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The Art and Jewelry of J.Grahl Design


Let the stone do the talking…
Certain diamond cuts do quite well standing alone, of these, the Emerald Cut is my favorite.
It’s like a house of mirrors, the faceting pattern is larger, simpler and gives broad flashes of light allowing the eye to simply take it all in.
This hand fabricated platinum piece is intended to give this 2.5 ct H, VVS 2 diamond it’s day in the sun, with little around it to distract the eye.


I often get requests fron diamond and gem dealers to do special projects that show off their product.
In this instance, a diamond dealer who was also manufacturing a line I designed for him wanted a “Over the Top” piece for this 6 ct. E, VVS1 Asscher (style) cut.
Baguettes ring the piece, each stone custom cut with 1/2 moons terminating the ends of the shank.
Hand fabricated platinum.


35 years of being special…
One of my favorite things to participate in are anniversaries, especially when I have known the couple since their wedding.
Here is a re-do on the wedding rings created in budget, to the celebration of many successful years in the joys and trials of marriage.
The time came to create this hand fabricated suite in platinum and princess cut diamonds using the original diamond .
Great people, fun piece, will last another 35 years as well.


Odds & Ends…
Stuff that just hangs around, Lost a this or that & this is left over…
That’s how these fabricated platinum earrings started out, leftovers from other projects.
My great friend who owns these is always up for throwing me a challenge, " Here are some diamonds I have laying around… what can you do with them?"
Here ya go…


What really counts…
My son, Jonathan, created these for his girlfriend / best friend Rachel. He chose the natural pink sapphires, created the design and saw the project through to my hands for setting and finishing. Our thanks to Don Ross for his technical support and great CAD and casting work.
Hey, I can be replaced…


Diamonds, while a good part of the business, are not often my “feel good” stone, with this exception.
This 2.05 ct Arkansas diamond is certainly special.
From finding the rough through cutting and ultimately to my hands for the mounting, this piece has never left the family.
The diamond in an intense fancy Orangish-Brown, VVS1, near Ideal cut. Now bordered by two, .33 ct light fancy yellow pears in a fabricated 18K & platinum piece.
A very special stone for a very special friend, I am honored to be part of the story.


The twins…
It’s not often I am asked to create a ring for a couple of 3 ct (+) diamonds … and keep it very low key.
This was for a great friend, now passed. Simple, fabricated 18K yellow gold, for every-day wear, which she did for many years.
How fortunate am I, surrounded by folks that let me create their dreams, while supporting me in in my interpretations and delivery with my particular approach.


Number 1…
Here is the first piece of jewelry I made, circa 1964.
A unique time to be sure the mid 1960’s… Southern California was in the middle of shock, culturally, racially and philosophically.
Enter the pig… not a term used with reverence or kindness, except for one guy, and older friend and mentor who steered me through my wrongs toward (kinda’) the rights…
Commissioned by him for the L.A.P.D., this bloomed-out hippy-surfer kid discovered a sense of purpose in re-defining a term to become “Pride, Integrity, Guts” (P.I.G.).
And, for a time, The officers wore these as tie tacks and lapel pins, creating a new reference point for a maligning term.
And a blossoming carrer for me…
(he’s only 5/8’s of an inch tall…)


Jim, this is great. So much personality in such a little form. I’d never guess this was a first piece.



Style & Time…
It is interesting, to me, to see the evolution in taste & style as time moves forward. There was a time , about 20 or so years ago, when yellow gold was the standard for rings, platinum for mounting stones. This piece reflects that. A 2 1/2 ct diamond in a hand fabricated 18K yellow gold and platinum ring, a contemporary design (for the era) and very happy clients.
It’s so cyclical this color preference. The 20’s through the mid 40’s (1920-1940 for reference) 18K white gold and platinum were mainstream materials of choice. In the early 1950’s through the mid 50’s , Rose gold was a trend, Then 14K /18K yellow hung around for quite a while.
Now, 90% of my work is platinum (with some Titanium thrown in). My job is to please the eye
(and adjust the colors accordingly…)


Feeling Blue…(ish)
I Love Sapphires & this one is a really great example.
A 2.5 ct, unheated blue with a subtle hint of purple, highly exposed in a hand fabricated platinum mounting (with a side of diamonds…).


Jim! The decision to use an “End-Bezel” to expose
the stone was a fantastic idea! The beauty of the depth was a good choice to make! Gallery and Prong setting cover up so much of the Blue-ish beauty!..good designing!!!

Gerry! from my Toronto iPhone!


A Song for You…
Here is a piece that’s near and very dear to my heart. My friend came to me a while back and requested a piece for his wife, a woman gifted with a remarkable voice. She was a vocalist with the St Martin of Tours Choir many years ago, yet had nothing tangible from that time to acknowledge that well earned honor.
We decided to do a piece that captured a bit of the flavor of her musical accomplishments, so an 18K yellow gold chocker was crafted along with an enameled 18K and platinum pendant (that also converts to a pin).
While every piece coming out of here is heartfelt…some get a little bit closer…


Absolutely exquisite!



It interests me to attempt to create a feminine piece with angular stones.
In this instance, a 4.02 ct Princess cut with two .75 ct. triangular diamonds as side stones.
It (first and foremost ) has to be pretty…
It also has to be very well organized as your eye will pick out a mis-aligned stone very quickly.
And, it has to be feminine in some aspect .
Does this work for you???
(Combination cast/hand fabricated platinum)


Hi Jim,
This is a very beautiful piece! The way the triangles nestle next to the princess cut is an interesting design. However, in this one case, I think I’d want the accent stones out away from the princess cut just a little so that they weren’t slightly underneath it and obscured a bit in a face up view. I would also want them with their tables parallel to the table of the princess cut so that all showed face up at the same viewing angle. Maybe a bar of metal to the side of the princess cut on each side and then a reorientation of the side stones. Makes the whole presentation a bit wider, which could be good or bad, I guess.

But I can also see the virtues of how you’ve done it. I notice this is an incredibly long thread, which speaks to the volume and richness of your body of work. I think this is the first time I’ve actually had any criticism, which just goes to show that a flea can see farther when standing on the head of a giant, I guess. Finally…maybe…LOL.

Keep ‘em comin’ You da man!


My Heart goes out to You…
African pink diamonds have a great feel. the color is quite pure, generally more-so than other sources.
This .75 ct beauty found a home surrounded by other pink rounds (near friends) and a community of close relatives in the surrounding heart pendant.
Hand fabricated platinum,


Tough Love…
I get a lot of athletes coming through the studio. Great folks, not always the kindest to their jewelry. So, rather than try to re-train them, I adapt.
This suite is for a great friend, tri-athelete and law enforcement officer. So the challenge is to over build for durability, and retain femininity and style to the piece.
1.76 ct F, VVS 2 pear shape and rounds, hand fabricated platinum.


Windows to the World…
Emerald cut diamonds are really remarkable, the optics are so critical that even the smallest flaw will be apparent. This simple cutting pattern, harking back to some of the earliest gem cutting known, is also one of the most elegant and endearing of shapes.
this 3.25 ct, E, VVS 2 is an excellent example of simplicity and the beauty of diamond, without the frills.
Set in a hand fabricated platinum ring.


Hey Jim,
I love the little accent diamond on the side. Simply elegant.