Best Designs of 2020

Scroll down to see more of designer Chelsea’s engagement ring!

Green Lake Jewelry Works crafts love stories and memories into our jewelry, and the custom pieces we created in 2020 will carry stories like no others. We’re excited to share and celebrate design concepts where clients found comfort and meaning in this tumultuous year. From cultural reminders to natural elements, and mementos of the family we missed so dearly, each piece of jewelry was imbued with these memories and hope for the future. We’re always honored that you share your heartfelt inspirations with us to create these most extraordinary designs!

Table of Contents

  1. Celebration of Culture
  2. Nature and Botanicals
  3. Spectacular Gemstones
  4. Remembering Family
  5. Favorite Flowers
  6. Hand-Crafted Filigree Artistry
  7. Statement Necklaces

1. Celebration Of Culture

There are so many ways to celebrate or honor your history in a custom design, whether that’s your shared history as a couple, or in the symbols and signs of your lineage or ancestry. Below are some of the best examples of cultural celebration that came through our studio this year.

Japanese Mokumé Scene

Designer: Amber Jeweler: Joe

This incredible and unique mokume gane wedding band has so much detail to explore! Amber worked with her clients to choose the perfect design elements, and Joe brought this masterpiece to life at the bench. Hand-forged in 14kt palladium white gold and sterling silver, the ring features rose gold cherry blossoms set with natural pink diamond melee. A charming Koi fish swims in a sculpted pond, with hand-fabricated filigree curls forming his elegant whiskers. 

Celtic Anniversary Ring

Designer & CAD: Michelle Jeweler: Mac

A client approached Michelle to create a surprise design to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. But as often happens, digging for details turned into the couple designing this gorgeous ring together! Knowing her couple wanted a Celtic-inspired setting, Michelle created this gorgeous design that incorporates a multi-strand woven braid, set with diamonds from the client’s original ring. Her original center stone is perfectly at home surrounded by deep blue sapphires set at the NSEW positions of the top-face bezel. Hand-engraved Celtic love knots sit between each stone.

Symbolic Armenian Heritage

Engagement Ring

Designer: Ellen CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Joe

Ellen worked with her clients to create this incredible halo design, in which every single element carries important cultural significance. Fabricated in 18k rose gold, a Canadian cushion-cut diamond is set at the center in a kite orientation. Inspired by the Armenian Eight-Pointed Star, which is a symbol of union and unification that dates back to the time of rock art, this detailed halo contains four beautiful marquise diamonds at the NSEW positions, with four pear-shaped diamonds at the intercardinal direction. Each shoulder features a set of wings and a hand-engraved forget-me-not, the official emblem of the Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, with two leaves containing three veins each, for a total of twelve veins representing the lost provinces of Western Armenia.

Chinese & Irish Interwoven Ring

Designer: Sophia CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Henri R.

When a lovely couple wanted to incorporate symbols of their Chinese and Irish heritage, Sophia created this stunning pierced platinum engagement ring. It blends the symbol of the lotus (which represents purity of heart and mind in Chinese culture) with the Celtic trinity knot. The design is further accented by a hidden halo of bead-set diamonds, and rows and rows of hand-fabricated milgrain.

2. Nature and Botanicals

Nature always holds a bounty of inspiration, but for many of our couples, there’s a symbol special enough that they want it captured for all time. Whether it’s a beloved landscape, the delicate beauty of a curling vine, or a special connection to water, Green Lake Jewelry Works can help you capture it all in your custom ring.

Two-Tone Mountain & Desert Ring

A collaborative sketch from Rebecca and her client.

Designer: Rebecca Wax Carver: Bruce Jeweler: Corey

A client wanted to create a unique landscape ring with which to propose to her boyfriend. Her dream design incorporated Chief Mountain, Mt. Pilchuck, and Lake Stevens, which are all meaningful locations for the couple. Rebecca took the client’s initial sketches and ideas and help hone them into this gorgeous two-tone carved wedding band. The various elements of sky, land, and water are brought to life with varying textures and polish finishes.

Montana Sapphire &

Vine Engagement Ring

Designer: Ashley CAD: Thomas Jeweler: Joe

Ashley worked with her clients to create this gorgeous nature-inspired engagement ring. The center diamond is set in six prongs, and the split platinum shoulders are filled with hand-fabricated filigree vines. Working through several sketches of different patterns for the filigree helped the clients land on the perfect version. We love the small Montana sapphires and diamond accents tucked into the leaf-and-vine pattern!

Etched Golden Wave Band

Design & CAD: Thomas Jeweler: Henri R.

