The Ring That Fits Forever

January 1999

Precious Metals:Metalsmithing

The Ring That Fits Forever

Designer Jean François Albert creates an adjustable ring that may revolutionize ring sizing

Jewelers who sells rings all know an immutable truth: not only do different people have different size fingers, but each person's fingers can change size because of weight gain, exercise, water retention and other factors. The point is, a ring that fits perfectly one day may not the next.

Now JFA Designs' award-winning designer, Jean-François Albert, has created a patent-pending ring mechanism that allows the wearer to adjust the size every time he or she puts it on. In addition to adjustability after the sale, the new mechanism solves the problem of a customer who wants to try on a one-of-a-kind ring that's too big or too small.

How It Works
"I've been designing jewelry for over 30 years; I don't know why no one has ever thought of this before," says Albert. "It is so simple, really."

The ring has two main pieces: the shank and the bridge. The wearer uses gentle pressure to slide the bridge along the shank to raise or lower it, changing the size. The whole thing is held in place by the tension of the shank exerting pressure against the bridge either inward or outward (see sketches).

How It Will Be Marketed
The Signature Fit mechanism, as it is called, will be introduced at the January JA International Jewelry Show. For now, Albert will integrate the mechanism into rings of his own design and manufacture them in his studio. However, retailers and other buyers who have seen the device have expressed so much interest he may license it in the future.

The rings will be crafted in 18k gold and Plat S+, the new platinum alloy developed by metallurgist Steven Kretchmer and marketed by Hoover & Strong, Richmond, VA. According to Albert, older platinum alloys are softer and lack the tension or springiness needed to make the mechanism work as effectively as Plat S+. The rings will vary in price based on the design and stones used, but will be similar in price to designs using a traditional shank.

Albert will market the Signature Fit collection through trade magazines and directly to the public in the consumer press. But he'll sell the rings only through retailers. He also plans to develop countertop and merchandising literature.

JFA Designs, Irvine, CA; (714) 263-9909.

     
Sketches by Jean François Albert show three ring styles using the Signature Fit band. The wearer grasps the top of the ring, called the bridge, and gently moves it up or down via channels in the shank. Tension from the shank holds the bridge in place.



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


 

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