Magical Milgrain- 16 Ways!


Categorized under: Jewelry

Design No. 123288

For those who wonder why our jewelry looks so enchanting and precise… It’s often our milgrain! This jewelry technique adds a beaded texture to metal and creates an eye-catching degree of sparkle. It is a small detail that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that is why we craft our milgrain with care, under a microscope and by hand. When used by a talented designer, milgrain can go from overlooked to stunning.

Let’s get up close and personal with the of the many magical ways that milgrain can brighten up your custom ring design!


1. Woven Braids

Milgrain is a wonderful way to add interest and texture to twisted strands and braided motifs. Milgrain helps define each strand of metal and the edges of braided over-under pavé work.


2. Linear Details

With a fine strand of metal, milgrain can be applied to create amazing textured piercings and geometric shapes in a design. Using milgrain in this way is how we achieve many of our ‘die-cut’ vintage-inspired pieces.


3. Delicate Leaves

Adding milgrain detail to the edge of a leaf adds detail and dimension to each shape of the cast metalwork. From more contemporary to vintage inspired pieces, leaves of all genres can look amazing with a touch of milgrain.


4. Twisting Ribbons

Using milgrain to define the edges of twisting ribbons is a favorite with our designers. A little ‘reverse’ milgrain (where instead of dots, dimples are applied) recreates the look of a a stitched edged ribbon. This gives a very lifelike translation of draping fabric to organically wavering metal.


5. Art Deco

A signature of rings during the 1920s, milgrain accentuated the strong geometry of the decade’s jewelry. We love seeing pavé work set into the fine milgrain triangles, or used to accent rectangular or square diamond shapes like baguettes and princess cuts.


6. Dewy Petals

Adding texture to layers of diamond petals, milgrain shines at bringing out the detail and definition of a floral halo. From creating crisp points, or curved petals, milgrain makes these designs look like dewy picks from a blooming garden.


7. Fine Feathers

The airiness of a feather motif can be beautifully recreated with the fine dots of milgrain work. Often paired with engraving, milgrain can create many beautiful aviary-inspired designs.


8. Intricate Swirls

One of Green Lake’s most beautiful signature styles of jewelry centers on swirling and organic metal shapes. Similar to a braid, swirls get clearer dimension when edged and accented by milgrain. From vintage swirls to more contemporary designs, milgrain can be made curvilinear to fit your flowing design!


9. Elegant Solitaires

If you are looking for a simple solitaire with that extra special ‘something’ – milgrain is your best friend! We love milgrain-accented bezels, or when milgrain runs down the shoulders or around the band. A geometric bezel edged in milgrain is another great way to add a unique feel to a ’round’ diamond solitaire.


10. Lacey Scallops

Milgrain and scalloped patterns go together like… you and your partner! They are a perfect pairing when they work together.

One of our favorite studio designs is a halo made entirely from milgrain! A bit non-traditional in that the ring only includes one diamond, it shows the inventive ways you can use milgrain to add sparkle to a design, and save on cost of setting accent diamonds when creating a vintage-inspired piece.


11. Celtic Knots

The intricate over-and-under pattern of a Celtic knot can be accentuated with the addition of a delicate application of milgrain. We challenge you to find a knot we can’t detail with this unique jewelry technique!


12. Surface Embellishments

For large areas of metal, a little embellishment of milgrain can add texture and interest to a design. Geometric patterns are motifs that do well accenting either domed shoulders or flat profiles.


13. Iconic Halos

There are so many different ways to create a unique halo; outlining each gem in milgrain, or bringing in a paisley style curl to create more unique shapes.


14. Framing Shoulders

One of the ways milgrain is best used is to frame the shoulders of a ring to bring your attention to other details. With this linear definition, your eye is brought straight to the small decorative shoulder elements and the center gem of each ring design shown here.


15. Edwardian

For accurate re-creations of Edwardian-inspired designs, milgrain lends itself perfectly to creating an heirloom-quality piece. All the pavé work that is signature in Edwardian-domed profiles is accented by curved and geometric negative spaces. When edged in milgrain, it creates a lush beaded finish.


16. Classic Pavé

For a classically-styled pavé ring, milgrain is the perfect addition to highlight geometry and planes of diamonds coming together. Milgrain shines [literally!] at filling in metal spaces to create a rich and lush surface of diamonds.


You can even add milgrain to a ring that doesn’t have milgrain! This unique ring jacket features milgrain and beading to create a stunning look when worn with the engagement ring.