Over the course of jewelry-making history, trends and styles have come and gone, and designers and bench-workers have retired as many techniques as they have developed. However, the rich history of jewelry, its connection with royalty, status and figures of the past continues to be a large part of the appeal for the modern buyer.
There are techniques and flourishes that truly stand the test of time, and the intricate adornment of milgrain (or millgrain) is one such embellishment.
If you are wondering what milgrain is and how it can be used to enhance your ring, this guide gives you a complete view of this classical effect.
Millgrain is a jewelry making technique where small beads of metal are used to create lines, boarders and generally enhance the ring. First used in Asia over a thousand years ago, we are perhaps most familiar with milgrain being used in the 1920’s to perfectly punctuate the distinctive art-deco jewelry of the time.
This connection means that milgrain is often used in antique-style jewelry. This Platinum Crescendo engagement ring by Whiteflash gives a nod to a bygone era, using milgrain and feather detailing on the band to enhance the central diamond.
As seen in the stunning Crescendo ring by Whiteflash, milgrain can bring an antique feel to an engagement ring. However, it is also being used by designers in contemporary styles with impressive results. This Half-Eternity ring by Tacori uses milgrain to boarder the diamond melee. It blends sharp lines, extending the pave to create endless sparkle and texture.
In Tacori’s Sculpted Crescent solitaire, the milgrain is not against diamonds, rather it is used to high-light Tacori’s signature crescents, undulating across the band.
Milgrain can also be used in understated jewelry. This 14K WHITE GOLD ETCHED ROPE WEDDING BAND from James Allen uses milgrain along the edge of the band– perfect for those who want to add something unique, but with more subtlety than gemstones.
Milgrain is a highly versatile feature that can be used to enhance a multitude of styles.
While milgrain was once a painstaking process that required the steadiest hand and hundreds of hours, modern jewelry-making practices mean it can now be created perfectly with relative ease. It be made from any precious metal, allowing you to choose from the romance of rose gold, the antique glow of yellow gold, the contemporary shine of white gold or the luxurious sheen of platinum.
It is an inexpensive way to add interest and texture to your ring; whether it is an ornate creation that is full of detail, or a subtle flourish to draw focus to your central diamond, millgrain is sure to set you apart from the crowd.
Be sure to keep your jewelry clean in order to make the most from your milgrain details.