The music video for ASAP Rocky ‘s long-awaited single “D.M.B.” included many romantic moments with Rihanna.
And while many gushed over images of everyone’s favourite couple who had sworn each other a wedding with a pair of grills by Dolly Cohen, keen jewellery fans may have spied on a beautiful ring worn by Asap Rocky that had a full statue of a special woman in his life.
While the flashy golden eagle statue worn by Ghostface Killah isn’t as big as ankle gloves, it certainly suits the mood of a rapper we all know as “Pretty Flacko.” The ring Asap Rocky wore in the video is made of 130 grams of 18-karat gold and has a round bright white diamond that’s a little more than five carats.
Complex spoke to Arasheben to get the inside scoop on how the ring in “D.M.B.” came together, the story behind other pieces of jewelry he made for ASAP Rocky, and the first pieces he made for rappers like Missy Elliott and Lil Jon.
So tell me, how did this incredible ring come together? When did Rocky commission this piece?
He commissioned the piece around January and had asked us to put this piece together. He was really particular about it. He wanted to have a woman on the ring with a very certain stance, type of hair, and dress. He’s creative so he was very involved in the design process and was very particular about every single detail. Which is great, because when you work with a creative like that, it makes your job easier because they know exactly what they want. He was definitely involved and had this vision of this female statuette ring that kind of sat up. Now obviously when he first came to me, I’m like: ‘How’s this even gonna be practical?’ But he wanted a ring that really made a statement. So we made it a two-finger ring because when it was just one finger, it would just fall over. At the end, I think we accomplished something really special.
Was there any specific occasion regarding why he made it?
Honestly, I made it and I was wondering when he was gonna put it out. I didn’t even know he was going to release it until I saw it in the video. I’m not sure if he designed it for this specific video, but I know it was something on his mind for a while that he wanted to do.
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What images did you reference to make it?
He didn’t give me a specific image. He just drew it by hand. This picture of a woman and how she should be standing. We built it completely from scratch and it all started with a drawing by him.
So essentially, the ring is actually just a general woman? I feel like most of the world thinks it’s Rihanna.
I mean, yeah. I know I’m seeing that everyone says it’s Rihanna, but he never actually gave me specifics on who he was modeling it after. Obviously with him having it all in the video with Rihanna, I can see how everyone’s saying that.
What can you tell me about the details of this ring? Like the amount of diamonds the gold used in all?
Well, You have about 130 grams of 18 karat gold, just over five carats of round brilliant white diamonds. There’re so many details even down to the hair. Like you see in the video, we used little link chains to make the statuette’s hair free flowing. So we tried to capture every single detail to make it as realistic as possible.
How much is this ring worth?
The value of this ring is about $50,000.
How long did it take to make it?
We obviously went through a number of iterations before we finally landed on the final product. But I would say we went back and forth for a good four to six weeks to just get the design right. And then from that point it took basically 30 days to finish it. All in all, it was a two and a half month process?
And you make everything in California, right?
Everything is done in California. Yes. And I’ve been making stuff for Rocky for over 10 years now.
You’ve made some amazing pieces for the likes of Drake and even Micheal Jackson. But you’ve worked with Rocky a number of times over the years. What’s different about working with him on jewelry versus other celebrities?
He’s a great guy. He’s one of my most favorite guys to work with and he’s genuinely a nice guy. That’s honestly hard to find in this business. This is a guy that, you know, if I go have dinner with him, he takes the time to say ‘Hello, how are you doing’ to every bus boy, waiter, and valet parker. He is the kind of guy who takes the time to acknowledge each and every person. No matter if they’re a king of a country or if they’re a janitor in an office building. And I think that’s what I’ve always loved about working with him. He’s genuinely a good person and that’s hard to come by nowadays
You said he drew the ring himself? Is that usual for your clients?
You know, some people do and some people don’t. He’s very particular about the design. So he drew out the exact pose he wanted on a sheet of paper and all that. And then our team of designers and myself tried to bring it to life.
Lastly, I find it crazy that you actually started making jewelry as a college student who was originally trying to be a lawyer. You got any advice to share for young jewelers who may be dreaming of getting the jobs you do?
You can’t set any boundaries for yourself. You can never give up and you can never take no for an answer. Because you know, a lot of times people say, well ‘Oh, I got to have a lot of money to start a jewelry business.’ I started with a pen and a piece of paper drawing designs. Your biggest asset is not the inventory or the people you know. Your biggest asset is yourself. So if you get yourself out there, meet as many people as you can, and don’t take no for an answer, you’ll be able to build anything and everything.