has sacrificed year after year and hasn’t been home for
Christmas since 2003. This coming year, we intend to move to Nova
Scotia, but not before we travel there for Christmas this year to
find out whether or not, “I’ll be able to stand the winter there”!
This will be her first Christmas “home” in seven years and I want it
to be her most mermorable with me yet.

She is a jeweler by trade, she works mostly with glass and does some
beading ( She doesn’t do much with silver or
gold, she has taken classes and we have bought most of the required
tools, certainly all of the basics. She is successful with her
primary work (she loves working with glass) and has become very
efficient at producing the pieces so I believe based on this and
possibly a little intimidation she hasn’t spent much time working
with any other mediums.

I’ve always been fascinated by jewelry and in some respects, maybe
even toyed with the idea of making something, but I own a
design/build firm and am on job sites swinging a hammer daily so I
don’t have much need for anything fancy!

I want to make a ring for my wife this Christmas, I assume I will
work with silver. I haven’t really done much pricing, but assume
white gold is out of my price range - we’re saving as much as we can
to make this move to Canada. I have some basic designs in mind, but
am not totally attached to them. There will be but I’m
not sure exactly what cut/shape, number, nor what stone or setting

I need help with the following:

I need suppliers, the best price for the best quality - remember I’m
on a budget - my wife has tons of wholesale accounts with suppliers
but I’m afraid if I use them, she’ll find out - is there anyway
around this? Can I use one of her accounts and ask that it be kept
"off record" by having a confirmation sent to my email and not hers,
and also having the materials sent to another address?

I’m thinking 3 stones different shapes, similar cuts, same gem, with
the multi-band look (I apologize for my lack of specific
termanology) Any suggestions?

Her birth stone is amethyst, she has a couple rings, but doesn’t
wear them often, not sure if she isn’t totally sold on purple or if
they are just the rings (I didn’t buy them!)

She has mentioned she wants a new engagement ring, bigger stone,
different look etc. The one she has now was the one her grandfather
gave her grandmother, very simple, but unique setting (white gold,
prong) the diamond is around 1ct and a miner’s cut, very old,
beautiful ring, valuable and sentimental enough she doesn’t want to
wear it every day. Again, on a budget, and def. cannot afford the
diamond of her dreams - would it be cheesy to buy a decent quality cz
or alternative with the idea in mind that we will replace it with the
real-deal after the move, any thoughts, ladies advice would
specifically be appreciated!?

I’ve watched a lot of tutorial videos with my wife as well as read a
fair amount on techniques and practices, but any and all suggestions
on must see/read material for the actual art itself would be

Again I appreciate you all taking the time to read this, and putting
the thought into a response. Any responses are greatly appreciated.
I have a lot of patience, and love working with new materials. I
know this won’t be easy, and know there will be a tremendous
learning curve, but I will make this happen! You can call me crazy,
you can tell me that there isn’t any way for me to pull it off, but
I’ve attempted and succeeded at far crazier things in my life, so
feel free to tell me it won’t happen - just don’t expect to get any
response! Having help from all of you, as well as working my way
through this project as a begginner will make this outcome, all the
more meaningful, I will keep anyone that is interested posted on my
progress and the outcomes! Thanks again.

Dustin DuPrat

would it be cheesy to buy a decent quality cz or alternative with
the idea in mind that we will replace it with the real-deal after
the move 

Most people would likely find it cheesy, yes.

If she has a carat now, think about upgrading from solitaire to a
three stone ring. Old miners can still be had to match but somewhat
smaller, the cost is moderate, or you can recut to brilliant round
and go from there. But please have a pro do it.

If I walked onto your job site you might hire me to assist the
framer but you’d be nuts to give me free reign on the wiring.

Oh this is so Romanic I love it, I moved from Hong Kong and live in
Nova Scotia, Canada for the pass 41 years and love it here. I am
taking lesson from NSCAD in Halifax and learn all kind of metal smith
stuff and love working with sterling silver. You can order things
from your wife suppliers just ask them to put in your name instead.
Riogrande has good pricing and lot of to chose from. Good luck to
your gift making. What part of NS are you moving to?

Anna Chow

Dustin - I’m a complete amateur, but I have been through a very
similar exercise to yours. Actually, twice, because having done it
myself I helped a friend, John, make an engagement ring. Both
projects were hugely enjoyable, if a bit high-pressure.

So, it’s definitely feasible. After all, John’s proposal was
accepted. But I have a few suggestions:

  • Keep it simple. If you need to be done by Christmas, and this will
    be squeezed into bits of stolen time, you don’t have all that long to
    do the learning and the making. In particular, keep the setting(s)
    simple. John went with a tube setting because it seemed like the
    easiest way to get a respectable product. A simple design also has
    fewer opportunities for aesthetic mistakes.

  • Make many practise pieces. You do not want to be learning new
    techniques in the course of making the final product. That makes it
    all go a bit Mission Impossible.

  • You can’t really design your product till you know how to make it,
    so try to treat your initial design as rather provisional till you’ve
    done practise settings and so on.

Here’s what John made:

Good luck!


We are moving to Yarmouth. It is her home town and she really loves
it there - as do I! We have friends in Halifax and spend a lot of
time there during the summer. The waterfront, the park and the
Hamachi House are some of our all-time favorite spots! Halifax has
such a cool vibe! Rio is one of her main suppliers so I will try
them! Thanks for the advice!

Dustin DuPrat

Hello Dustin,

I used to make rings and key chains etc. for my husband every year
but this year I decided to have something different. Here is the
link in my web site:

I am not sure that everybody could do these rings. My young jeweller
friend has made them for us. I sent him our photos and our ring size
with and email and he made them for us. The pictures on the rings
looks exactly like us.

Kind regards, Oya