Another moment of celebration this year was the engagement and wedding of Thomas, who is part of CAD model team. Thomas not only designed his wife’s engagement ring, but designed his own wedding band! This unique design features rolling platinum waves over the beautiful contrast of a bead-blasted 14k yellow gold background. The curls of the waves are further accentuated with a bright-cut line of engraving. Seeing the photos of their classic New Orleans nuptials brought so much joy to all of us at the studio!

3. Spectacular Gemstones

Sometimes, it all comes down to a special center stone, and how a client wants to showcase it. Or perhaps, they just have a special affinity for particular gemstone and want to incorporate it in their forever ring. We see some spectacular and unusual gemstones come through our studio, and helping to create a show-stopping setting for them is always a pleasure! Keep reading to see some of the unique beauties we got to design for this year.

Interwoven Pavé Engagement Ring

Designer: Vinh CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Dat Le

Vinh helped his clients create this distinctive engagement ring, which showcases a spectacular 2.33ct F VS1 round brilliant lab-created diamond, surrounded by a delicate floating halo. The platinum setting features an intricate, multi-strand twisted motif, all set with sparkling french-set accent diamonds, and a larger six-prong accent diamond balanced perfectly in the open space on each shoulder.

Aquamarine Art Deco Ring

Designer: Rebecca CAD: Kelsey Jeweler: Dat Le

When a client brought in a spectacular octagonal step-cut aquamarine, Rebecca created the perfect Art Deco inspired cocktail ring. In order to accentuate the geometric qualities of the stone, she designed kite shaped platinum shoulders, each holding a bezel-set kite cut diamond surrounded by bead-set diamond melee. Covering every edge with the milgrain was the perfect finishing touch to this stunning special-occasion ring!

Yellow Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Designer: Lena CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Caitlin

When Lena was matched with a client who wanted a Mandala-inspired halo, she created this stunning two-tone design. The lacy, scalloped platinum double-halo is bead-set with sparkling diamond melee and edged in hand-fabricated milgrain. The pierced elements in the top and side face and intricate cast-in-place curls on the undergallery add a delicate air. The stunning oval yellow diamond at the heart of the ring is further enhanced by the 14kt yellow gold bezel and band.

Two-Tone Tourmaline Cocktail Ring

Designer: Chelsea CAD: Inae Jeweler: Dat Le

When a client brought in a large and unusual emerald-cut tourmaline and requested a heavily Art Deco influenced ring design to place it in, Chelsea joyfully rose to the challenge! This spectacular two-tone design features an architectural basket in 14kt rose gold, which further accentuates the cool hues of the tourmaline. Sparkling platinum chevrons sit at the north and south tips of the center stone, bead-set with glittering accent diamonds. The split-shoulder knife-edge platinum band features a hand-engraved wheat pattern, and milgrain flows across every surface.

His & His Opal Engagement Rings

Gold Ring Designer: Mitch CAD: Kelsey Jeweler: Corey

King Ring Designer: Mitch CAD: Kelsey Jeweler: Colin

Mitch met with a couple who wanted to create a wedding set “fit for kings,” which would draw inspiration from Art Deco, Edwardian, and Art Nouveau influences. Working through their inspiration images, Mitch created this set of designs which refer to one another, but each have their own unique flare. The first is a 14kt yellow gold flower-inspired design, featuring a bezel-set green Montana sapphire surrounded by white opals, green sapphires, and diamonds in an ornate curl design. The second ring is a geometric 14kt white gold ring, which showcases a bezel-set emerald-cut blue sapphire, with green sapphires set on each corner. The pierced band features bezel-set opals, and hand-fabricated milgrain edges every surface.

4. Remembering Family

Honoring family is a common desire for our clients. Whether they want to bring new life to an inherited setting that isn’t quite their style, or they want to create a brand new ring to remember a lost loved one or a beloved grandchild, there’s no end to the special ways our designers can help you tell your story. Below are a handful of rings that celebrate family in a very special way.

Art Deco Heirloom Diamond Ring

Designer: Rebecca CAD: Inae Jeweler: Dat Le

Rebecca worked with a lovely couple who wanted to create an antique-inspired design in 14kt rose gold. The woman wanted to use diamonds from her grandmother’s ring to bring extra meaning and significance to the design. Rebecca cleverly devised a milgrain-edged, fan-style flourish to make the best use of the differing sizes of baguettes. A tapered band flows down from the bezel-set center diamond, covered in hand-engraved full and half- wheat patterning. The side faces of the center setting feature a pierced undergallery filled with hand-fabricated filigree curls.

