I love this image. I was trying to create a realistic metal and diamond combination and eventually deciding on a full frame product shot. The heavy depth of field played a vital part in giving the viewer the impression that this was a closeup of a very small object.
All the shaders and lighting setups were created from scratch and rendered out in multiple Render Elements. I used Maya and Chaos Group’s Vray for this image and I added some caustics to the floor and did a little bit of color correction in with Adobe After Effects.
The models were downloaded from 3drender.com and were used for the Lighting Challenges on CGSociety.org