Leo and his partner, Elizabeth, went on a holiday with their daughter to Italy and completely fell in love with the architecture. When they came back to New Zealand Leo wanted to propose, but he wasn’t looking for a classic engagement ring; he wanted the ring to be inspired by a Venice canal bridge that sparked inspiration on their trip. He explained this to our talented jewellery designer, Allette, who immediately got to work sketching some ring design concepts. Allette’s designs drew inspiration from their beloved Venice canal bridge, shown in the photo Elizabeth took of Leo with their daughter:
Allette drew a range of design ideas for Leo’s diamond engagement ring based on the Venice canal bridges, using prongs which reach up to secure the marquise diamond as representation of the bridge’s balustrades, as well as playing with the idea of using blue sapphires to represent the canals which flow beneath the bridges. Leo opted for a design crafted in rose and white gold, not only to create a contrast between the fine details of the design but also to reflect the pink toned bricks and white edgings often featured in Venetian architecture – as you can see in the buildings behind Leo and his daughter.
Once Leo had selected his favourite design, our 3D modelling team got to work bringing a photo-real render of the design to life. Seeing the design transform from a sketch to a photo-real render really emphasised the specific details. This inspired the idea that the ring could even further represent the Venice canal bridges if it had some engraved bricks along the front. The bridge’s steps along the side were also made slightly smaller during this change. You can see the process and comparison of these changes in the 3D model renders below:
After the ring CAD design was approved, the ring was crafted and set by our master craftsmen within our on-site Wellington jewellery workshop. Leo came in store to view the finished ring and when he saw it, he was amazed. It was everything he imagined, and he was so excited to present it to Elizabeth.
In fact, Leo enjoyed the process of designing a ring based on architecture so much that he wanted to do it all again for his own wedding ring! Using another landmark from their trip to Italy, Leo decided to base his wedding ring design on The Colosseum in Rome. Allette began creating concept sketches for this idea immediately, again using two tones – but this time white and yellow gold – to create the design.
The reason for using two tones was to connect Leo’s ring to Elizabeth’s, but also to reflect the idea of the sun shining through the Colosseum, allowing it to bask in a warm and romantic summer light. This also helped to create a contrast and add depth to the window cut-outs.
Once Leo was happy with the proposed design our 3D modelling team created a photo real render of the ring, and from that render printed a 3D model of the ring for Leo to view in person and try on. Leo took the wax ring home and now his daughter uses it as a one-of-a-kind tiara for her dolls!
After the design was confirmed the ring was beautifully finished by our master craftsmen, who thoroughly enjoyed working on such a unique design. Once completed the ring was ready to present to Leo, and again he was so happy with the outcome and even said he wants to “just keep designing rings based on architecture!”
View a 360 video of Leo’s Colosseum Ring below:
If you’ve ever wanted to design your own architecturally inspired piece of jewellery. We love the opportunity that crafting jewellery gives us to turn dreams and concepts into tangible objects, designed to be loved and passed on for generations. Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in embarking on your very own custom jewellery journey.