Dad & Daughter’s Favorite Place

Designer: Erich Hand Engraving: Justin

This beautiful and meaningful band was created to honor a client’s special lakeside spot with her father. Erich worked with the client to hone and fine-tune the look of the line-drawing landscape, finding the right combination of clouds, trees, water, and the crescent moon above. Jeweler Justin painstakingly recreated the sketch across the face of the comfort-fit platinum band. Inside the ring, a small opal is flush-set next a hand-engraved signature in her father’s own hand: Love, Dad.

A Wedding Set Inspired by a Family Ring

Designer: Ben CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Henry

Ben worked with a couple who wanted to create an entire wedding set inspired by the heart engraving pattern on an old family ring. Knowing the woman’s love for the look of a double halo, Ben sketched up this incredible antique-inspired design. The ring features fishtail-set round diamond melee on the inner halo, and prong-set marquise diamonds on the outer halo. Bead-set diamonds flow down the band to meet a hand-engraved heart and “X” pattern, which is featured on every ring in the set. Edged in hand-fabricated milgrain, this gorgeous matching wedding set is the definition of “bespoke.”

Lucky Grandchild Ring

Rebecca’s concepts for solid, pierced, and diamond accented bands.

Designer: Rebecca CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Celeste

Rebecca met with a client who wanted to create a very special ring for her mother-in-law, which would somehow incorporate the initials of her five grandchildren. Rebecca took her ideas about using bamboo and flowers, and created this gorgeous design to honor the family’s Chinese culture. The 18kt yellow gold band features a matte background and high-polish raised Chinese characters, with bamboo, leaves, and Chinese luck-knots alternated between them. Flush-set diamonds add the perfect touch of sparkle to this “lucky-grandchild” ring!

Grandmother’s Ring Pendant

Designer: Pia CAD: Inae Jeweler: Eric

Pia was approached by a long-time client to help create a surprise pendant for his wife. She had recently been gifted her grandmother’s engagement ring, the client wanted to create a unique necklace that would allow her to safely wear the ring and enjoy having it close to her heart. Pia sketched up several ideas, but together they landed on this gorgeous oval leaf-and-vine pendant. Featuring micro-bezel set diamonds for a little sparkle, and delicate hand-crafted filigree curls, we couldn’t say it better than the client when he saw the final product; “elegant, and cool, and a little like a modern heirloom.”

5. Favorite Flowers

It’s amazing how often a favorite flower becomes the focal point of a gorgeous custom ring design. We love helping to recreate the delicate petals and gorgeous hues of every flower you can imagine, whether it’s in delicate metalwork or lushly colored gemstones. If you have a favorite flower that just has to be part of your engagement ring from an anniversary bouquet or your own garden, Green Lake Jewelry Works can help you bring it to life!

Foxglove Engagement Ring

Designer: Ben CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Caitlin

When a couple with “floral” last names approached Ben to create a meaningful engagement ring design, he set to work to help them refine their vision. The couple wanted a blue-green sapphire as a nod to the northern lights in Iceland, which is where they got engaged. Ben helped them find this stunning cushion-cut teal sapphire. Next, he worked to create the eye-catching two tone setting. The half-bezel platinum setting is edged in hand-fabricated milgrain, and features split shoulders filled with a spire of 14kt rose gold foxgloves.

Daisy Diamond Engagement Ring

Designer: Sophia CAD: Usiel Jeweler: Dat Le

Sophia worked with her clients to create this cheerful 18kt rose gold engagement ring. The four-prong trellis-style cathedral setting holds a glittering round center diamond. The graceful band features a carved platinum daisy blossom on each shoulder, with twinkling yellow diamonds set in the center. An intricate pattern of partially carved and partially hand-fabricated filigree wire weaves a charming pattern down the band.

Peony Sapphire Ring

Designer: Erich CAD: Inae Jeweler: Henry

Erich helped a client to create this stunning two-toned floral inspired engagement ring. The twisting leaf-and-vine platinum setting holds a row of sparkling bead-set diamonds, and climbs toward the delicate lab-created peach sapphire at the center. On each shoulder sits a burgeoning 14kt rose gold peony bud, ready to burst into glorious bloom. The petals of the flower were sculpted by jeweler Henry, who put great care into their placement and proportion, consulting with Erich at each stage. Their collaboration helped create a unique representation of a peony blossom.

Golden Poppy Ring

Designer: Ellen CAD: Michelle Jeweler: Marc

A client came to Ellen hoping to design a surprise poppy-inspired engagement ring for his his fiancée’-to-be. Together, they created this unique 14kt yellow gold ring, which holds holding an alluring blue-green Montana sapphire. The petals of the flower are all slightly unique, with a matte finish on the insides and high polished edges. The band is comprised of a double-stranded twist motif with cast-in-place leaves and buds.

