1.1 WHAT METALS DO YOU WORK IN?
kara | daniel creates rings in stainless steel, recycled precious metals, and FAIRMINED gold. Our gemstone collections feature recycled sterling silver, high karat gold, and other metals of the season.
1.2 WHY STAINLESS STEEL?
As jewelry artists we enjoy exploring the questions of why particular metals or gemstones are considered precious or more valuable. We believe that the value in a piece of jewelry comes in your connection to, and appreciation of it. We love working in stainless steel for the design capabilities it provides us. Tension settings are a signature of kara | daniel, and softer metals such as gold, sterling, and platinum aren't well-suited for such applications. We love its strength, and the deep cool gray it lends to our designs.
While stainless, as a material, is less expensive than many of the "precious" metals often used in jewelry, the settings we are able to accomplish with it (ie: tension-settings) are some of the most technically difficult a jeweler can perform. Stainless is an incredibly durable metal, which allows it to stand up well to everyday wear, and makes it incredibly challenging to work by hand. In any given design, there are hours of hand-forging red-hot stainless, handcarving settings, and hand-polishing and finishing.
1.3 WHAT'S A RAW DIAMOND?
A raw, or rough, diamond is an uncut, unpolished diamond crystal as it comes out of the earth. These crystals occur naturally in cubic, octahedron, and macle geometries. These natural-colored, and included gemstones are as strong as their cut and polished relatives, but lend an earthy and organic element to kara | daniel contemporary designs.
1.4 WHAT IS A TENSION-SETTING?
A tension ring is one in which the gemstone is held in place by pressure rather than prongs, a bezel, or other mounting. The metal setting is actually spring-loaded to exert pressure onto the gemstone, and tiny etchings/grooves are added to the metal in order to create a shelf for the gemstone's edges to rest. The gemstone appears to be suspended in the air with nothing holding it in place. Learn more about our tension settings.
1.5 WHAT GEMSTONES CAN BE TENSION-SET?
For an everyday wear ring, like an engagement, wedding, or commitment ring, it is advisable to set a gem of Mohs Hardness 9 and above. Gemstones that meet this criteria are Sapphire (includes Ruby) and Diamond. Sapphire and Diamond come in a variety of colors naturally so there is a wide palette of gemstones to use in your tension-set design.
1.6 CAN I UPCYCLE A VINTAGE GEMSTONE OR GOLD I ALREADY HAVE?
Indeed! We often reset vintage gemstones, or family heirlooms into updated designs for clients. It's often best to send us a well lit photo of the gemstone, with as much information as you have about it, and some general measurements so we can get a sense of the stone. We do require an appraisal for any client provided stone we will be setting.
For recycled metals we can help you determine how to best reuse and incorporate the material into your design.
1.7 HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE I AM?
If we're unable to meet with you in person due to distance, we request that you order a set of our ring sizers, available in wide and narrow. Do note, that wide rings fit tighter than narrow ones, so if you're thinking about a wider ring make sure you get sized with the wide sizers. Once you return the sizers with your size noted, the sizer deposit is credited toward your ring purchase. Custom clients, please note sizing is included in your Custom Design Consultation.
As sizers do vary, in order to honor our complimentary sizing for 1 year, we do require that you are sized with a set of our sizers. Thanks for helping us get your ring just right!
1.8 HOW DO WE GET STARTED?
A great first step is to peruse the hand-forged ring collection, and our custom designs to explore our body of work. Note designs or design elements that you connect with, and inspiration from anywhere else. Next, take a moment to fill out our Custom Design Questionnaire to tell us a little more about your vision. Once we receive your questionnaire, we'll be in touch to discuss your custom design and set-up a design meeting. If an in-person meeting isn't possible, we can email, phone, Skype, passenger pigeon, whatever works.