My latest pair of one-of-a-kind diamond Vanity studs encapsulate the detailed and particular process required to bring my Vanity collection to life. The Tiny Marquis Salt + Pepper Diamond Vanity Studs are comprised of 14k gold, bright silver and 0.62ct of salt and pepper diamonds; these glimmering diamonds are rose-cut marquis—a romantic silhouette that evokes femininity, and is elegant enough to be worn everyday by those who want to bring old-world glamour to their lives.
Even the simplest designs within the Vanity collection are born from a very detailed and delicate process. I never want to over-design these pieces- it’s about enhancing the gemstones with heavy finesse. Each Vanity piece has a custom-built setting for the gemstone it features, that all start from the same raw materials.
For these particular studs, I first stenciled then cut the studs’ backplates, which are what the gemstones are set on. They were then filed until the gems fit snugly atop. Anchors for the posts were drilled into the back. From there, the bed of the studs is taken to the solderite board to solder on the prongs and posts, and then placed in the pickle (a food-grade chemical bath that will strip the setting of any goop or oxidization—essentially this process melts off all the flux accumulated during soldering).
At this point in the handmade process, it’s time to finagle the prongs—everything from straightening them, to trimming them, to shaping them, to smoothing them. Once the prongs are ready, one of the more harrowing parts of the build begins: securing and setting the diamonds.
I took a hammer tool to, well, hammer down the prongs atop the diamonds to secure them in their beds. This is a hard step because a precise amount of precision, strength and control must be executed to not damage the gemstones or the setting. Then the prongs must be filed completely flush against the stones to secure them, and create a smooth transition physically and visually. Once those are settled, final finishing touches and smoothing is done to complete the pair.
The final product is a delicate pair of studs composed of meticulous detail and hard work. The mixed, fine metals create contrast to the salt and pepper diamonds: bright silver highlights the diamonds’ inclusions, while 14k gold adds warmth. The perfectly imperfect prongs create organic elegance and additional depth: their placement is eyeballed, not precisely measured, to honor the natural elegance found in all of earth’s beauties.
The HBJ studio believes in investing in classic pieces that don’t forsake the artisan process. The Tiny Marquis Salt + Pepper Diamond Vanity Studs are a forever-pair of diamond earrings that can serve as an everyday look or shine in a secondary piercing.