Honeysuckle Engagement Ring Pair

Amethyst Ring- Designer: Rebecca CAD: Thomas Jeweler: Celeste

Aquamarine Ring- Designer: Rebecca CAD: Kelsey Jeweler: Joe

Rebecca was working with a lovely couple who had a general idea of what they wanted, but were searching for that one final magic touch to bring it all together. When they mentioned that they both loved honeysuckle, Rebecca came up with this gorgeous set of designs. The floral-inspired wrap version features a detailed carved honeysuckle flower climbing up the shoulders and wrapping around the center aquamarines. The wider half bezel version holds a deep purple amethyst, and a matching hand-engraved honeysuckle flower pattern.

6. Hand-Crafted Filigree Artistry

Filigree curls hold a special allure, and the hand-crafted filigree created at the bench by our talented jewelers is second to none! Here are just a few of the gorgeous filigree-inspired designs we got to create this year.

Leaf and Filigree Rose Gold Ring

Designer: Amber CAD: Inae Jeweler: Dat Le

Amber created this unique twist-inspired two-tone engagement ring. Tapered 14kt rose gold curves up toward a platinum six-prong basket, which holds a glittering marquis-cut moissanite. The open shoulders feature a climbing vine pattern of hand-fabricated filigree curls and leaves, set with deep purple amethyst melee.

Gemstone Mosaic &
Filigree Engagement Ring

Designer: Chelsea CAD: Inae Jeweler: Dat Le

We love celebrating with our clients, but it’s especially exciting when one of our own gets engaged! Chelsea designed her own dream engagement ring, and brought it to life with the help of our incredible team of jewelers and CAD modelers. Fabricated in platinum and 18kt rose gold, it features a modified brilliant cushion diamond center, kite and princess cut accent diamonds, marquise and parallelogram baguette pink champagne sapphires, filigree, hand-engraving, and milgrain. Chelsea’s distinct artistry and point-of-view are represented magnificently in this one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

Celtic Knot Filigree Ring

Designer: Ben CAD: Inae Jeweler: Dat Le

Ben worked with a client who wanted to celebrate his fiancée’s Irish heritage, and in his words: “Being in our forties, life has taken us all over but in the end, the never-ending universe brought us together.” Together, they landed on the symbol of a Celtic infinity knot, which would be created in hand-crafted filigree curls in the open platinum shoulders of the ring. We love the addition of the bezel-set sapphires at the heart of the infinity knot, and the sweet hidden touch of an engraved puppy paw on the bottom of the ring.

7. Statement Necklaces

You might be surprised how often clients reach out to ask us if we make anything other than engagement rings. The answer? Of course we do! While not as common, our artists absolutely love the challenge of creating a special custom design for a pair of earrings, a special pendant, or a meaningful bracelet. This year, there were a couple of stand-out custom necklace projects which required lots of time and talent from our entire team. Keep reading to see these gorgeous designs!

Emerald & Incan Bib Necklace

Designer: Ellen CAD: Inae Jeweler: Joe

We love every engagement ring that comes through the studio, but the chance to work on a totally unique project is such a treat for our designers! Ellen went above and beyond to help a client replace a beloved necklace that had been lost, down to painstakingly cutting each figure out in paper in order to determine the correct proportions! This Incan inspired, bib-style necklace is comprised of five figures. Each figure holds a bezel-set pear-cut emerald, and features mixed hand engraved Florentine-like texture and high polish finish with some hand engraved bright cut details.

Egyptian Revival Amethyst Pendant

Designer: Chelsea CAD: Inae Jeweler: Henri R.

When an avid gem collector contacted Chelsea to design a pendant for her stunning unheated purple Paraiba tourmaline, Chelsea rose to the challenge. Working with the client’s desire to create an Egyptian-inspired pendant, Chelsea sketched out this incredible concept incorporating sphinx, scarab, wings, lotus flower, and cobra-snake details. When choosing accent stones, Chelsea leaned on her client’s love of natural unheated gemstones that possess unique optical properties like adularescence and color change, so she used alexandrite, a color-changing spinel, and a moonstone. Fabricated in bold 18k Fairmined yellow gold, this pendant is truly a one-of-a-kind wonder of the world!

Since 1996, Green Lake Jewelry Works has been crafting custom engagement rings, wedding bands, and other jewelry. Schedule your free online custom design consultation today.