Haute Jewels: Olschwanger Designs

Because residents of Dallas like things, well, just so, there is Eric Olschwanger. Perched above the North Dallas Tollway in what could be deemed some sort of elvish workshop, Olschwanger and his small crew of jewelry wizards craft unspeakably beautiful baubles; all special, made-to-order pieces just waiting to be treasured by his discerning clients.

A large chunk of Olschwanger’s work is comprised of custom made engagement rings. The latest inspiration: Kate Middleton’s bequeathed sapphire, of course. But then there are the rest of his commissioned projects, ranging from belt buckles (he made the Texas State Fair-themed buckle for last year’s Cattle Baron’s Ball) to rings in the shape of spiders and hummingbird broaches. Some clients will arrive with a pocket full of rubies, emeralds and diamonds–family heirlooms, perhaps–and ask Olschwanger to create something with their personality in mind. He even once made a tiara, although the crown itself was not for one longtime client, a certain Miss Texas.

The procedure behind these creative ventures starts with the AutoCAD, a three dimensional software system that lets you see your masterpiece before the actual construction begins. Then a plastic casting is made so you can feel the size and design before the piece is cut with a high-tech laser, minimizing the margin of error.

The most recent and perhaps most well-known piece by Olschwanger was made just in time for the Super Bowl: a rare 6.32 carat diamond ring, worth $1.4 million, a silent auction item up for grabs at the 10th Annual OTF Players’ Wives Awards Banquet and Fashion Show.

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