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Entries in top notch faceting (4)

An Alternative Engagement Ring + Custom Top Notch Faceting Sapphire

Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting

Back in July of last year I alerted my readers to my search for an alternative, more "user-friendly" engagement ring for everyday wear. I also penned a "Rules of Engagement" blog post which generated a lot of feedback and I enjoyed hearing everyone's take on something that is often not talked about. If you haven't read the blog post--I totally encourage you!

Well since then, I've been on the hunt for a genuine sapphire to replace the synthetic one that was in this antique cluster ring from Maejean Vintage. Sometimes when hunting for jewelry, you have to keep in mind that if the piece is not exactly "perfect" to you, there's always ways of changing out gemstones, or re-enameling a piece that has heavy enamel damage, or resetting the design to make it more appealing. You have to train your eye to envision a piece of jewelry reimagined. 

Finding a sapphire was tougher than I thought! Browsing online proved tough because I knew I had to be able to see the gemstone in person to judge if it was the right color blue that I wanted. I realized the best place to find something would most likely be in Tucson at the annual gem shows. I was ready to make it one of my projects while in Tucson a few months ago. At that point I realized I was going to have to buy a stone and get it recut so it would properly fit. I kept finding sapphires I really loved the colors of but hated to think of spending so much money on a larger stone that would just need cutting down. I figured my best bet would be to buy a more affordable price per carat sapphire, and hopefully once recut, it would look better than the lower price point that it truly is/was. 

That goal was sort of lofty but I knew Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting could turn my ordinary stone into something magical. After some Top Notch Faceting, the once dark blue sapphire opened up and now has a brighter, more brilliant shine and sparkle. The blue lightened up a bit, but still has its velvety color which is what I wanted from the very beginning. I love that the stone is not a cookie-cutter cut--it has its own unique shape and style that Jean-Noel is known for and makes the stone and now ring that much more special. 

I'm so happy with how this ring came out and it is truly a testament to having patience and making sure every step of the creation process is exactly what you want. Settling for something less than what you are envisioning just because it would be quicker is not always the answer. I'm also loving the fact that this ring will become important in my jewelry wardrobe and it is from some of my favorite people in the jewelry industry--Maejean Vintage & Top Notch Faceting. 

Let me know your thoughts on the ring! Would love to hear!



WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!


Gem Gossip Meets Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting


When Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting says he's in the same town you are--you find a way to meet up, stat! I was finishing up my day at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry Show when I met up with the gem magician himself. I got to see gem upon gem, each one more and more brilliantly faceted. He schooled me on Phenakite, a gemstone which is not discussed at GIA mainly because it is not your average gemstone. This colorless gem is unique because Jean says, "it has its own fire within." The lighting of the ballroom was not the best, but that didn't stop the Phenakite that was blaring like a firefly. Seeing the rough was interesting as well--colorful pebbles that seem so ordinary, but can become something so extraordinary. It truly takes passion, dedication and talent to accomplish what Top Notch Faceting has done…and I am so glad I got to meet such a cool dude! Can't wait to see how far he will go and more incredible gemstones faceted from Jean-Noel.

Favorite Instagram Pictures: Winter 2013

raymondleejwlrs2 jjnumber8inc jessicaseaton5 jennykomenda ireneneuwirth sunnysbondjewelry2cc singlestonemissionstreet3 sesameandlilly ilovejezebel hollydymentjewelry cwpoindexter babybuddhaparis topnotchfaceting2 brookegregson

Raymondleejwlrs loving this huge fancy yellow diamond with a VVS-2 clarity--all 7 carats!!

jjnumber8inc logo bracelets in white gold, rose gold, yellow gold and diamonds

jessicaseaton the back tattoo + the “vision” pendant + that top omg

jennykomenda writes an amazing home decor/diy blog, this is one of my favorite diy she did

ireneneuwirth carved floral gemstone jewels are incredible

sunnysbondjewelry found this cool antique enamel rooster ring

singlestonemissionstreet rings designed by Denise Betesh stacked for an amazing look! Loving the pear shaped diamonds set sideways

sesameandlilly posted this inspirational black and white photo wall

ilovejezebel wearing the Catbird Lovecats ring, in this case representing pointy chihuahua ears

hollydymentjewelry snapping a photo of some of her older designs--still amazing today!

cwpoindexter viewing some jewelry at Sotheby’s and spotted this incredible turquoise serpent necklace

babybuddhaparis sure knows how to stack earrings

topnotchfaceting has an inspiring work station (and one of the cleanest I’ve seen! ;))

brookegregson put together the best inspiration board--now I know why her jewels are so pretty

Obsession: Top Notch Faceting

topnotchfaceting topnotchfa topnotchfacet topnotchf topnotchfaceti topnotch topnotchface

Jean-Noel Soni of Top Notch Faceting is an incredible gemstone artist, faceting gems into mini sculptures. He transforms rocks into dazzling windows of colorful light on a daily basis--gems like zircon, tourmaline, peridot, spinel, garnet, even phenakite!  Recently he won 1st place in the category of Innovative Faceting at the 2013 AGTA Spectrum Awards this past February.  I think this is just the beginning of awards and recognition of such talent.  Can't wait to see what is to come for Top Notch Faceting!


Pre-facet prep

Zircon from Mozambique, 3.77 carats

Top Notch Faceting set in a gorgeous ring

Nigerian Phenakite, faceted to display the natural etchings of the rough

Bi-colored tourmaline

Spinel from Tanzania, 2.70 carats

rough ready to go