Monday, October 4, 2010

Sumptuous be thy name

I have created a big, fat ring from recycled 14 carat gold, featuring a large and amazing facet cut prasiolite, a facet cut emerald and a diamond.  It’m allowed to boast because this ring is truly very, very special!

It started with Lisbeth approaching me with some old gold rings. She didn’t wear them anymore and would like something new made of the precious metal and the stones. “But surely” was my answer, and hence we designed a ring based on the big prasiolite that one of her rings, a very old fashioned 70’s model, held .

I used a model which I had previously made for another ring, ensuring that it was the approximate size. Gold doesn’t shrink as much as silver does, at least that is my experience, so the size must be relatively correct. So, here we are, with all the rings of 14 carat, a small one of 8 carat, my gold scraps from previous projects and a bit of 22 carat wire to balance out the 8 carat. Higher carat = nicer color.

This is the setup with the mould still open plus the model  after having being removed from the mould.

Point of no return has been passed here – we have a nice, softly moving glob of molten gold. The trick is to heat it for a while longer after it has molten in order to bring up the temperature to a good flow – and in order to stirr together the different carats by lightly tapping the melting bowl onto the surface.

When the metal has been poured, the oily sand gives of a soft fume – fairly decorative IMO.

And now the moment of truth: Did it flow as it should? Do we have a solid ring? Yes we do!

After rinsing of the sand, this is what it looks like. Not overly charming to be sure…

However, removing the casting cone and filing it smooth improves the ring a lot! This is beautiful in its own right. Perhaps with a flush set stone or three… 

But that was not what this project was about, and hence I created a cone-shaped bezel setting for the stone (which is bright and well-cut enough to bear this kind of dark setting), sawed out a piece of the ring shank and soldered it all together. 

I attached a thick piece of tube for the 3 mm emerald and then for the curl. Always a bit tricky to solder it on exactly as I want it, and so I used two self locking tweezers to hold it in place. It’s my experience that it’s easier to work with the curl by attaching one end first and then bringing it around to a good finish – instead of fiddling around forever with tweezers to make it fit.

I soldered the other end of the curl and then the ball to hold the diamond.

Here we are – all the soldering and pickling over and ready for finishing polish/surface treatment and setting. Note that I have already cut the seat for the prasiolite.

The end result… stunning! At least I think so!


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  2. Yes very stunning. You're amazing! The ring is amazing. Loving it.

  3. Thank you Jeanie :-)
    My customer will pick it up tomorrow - then I can't take it out of the safe and admire it any more :-/
    Oh well... I hope she will!