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The Art and Jewelry of J.Grahl Design


Clicking on the top watch picture shows the entire watch.


Here is another that is a bit on the extreme side.
Fabricated in platinum as a wedding set and influenced by a lotus leaf.
The center stone is a Ceylon sapphire with a bit of a grey cast, an interesting mix with the platinum.
There is a lot of moving parts in the visual sense.
I’ll post a build series soon on this one.


Guy’s day…
Most men get them at some point.
Today it’s very common to just order one up on Amazon.
We’re not them…
This is what happens when we do a guy’s band, either in platinum like this, or titanium (still looks like this…)
Hand turned on our lathe out of solid stock if it’s titanium, or formed and welded (no seams) and then lathe turned if it’s platinum. Gold follows the same process.
The British term for hand made, to order jewelry is “Bespoke”.
The difference between most retail bands , which are certainly less expensive, and ours are weight and precision, along with the piece being one - of one. You’re not going to see your clone on another’s hand.


Banding together…
This suite was done for my great friend “Billy” that created Newport Aquatic Center. Billy is Hawaiian (Hapa) and his wife full blooded Islander. Billy, a former professional paddler , has created an organization that , not only, supports Olympians, but world class paddlers in any paddle sport that exists .
When he asks me to do his wedding rings, the criteria was for the design to reflect his family’s passion and heritage.
In each band, you’ll see hand engraved petroglyph and tapa patterns, all authentic Hawaiian designs. There is also a shell inlay in the large band (Billy’s), collected from home.
Black and white diamonds accent his wife’s band for a more feminine accent.
Hand fabricated, 18K yellow & Platinum.


and the band plays on…
I miss a day so it’s a twofer (2 for 1)
This is a pretty classic rendition of an emerald babd accented with diamonds, almost a late 60’s style (this is circa 1980 ish).
Hand fabricated in platinum and 18K, a client order for a great, and now passed friend.


Over the top…
These are the projects that will challenge the best of us.
A commission from a diamond dealer / cutter. 5 1/2. ct center, a bunch of small stuff.
All hand fab’d in platinum.
This moved on to a private client but not under our name…
It’s fun though, given the challenge of bringing some sense of balance to a large stone without having it look like a bump on a log…
Can flash & subtlety work together?


How did you make the texture on the men’s platinum band?

It looks a lot like the texture on the handle of the letter opener with the blue topaz and pearls.


Hi Betty,
It’s a combination of a tip I shaped for a hammer hand piece, and a German made texture wheel (I’ve had forever )…
Thanks, Jim


The Band is back…
As am I, I’ve been at the Tucson Gem Show all week, so, no posts.
I haven’t done this before, but this is a preview of a piece to come.
I am showing a process as well as a design.
The ring is being done for the granddaughter of a Yacht-Maker and leasing company. She now flies all over the world handling their leases. This piece is intended to represent (Squint here please), a bit of a nautical flavor, without being blatant or over the top.
It is being done in platinum, diamonds, graduated color blue sapphires and some unique fabricating processes.
The piece you see is a rendering in CAD (not real… yet). I had this done to take my rough concept of the scroll / wave pattern (shown), and explore the finished look.
Also included are pictures of the sterling silver prototype.
This was made to test the feel on the client’s hand. She had previously only worn narrow bands, this is about 13 mm wide, so we needed to know if the comfort level was there.
The concept was to make a ring that would draw attention without being gaudy, one that another would be intrigued by…
Are you?


For a brave woman…
This was created for a great friend as an acknowledgement for her support for a many year long project. It took courage and patience to see this through. If you look at the carousel on my opening shot, you’ll get a sense of the scope of the project, 18 years worth.
The lion is a reproduction of the cap-piece of our Balboa Park Carousel Egg (best to Google).
The pendant is a cast /fabricated piece, in 18K and platinum with diamond accents… The pendant is removable from the ornate frame for a simpler look.
(Opening shot, Sylvia Bissonnette)


Beautiful work and I love the removable aspect of the lion. Very clever!


Thanks Erich.
Look closely and you’ll see that there are clasps on the chain ends.
Thanks, Jim


Geez. . . I hadn’t noticed that before. Just fantastic work! Thanks again for sharing!


Getting flashed…
Well, for some that might bring up odd thoughts, but, if one’s into diamonds… it’s pretty cool
This is a smallish (1.25 ct) emerald cut, The mounting is hand fabricated platinum , pave’ set with a bunch of small diamonds.
Color play is at the heart of a diamond, but rarely seen in an emerald cut. They are known, and desired, for their coolness and simple elegance.
This one held a surprise, a pop of purple the camera caught that was natural dispersion (like a prismatic effect). No photo shop here, just a quirk of Nature.


Perfumer, circa 1978…
Created for the Orange County Philharmonic for a French themed Gala & charity auction.
18K, body created using steel pressing dies. Framework fabricated. Small cab rubies for accents. The top is removable with a traditional “Dipper” attached. This was sealed for actual use & delivered with perfume…


Nothing get’s you like a diamond…
Hard to argue, and there are so many other great gems around…
But for durability , classic wedding or engagement feel, and sheer Punch…
Diamond is the pinnacle for most folks.
For this 2.5 ct cushion cut, F color, VS 1 clarity and seriously well cut stone, a platinum engagement ring and an eternity style wedding band were hand fabricated, accented with small diamonds around the perimeter.


Square …
Princess cut diamonds, (like this 4.35 ct) can be a challenge to design around. It’s easy to be contemporary, it’s a new cutting style so vintage is out…
The trick is to balance the edgy look (squareness) and keep the profile appearing low.
This is a version I fabricated with a princess cut center stone, bordered by two Triangular cut diamonds (Trillions with straight sides) and small rounds to soften the look.
Created in Platinum and 18K yellow gold, with the intention of comfort to the eye.


Will you marry me ?..
For love, not money… for your attention to detail, your concerns over my needs, for joy and sharing…
Moments to create a future with…
I can’t tell you who this is for, all of the above have to be addressed first. It should be in a couple days now.
I wish them well, and to commemorate their engagement,
a 2 ct, beautifully cut diamond, and a hand fabricated platinum and diamond ring.
I’m honored to be a part of this future, please wish them well.


Hi Jim,

On your planned wide nautical ring band, is the millgrain used as a measuring system for placement of the granulation?


Hi Betty,
Naw… Just to be decorative, add texture .
I wish I were that smart… I may have to count dots now, Good idea.
Thanks, Jim