When my friend, a movie stylist and jewelry designer, told me she was working on the new film Luckiest Girl Alive (starring Mila Kunis and out now on Netflix), she mentioned that they were looking for a classic, statement emerald ring that would be key to the plot of the film and we were so excited that we were able to take part in such an exciting cinematic moment and that our jewelry would be the star of a movie!
Because the ring itself was so important to the plot and would be featured on screen throughout the film, we knew that this ring would have to be absolutely perfect.
Based on the 2016 book “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll, the film tells the story of Ani FaNelli (Mila Kunis). She seems like she has it all: a glamorous job, an expensive wardrobe, and a handsome blue-blooded fiancee. Ani feels like she’s so close to living the life that she has always wanted.
However, just before her wedding, Ani is thrown back to a shocking, public humiliation she endured while a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School. After working so long to reinvent herself, Ani must return to her roots and reckon with her past in order to move forward and claim the life she has always wanted. Although, in the process, Ani wonders if she may lose her new self instead.
Ring “sketches”/ composition mockup
The filmmakers wanted us to create three identical rings for the film: One for the movie set, one for Ms. Kunis to have at home, and one for the prop masters to have as a backup.
The film’s director and the crew already had some ideas for what the ring would look like but I helped to refine and choose a design by finding the perfect stones. Because the rings were for a film, the filmmakers requested that they were not made with precious materials such as gold, platinum, or real emeralds or diamonds.
We decided to create the rings in silver with synthetic stones. We chose to use synthetic emeralds and cubic zirconia for the three rings, an industry standard. We wanted the ring to look big and substantial — something that would read onscreen and represent the lavish design that the character would wear — while also not utilizing overly expensive materials.
Originally, we were debating between 3 or 5 carats with an emerald cut or an asscher cut. We ended up choosing to work with 5 carats with an asscher cut.
Once we had decided on this we had to choose between different shades of green for the synthetic emerald. Again, it was important to consider that the most important part of this design was not necessarily how this ring would look in real life, but rather how it would appear on screen.
Side by side a couple of the different shade of green stones
Finding the perfect stone for this project was one of the most important parts of this design and we spent the most time going over the options that would be best for the design as well as its needs as a prop piece for a film that needed to look most vibrant on camera and under the specific lighting that the film’s set designers would use. I looked at a number of different ranges of the green stones, from light to medium to dark and with a warmer or cooler green. We ended up deciding on a medium, warmer green which had a nice, rich color and a lot of sparkle that the filmmakers thought would look great on-camera and with the rest of the wardrobe and design of the film.
different cuts of the diamond
Once we found the perfect center stone, we needed to decide the design, size, and setting of the side cubic zirconia stones. The filmmakers either wanted the stones in a baguette cut or half-moon cubic zirconia stones.
For the cubic zirconia I assembled two different dimensions for both the baguette and half-moon cuts to propose to the filmmakers. We ended up choosing the half moon cut for this ring as we thought the ring’s composition with the center asscher cut synthetic emerald was the most perfectly substantial and delicate design that still offered the visual impact that we were looking for in the ring.
3D Rhino CAD
Once we had assembled all the stones, we were able to begin modeling in 3D Rhino CAD which allowed us to finally see the ring come alive. We wanted to make sure to have the right size and shape of the stones durings the modeling so we could be certain that the stones we acquired and cut would fit into the setting properly and that, once assembled, the final ring would look the way that the production crew intended.
Renderings of the ring options
Because the visual element of the design was so important for an on-camera jewelry piece, we wanted to show the filmmakers two options for the design. We showed the first design with single prongs for the center stone and the second design with double prongs for the center stone.
After looking at the renderings of the ring, the filmmakers chose the double prong with center stone option.
Once we had finalized our CAD files in Rhino, we sent them to the caster who completed the castings in sterling silver.
Now that we had the stones and the casting, we were ready to go to our master jeweler — someone with whom we’ve been working with for the past decade and who is very talented — and he was able to finalize the piece.
I gave him the stones, castings, and instructions on how the ring was to be made including ring size, the type of settings for the stones (prong and double prong) and the type of metal for the finish (shiny).
The finished jewelry images
Jewelry in film
After almost four weeks, our master jeweler had finished the three beautiful and identical emerald rings and we were very happy with how they turned out.
After I picked up the final pieces, I sent them to my friend working on the film who told us that Ms. Kunis loved the rings.
It was so exciting for us to make these rings. We were so happy just to be a part of the film! We absolutely loved watching the movie and were even more excited when we saw the rings on screen. It is exciting to say that, while every piece of jewelry that we create shines, these pieces were actually stars!
Materials: Sterling silver with 5 ct (12x12mm) synthetic asscher cut emeralds and 2 (7x5mm) halfmoon cubic zirconia
Manufacturing Level: Difficult
Design Level: Medium
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