We stepped up the quality of the classy engagement ring with VS clarity stones and 14k super white gold that does not require rhodium plating.
I carved the wax model and used round burs that were slightly smaller then the stones being used. The reason why is because I knew that I was going to redo the micro prongs once it is was in metal.
I had to make the halo 3 times to get the right combination of size of diamonds to number of diamonds to go perfectly around.
I cast the pieces separately so I could nicely polish the gallery before assembly. I set the diamonds in the mounting. I stuck the blank halo in shellac to hold the piece while I set the stones. I sanded and polished it up and soldered it to the mounting.
I cut the bottom off a thick basket head and polished up before soldering it in place. I set the major stone and gave it a final polish.
This ring was a fun challenge. Since most of the work of stone setting and graving is done in metal, it would seem that the wax carving would have been easy. However, keeping good symmetry was very challenging. I did most of the carving under 6x magnification.
I used tacky wax to stick the diamonds on the wax model to plan out the bead setting and to show the customer.
Because of all the cut outs, the wax required extra sprues to ensure a complete casting.
After I cut the seat for the center oval, I used dividers to score evenly spaced marks on the bezel. Then I used a jeweler’s saw to cut through the bezel. The hammer hand piece seemed to effortlessly move each little prong over the girdle to tighten the diamond. Whereas with a solid bezel, the tends to be a lot of hammering.
Thank you Fred from Uncommon Design for the nice bright cutting on the bead set diamonds.
We refinish rings to like new condition all the time. But I always love refinishing an engagement ring right before the wedding day. It is rewarding to make it look it’s best for that special day.
This classic platinum ring required some prong work and needed to be totally repolished for the big day. Instead of sanding out the light scratches and small dings, I used a tungsten burnisher to move and manipulate the malleable metal back into the dents. Much less material is removed. And the best part, the surface becomes harder when you work the surface with the burnisher, which makes it more scratch resistant.
This delicate wedding band was made with 14k rose gold with a 14k white gold accent. I love the diamonds set in the side.
It was a big stone in the ring before I was asked to work on this engagement ring. Now I was asked to keep the halo and figure out a way to add a new, mammoth, stone. Since the new stone was as wide as the halo, I was not going to buy a pre made head.
The first thing I did was to carefully remove the original head. It was laser welded on so I could not just heat it up and “un” solder it. I removed the small diamonds, incrusting the head, and cut it off in pieces. Then I used round burs to carefully grind the rest away.
With the halo saved, I removed 4 diamonds in 4 even, strategic spots and drilled out a space with a 1.3mm round bur. I laser tacked 1.3mm white gold wire in place and tweaked it until I was happy with their placement and angles. Then I proceeded to solder them in place.
Said a prayer and set the new stone. I must say, the ring looks like it was originally made this way. It almost looks more natural now, then the beginning design.
A cool asymmetrical heart design engagement ring.
We CAD CAM the custom designed ring. We cast the wax and got to work. It took awhile to set the 78 diamonds in this mounting. Again, the bench microscope saved my eyes and my mind. The recessed channel proposed a problem in sanding and polishing after hammering to tighten the stones. The mill grain beads, unfortunately, can be easily sanded or polished away. So, I high polished the chasing tool to help minimize the finishing work and tapped very carefully with light, multiple hits. More then usual. I used high shine rubber abrasives to remove the tool marks. Even though there are not many flat surfaces that needed lapping, a lot of time was spent polishing the tight spaces with small brushes with my rotary tool at the bench.
The end result is an awesome look.
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.
Setting the diamonds.
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 have the pleasure to be part of so many milestones, achievements, surprises, engagements, major events–most happy, some sad. This happy moment, a long time coming.
17 years ago, when we met Lisa, we hoped we would have the opportunity to make Lisa’s engagement ring.
Her mother will be remembered every time she puts it on, which makes everything about this piece of jewelry even more special.
Congratulations! We are all very happy for you.
Here are two matching wedding band wax carvings that I made for this engagement ring.
I cast them in 14k yellow gold. We are seeing a comeback of yellow gold. Mainly in form of two tone rings.