I recently did a project for a local jeweller. The client requested a vintage style ring using her own stones, while the jeweller had to make up a new ring. It all sounds simple. Client provides an pinterest picture to the jeweller, jeweller issues you the job for the modeling of the ring.

Here is the dilemma. The client has an idea (pinterest picture) and the jeweller obviously obliges. But the rub is in the designing. Who owns the design now? Is it the original designer of the pinterest picture or, is it now a unique ring for client X ?

The client has their own history with the design, their own interpretation of the design intent, the jeweller requires the metal to look like the picture, while carrying the required stones. The original designer had their own interpretation of their original work. Once the design is made and the elements of the design is looked at individually it is quite generic – but in combination does the design take form. So, does combining various generic elements constitute designing?

The design started as a photo. The design direction is implied. Client X requires stone placement and setting styles to be similar…

Design via Pinterest – Leigh Jay & Co, Client X provided image

Next comes initial CAD layout and confirmation that the combined elements would have some semblance of the original design – refinement in settings and proportions based on Client X and Jeweller input. The client had large side stones initially in square pave with milgrain mounts. This is the first and main connection to the original pinterest design – square capped settings at the end of the mock marquise…

Design one – upgraded to include details required by Client X and Jeweller.

The design was now altered to flow better, and the proportions suitably adjusted so that the design was now unique, not only in ring size and stone sizes, but fundamentally different from the original. Pave settings, and milgrain detail on all the smaller stones. Double claw settings opposed to triple claw setting for the centre.

Once the client approved the final design the ring was suitably independent from the original design that I felt comfortable to release the design.

Final Design with further revisions.

The client was happy and the 3D print was requested by the Jeweller, cast and finished, while the setter was able to finish the design with the Milgrain detail added at the end.

Weight analysis of the CAD and expected metal weight, I always highlight 18ct Yellow gold as an easy reference for the Jeweller

So, is this design still the same as the original, or is it a new unique item? Design intent is the crux of the matter here. Is the design intent the original designer’s or has it become Client X’s? Ultimately the story of the design is now with the client, she crafted the design with the jeweller, while I only provide a 3D model and visualisation to the jeweller.

Let us compare the two designs to each other –

Client X Ring:
Band – generic
Main setting – generic
Side Stones – Mock Marquise Pave with milgrain
End Cap – Mock Marquise Pave with Milgrain.

The original design:
Band – generic
Main setting – generic
Side Stones – Mock Marquise Pave
End Cap – Mock Princess Pave

When you see the finished product, and how happy the client is, does it really matter? Is the design intent not in the end result? She said yes, she has HER ring for the rest of her life. The memory is unique. HER ring is unique.