Fine Jewelry for the Environmentally Conscience Connoisseur
All of Michael Barin’s One of a Kind Designs are Hand Fabricated in Southern California.
The diamonds herein have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with the United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.
So, what exactly is Organic Silver? According to Michael Barin himself, Organic Silver is "the purest form of silver without added alloys." Just in case you dozed off during your high school chemistry class, alloys are substances composed of two or more metals, rather than just one metal. This is where the term "Organic Silver" stems from - silver without any additives.
Each of Michael's pieces are hand-forged using recycled silver, with most pieces being one-of-a-kind. When asked why he prefers Organic Silver to "regular" silver, Michael says, "it is a form of environmental conservation - we save the planet while creating wearable works of art." Wearing beautiful jewelry AND saving the planet? Who can say no to that? :)
Throughout history, craftsmen would work on a single piece of jewelry for weeks at a time with a level of passion and skill passed down for many generations. In the modern world, the jewelry business has changed drastically and many pieces are now mass-produced to accommodate the growing market. As a result, quality has been sacrificed for speed, quantity, and ease. This new business environment has led to decline of hand fabricated jewelry, highlighting Michael Barin as one of the few remaining true craftsmen.
To understand the difference between modern jewelry manufacturing and hand fabrication, we must compare the two processes. During the process of casting, a mixture of molten metal is poured into a mold containing a hollow cavity of the desired shape. The liquid is allowed to solidify and then broken out of the casting. When jewelry is made this way, wax dulls the precision of the design and the casting process introduces foreign contaminants and air bubbles into the metal. This, coupled with multiple cleanings and filings required to eliminate roughness, results in a fragile piece of jewelry with a minimal amount of detail. Unfortunately, the vast majority of jewelry today is produced by this method and usually does not live to the heirloom stage.
Requiring the combination of ancient skills and technological advancements, fabrication requires a much higher level of craftsmanship. As opposed to jewelry that has been cast, hand fabricated pieces are crafted directly from metal without the use of any wax, molds, or additions. Virtually free from any air bubbles, the finished design has a higher metal density and is less susceptible to deformities and scratching. Hand fabricated jewelry is a product of time, patience, and accumulated knowledge, making each piece irreplaceable.
Ideal Cut Diamonds
Perhaps the most defining characteristic of a diamond is its cut. It has the greatest overall influence on a diamond’s beauty and determines how much sparkle we see. We often make the mistake of thinking that a diamond’s cut is its shape (round, emerald, etc.), but it actually relates to how well the stone reacts to light.
Well-proportioned and carefully angled, ideal cut diamonds are of the highest quality. When light enters the diamond, it is reflected directly through the top of the diamond and travels to the observer’s eye. Diamonds that are cut too shallow, allow light to escape from the bottom instead of reflecting off the top. This diminishes brilliance and leads diamonds to appear dull. Similarly, deep cut diamonds poorly reflect light and yield a dull, muted appearance.
The finest ideal cut diamonds exhibit what is known as a Hearts and Arrows pattern. This phenomenon is a result of perfect proportion and symmetry, leading the facet reflections to create overlapping, kaleidoscopic patterns. Eight symmetrical arrows can be seen though the top of the diamond and eight hearts when the diamond is viewed from the bottom up, creating the prized “cupid effect.” If you took the time to stack these diamonds up on top of each other, each one of the facets would line up with perfection.
Michael Barin uses ideal cut diamonds throughout his pieces because he believes that “the amount invested in a center stone should be framed in perfection.”
The word Pavé (pronounced pa-vay) comes from the French word “to pave,” as in paved with diamonds – upwards of 300 diamonds per ring in Michael Barin’s case. A superior design, coupled with an artfully chosen center stone, requires a superior setting. Most importantly, one that adds sparkle and shine, framing the center stone in an undeniable brilliance.
French Cut refers to the specific way that small Pavé diamonds are set into the metal of a ring. The finished look makes a ring appear as if it is made of solid diamonds, seamlessly wrapping around the band and the center stone, essentially creating a piece of art within itself.