A young lady handed me a spent bullet casing and told me that she would like to make a piece of jewelry with this. She explained that it was a shell from a ceremonial gun salute at her father’s funeral. She had some ideas of what she wanted: a bracelet that was casual enough and sturdy enough to wear anywhere. His name and birth stone on one side and his birth year and the year of his passing on the reverse side.
We made plans on the design of a bracelet. I was going to solder on sterling silver jump rings, solder on a silver bezel for the citrine and attach a silver chain. But once I cut open the shell I was pleasantly surprised to find the base more solid then I thought it would be. This allowed me more options. I text her some of the proposed ideas that I came up with along the way. Like how I had thought I would have had to add a bezel to set the stone. But the brass was plenty thick enough to flush set the birth stone.
I used a tiny ball burr (0.036mm) under a 6 power microscope to engrave the letters. (The last name blurred out for privacy.)
Instead of just soldering on jump rings, I made a sterling silver ring that fit in the channel at the base of the shell. I soldered two rings on it before fitting it over and soldering the large loop In place, making it seamless, for a great appearance. By using a necklace for the chain, I had the length to double up the chain to give it enough thickness to look proportionate, design wise, yet still be feminine.
The last picture is the date side which still has the primer cap and manufacturing stamps in which I added the dates.
Not only is this a cool looking bracelet using a bullet shell, but the meaning behind this one is so awesome.
My daughter is the one who had this done…and I absolutely LOVE this idea. Everyone @ Atlas have always done amazing work with everything our family has had done, from finding a special piece for me to any simple repair. Rest assured I will be in soon to have my own bracelet made ~ probably similar to this one…with my own “twist” on her idea!! 😉 …and a big “hello” to everyone @ Atlas Jewelers!!
Thank you for the kind words. Making pieces like this is such an honor to be be involved in. To be able to bring some joy to a sad situation where a piece of jewelry can be a wonderful memento in the memory of a loved one, is so rewarding. I look forward to seeing you again. -Mark