First, we needed to hunt for the perfect aquamarine gemstone. Aquas come in a huge variety of colours -- from the cornflower blues to mysterious grey and blue undertones, the selection is virtually limitless. Thank goodness that J had specified that she wanted something that was rectangular-- this narrowed our choices by quite a lot and helped in streamlining the process.
J trusted me with the selection of the colour and we chose something that had a hint of green in it (I'm not partial to the purely blue ones, even though they're traditionally the most highly prized). J had initially wanted a step-cut but we couldn't find one that would do the design we had in mind justice. Hence, the gem that we chose was a checkerboard one.
For the design, I had told J that I had been itching to work on an organic leafy-vine design for a long time and asked if she was amenable to me showing her some sketches that had been brewing in my head for awhile. Happily, she said yes, and thus, we came up with milgrained-leaves with diamonds embedded in them for two out of the four prongs. In place of a traditional bezel, we had one that resembled a mish-mash of twigs with tiny diamonds embedded in the intertwined leaves. For the shank, we deliberately set out to create the woody texture of the bark and had small diamonds embedded in them for a luxe effect.
Lastly, J has wanted to set the aquamarine in 18KT white gold as it's traditionally regarded as a very safe, cool colour to match with blue. Truth is though, I find it boring, and think that sometimes the cool colour doesn't really do justice to the tones of the aqua. Thus, I asked if she would be amenable to do it in 18KT rose gold instead and to pre-empt the "too pink" effect, we had the leaves and bezels, embedded with diamonds, in 18KT yellow gold.