Expectations vs. Reality, or why pretty jewelry is better than a pretty picture

expectation vs. Reality


It happens all the time, we have high expectations and then reality sets in.  We order that amazing coat from the catalog, and it arrives too small, not vibrant, or just not as pictured.  Buyer beware and all that.  But what about when it comes to jewelry?  We are no longer talking about an inexpensive item, and you would expect the piece in the picture to be an image of the actual item right?  Unfortunately, this is often not the case.  With CAD (Computer Aided Design) renderings these days, the quality is such that you can make a hyper realistic image of a piece of jewelry that doesn’t exist.   .  Check out this fun “real or rendered” article from GIA and see if you can tell the difference!   http://www.gia.edu/research-news-real-or-rendered

This is great for manufacturers and designers because they don’t have to spend the time  and valuable resources actually making the thing to sell the thing.  They can make it look amazing,  impossible gemstone setting, unrealistic colors of gold, improbable scale, etc… without actually having to make it work in real life.  The only problem is, when you order the ring and it arrives…

The photo above is a real image of a CAD rendering used to sell a ring, and the real ring.  Of course if they had taken even a photoshopped photo of the actual ring, I doubt they would have sold it to many people, but the rendering looks amazing right?

In many cases, the artists doing the CAD renderings are often not qualified jewelers with years of experience, so they don’t know how a piece needs to be made in order for it to actually cast, function, have stones set etc…  That doesn’t mean there isn’t a space for these designers, but it needs to be much closer in hand with the makers, the goldsmiths actually making the ring.

When our customer approached us with the photo above and said he wanted a ring but one that looked nice, we understood immediately what we needed to do. Rather than spending a bunch of time in renderings, we opted to get the idea sketched out, a sense of scale established, and then we started carving it in wax so we could see a real 3-D version of what we were making, in real life.  That wax model could be tried on by the customer so he could see the scale on his hand, and we made adjustments.  Once we saw how much room there was around the band, we knew we could fill in more design, and communicated that with the customer.   After a few wax model iterations, we were able to agree about the final iteration and had it cast in palladium, polished and set the gems, and did the blue enamel work to the customers specifications.  I think you will agree that our version of the ring (while different in design) was a much more successful representation of the idea!

For more views of this World of Warcraft ring, and the story behind it, click on any of the ring images below




wm Joey wow ring 2

wm Joey wow ring 10

wm Joey wow ring 3