All About Alexandra

All About Alexandra
By Tabitha Sukhai

The story of our Alexandra engagement ring starts with a Christie's auction in New York City. The rest is history.

As the Alexandra product page states, "Dana & Rad came across an exquisite sapphire and diamond ring that took their breath away. The designers decided to replicate the silhouette for their collection using a 4ct lab-created blue sapphire of exceptional quality and clarity. Two brilliant half-moon side diamonds were selected (approx. 0.40ctw) to add elegance and sparkle."

Alexandra is one of our most-beloved designs, so I spoke to Dana Walden co-founder and Creative Director, Radika Chin, about what makes this ring truly special.

Radika Chin at her desk at Dana Walden Studio

Immediately following that Christie's auction years ago, Dana & Rad sketched out their take on the classic three-stone design they saw. The original Dana Walden piece they created was fabricated in recycled Platinum with a 6ct natural sapphire and natural lunette diamonds. The ring was showcased in the Dana Walden Fifth Avenue studio for quite some time, before ultimately being purchased for about $60,000.

When the original Alexandra was on display, so many clients fell in love with the piece. "We started to think of how we could reproduce the piece in an attainably luxe way for less than $10,000," Rad said, "We wanted to achieve the same feel and scale without sacrificing the overall quality of the original design."

At the time, there weren't a whole lot of New York City jewelers actively using recycled metals and there certainly weren't a great deal of jewelers showcasing high-carat lab-created gemstones, either. For Dana Walden, it has always been very important that we construct each and every ring with the most ethical and eco-friendly materials, including:

- Conflict-free, Kimberley Process certified natural diamonds 
- Responsibly-sourced natural sapphires & gemstones 
- The highest quality lab diamonds and gemstones
- 100% recycled fine metals including 14k white, yellow, or rose gold and Platinum

    One way to create a more attainable-but-undeniably luxe Alexandra was to source clear and pristine lab-created sapphires. "We vetted hundreds of sourcing options, personally viewing a great deal of lab sapphires before finding a dealer that had the exact gemstones we needed, matching the size, quality, and color of the ring we fell in love with at Christie's," Rad explains.

    Certainly there are an infinite amount of three-stone rings on the market, but what makes Dana Walden's Alexandra ring (and all Dana Walden designs for that matter) so appealing to modern fine jewelry collectors?

    "We give a tremendous amount of time and attention to fine tuning the metrics of each and every ring we create, taking into account the particular gemstones being used and the ring size of the wearer," Rad explains. 

    In an effort to create Alexandra, the designers chose to seek out some of the finest lab-created sapphires on the market (a way to provide a genuine sapphire with the same chemical properties as their natural counterparts while creating a very special value opportunity) flanked by natural diamond lunettes/ half-moons (as a nod to the tradition of the original piece, a timeless and breathtaking design). Dana and Rad personally ensure all of the gems for each ring are perfectly proportioned based on that initial heirloom design the designers saw at Christie's years ago and their signature design optimizations.

    That all said, every Alexandra is 100% customizable and some oft-requested gem layouts include:

    - Lab sapphire and lab diamond combinations
    - Natural sapphire and natural diamond combinations
    - Upgraded lunette/ half-moon diamonds for even more sparkle
    - Smaller lunette/ half-moon diamonds for client's who prefer to let that center gemstone take the spotlight & more!

      Depending on your preferences, rest assured that Dana & Rad will use all of their expertise to ensure your particular Alexandra ring is as refined and balanced as that very first ring we created. Metrics of every handmade setting are perfectly calibrated with the gemstones being used and how the lunette/ half-moon diamonds are angled is customized to the size of each handmade piece.

      Our Special Order Alexandra is generally ordered in 14K white gold, adding to the value opportunity for collectors. Dana & Rad gave an immense amount of time and attention to modernizing the setting's silhouette, opting for a setting that is delicate and refined, while still being durable and substantial.

      "We manicure the proportions of every single design we create, customizing every ring by hand," Rad said. "The shank of our design is stately and delicate but not too thin, and tapers into the accent stones giving a fluid line into those lunette diamonds."

      Another hallmark of Dana Walden designs is a low-as-possible setting that makes our rings infinitely more comfortable to wear when compared to many mass market designs. Of course, we've found just the right height to still allow light to shine through the gem for an amazing show on the hand of every Dana Walden client.

      "These design choices add to the modernity of our pieces by taking classic metal-heavy silhouettes and refreshing them with smart, streamlined design tweaks to create a light piece without compromising the structural integrity of the ring," said Rad.

      Additionally, those clawed prongs are sharp and defined, appearing to "point" to the center of the sapphire, in effect drawing the eye to the stone itself and not the metal that secures your gem safely in place. These thoughtful design elements are what makes the Dana Walden Alexandra three-stone ring a modern masterpiece- a tiny and ornate handmade sculpture that is a work of art for your hand.

      "It takes considerably more time, care, and effort to finesse that metal into a refined and balanced ring than it does to create jewelry using klunky templates and shortcuts," Rad explains. "It is always our top goal and priority to execute the perfect and most distinctive product for you, our Dana Walden collectors and clients."



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