Spot the fishy secret in this engagement ring!

Spot the fishy secret in this engagement ring!
April 19, 2014 Fairina Cheng
Fish ring - tourmaline, white gold and diamond engagement ring

One of my favourite bespoke engagement ring commissions happened like this.

I was watching a casual cricket game at Centennial Park and a friend came up and asked me to design an engagement ring for his girlfriend. The requirements were pretty flexible: It should be in white gold, the stone should be green… oh and “can you put a fish on it?”

Now, here’s something you may not know about me.


I’m the kind of person who will proclaim my love of sushi and then spend the whole meal chomping down on chicken teriyaki and picking egg rolls off the train.

When I was a child, a little boy, about my age, came over and gifted me one of his prawns at a barbeque. I cried. He got in trouble.

No fish sign

Yes, it’s been a long running phobia. Sea creatures and I don’t get along. So I wasn’t prepared for a request to stick a fish on one of my designs.

The engagement ring design process

Not one for literal interpretations, I must admit I felt pretty stuck. How was I supposed to turn something that made me want to run away screaming into a design that could be treasured forever?

It wasn’t enough just to stick a fish reference somewhere on the ring. It needed to be a prominent, integrated element of the design, but at the same time a subtle secret feature that could be shown off if desired.

I tried Googling fish images, but every other photo I looked at made me cringe.

So yes, there was a lot of scribbling, pondering and head scratching. But when the design finally hit paper, I knew that was the one for sure.

The making of The Fish Ring

The making process started with the search for the perfect green stone. We explored a range of gems: pear shapes in vivid bottle greens, rounds in pale mint tones and princess cuts in blue-green shades.

All were beautiful, but the one that stood out was a 7mm cushion shaped tourmaline. It was a beautiful vivid forest green, laser cut on the bottom to create ripples of light throughout the stone. The lower half tapered to a wedge instead of a point, which made it pretty damn well perfect for this design!

Also included was a tiny single diamond, about 1.3mm in size. It would be hidden during normal wear, but was strategically placed to become a very important focus of the ring.

And finally, the finished engagement ring

Can you see the fish?

White gold and green tourmaline fish engagement ring
  • When Tom asked for a ring he couldn’t have imagined how well Fairina would have interpreted his idea. It was much better than he had imagined. It was creative yet a subtle design that matched my personality and taste to a t. I love wearing it and get comments all the time about its amazing design. Thanks so much for the ring that suits us and will be part of our story forever xxxxx.

    Claudia Cowell
    Claudia CowellSydney, Australia

Thinking about your very own special piece?

I am a big fan of what I call “rule-breaking, story-making jewellery“. What does this mean? Well, first of all, it isn’t about flaunting a flashy diamond or choosing something generic out of a chain store window.

Creating a rule-breaking, story-making piece is about exploring what makes you “you”, and using that to design something so personalised, it couldn’t have been made for anyone else.

If that’s right up your alley, book a call or send an email to start the conversation!

Comments (4)

  1. Nora 10 years ago

    I find it hilarious that your first custom engagement ring order has to have the one thing you’re scared of.. AHAHHAHAHAH!

    • Fairina Cheng 10 years ago

      It’s actually turned out to be one of my favourite projects to date Nora! So pleased with how it turned out 🙂 Perhaps I’m starting to develop a soft spot for those slithery little creatures!

  2. Abraham 10 years ago

    Love your work!!

    • Fairina Cheng 10 years ago

      Thanks Abraham! Hope you guys are still enjoying that bracelet 🙂

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