I get to enjoy challenging myself making jewelry for the show case sometimes. This one was pretty fun. I started with carving two identical bands, cast them up in 14 karat yellow gold and micro bead set 1.3mm diamonds. The assembly of the different length bars came next. Each one was cut to length and soldered in place. Lastly, the bezel set 3/4 carat round brilliant cut diamond was set then laser welded in place.
This week I was kept busy with a few labor intensive custom engagement rings. This beauty took all of the bride’s wishes and ideas taken from a few different rings and combined into this gorgeous design.
Rough castings in 14k white and rose golds.
The diamonds tapered from 0.9mm to 1.3mm. I set the diamonds in the white gold before assembling the two pieces. Extreme care was taken in polishing the ring, not to polish out the fine details of the delicate design. Hours were spent burnishing and polishing using fine burrs, laps and brushes, getting into the tight places. The bench microscope was so helpful in afiddling with the tiny full cut stones. All seating, graving and beading was done under 4 or 6 power.
I first carved the heart and built up the thorns on top with a heated wax pen. I planned for the stones by cutting the seats, but I did not drill all the way through. I believe there is a greater chance of casting failure if you drill the “breather” cleaning holes behind the stones in the wax model. The “stalagmites” of plaster in the plaster mold can get blown down by the molten metal entering the mold causing huge pits and voids in the ring.
I drill them out before stone setting.
As I am forced to using the bench microscope more and more because of today’s jewelry that use micro pave’ diamonds. Yesterday I was setting up some new rings and replacing/repairing some micro bead set diamonds with 0.8mm diameter diamonds. To give prospective of how tiny these are, I took a picture of some on a dime. These are full cut diamonds with over 50 facets. Whereas a number of years ago, melee under 0.02ct were “single cut” stones with 27 facets.
One of my diamond sources is now cutting full cut 1/3 pointers. (0.003 carat)
Looks like I will need to keep my microscope nearby.
This is a popular design that we have been doing in remounting a marquise.
The clean lines and modern design freshens up a diamond shape that was very popular in the 80’s/90’s. The fashion pendulum always swings and the marquise may see a revival.
Channel setting the marquise on it’s short side is unconventional. I would not suggest setting it this way in a ring. A pendant or earrings don’t take the abuse that a ring undergoes. In a ring, the exposed points of the marquise would catch on things and would constantly teeter-totter itself loose.