This custom remount pretty much kept the same classic design as the original (not pictured) but the goal was to do a more lighter, feminine version in white gold. The micro prong set diamonds helped lightening up the feel of the ring from the original bulky 3 channel design. We also opened up the shoulders of the ring to make it more airy. We did a cool square shank and cast it in super white 14k gold alloy that does not need rhodium plating.
This bad boy started with a 12mm wide platinum band. I added two platinum “tree trunks” to support an 18k yellow gold trillion bezel that floats above the ring. I was always amazed how heavy this ring felt. Platinum is considerably more dense then gold.
This is my first trap set pendant. I looked at a number of pieces from different manufacturers. There were various technics of setting, all with there pros and cons. I took what I thought was good from each and got to work. Since the outer ring of stones are holding the center diamond in it’s seat. I picked out stones with the same diameter AND depth. I measured to the hundredths of a millimeter. I needed to hit 1.00ct total weight. The six outer stones weighed 0.76ct so that left about a 1/4ct stone for the center. I laid them out and it seemed that this combination was going to be perfect.
I did most of the work in wax. I did recut the seats once it was in gold. I was surprised how low the center diamond was set in the mounting. I kept on burring deeper and deeper until the underbelly (pavilion) of the outer ring of diamonds rested on the crown facets of the center. (Trapping it in place). Luckily, I built up the prongs extra tall in the wax. It gave me the leverage to push the shared prongs over the diamonds with pliers rather then having to use a hammer hand piece which would have vibrated the stones like crazy when securing the stones. Then I simply trimmed and dressed the prongs to a triangle shape.
I love being asked to find solutions for a wedding set. For hers, she wanted a bypass design. So the design was quite obvious. I matched the heart motif and kept a similar width and profile.
I cast it in two pieces so I could better finish the inside of the bypass.
It is nice to see yellow gold making a come back.
I used tungsten burnished to work harden the ring. It hardens the surface and makes to more scratch resistant.
This series all began with my wedding band. And I have done the same three band motif in a new and different way each time. My ring (above) has a half carat princess cut diamond and is in 18k yellow and white golds.
Square top wedding band version with three princess cut diamonds.
24 karat gold is pure. (99.9%).
Jewelry is mainly alloyed to 18k (75.0%), 14k(58.5%) and 10k (41.7%).
In the Middle East and India you may see high karats like 21k. In Great Britain you may see 9k.
Jewelry can be stamped as karat or expressed as a percentage.
24k 999 (99.9%)
18k 750 (75.0%)
14k 585 (technically 58.3%. However the Italians made a “plumb” alloy promising at least 583. So now we have 585)
SIDE NOTE ON STERLING SILVER
Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Sterling Silver is commonly stamped 925 (92.5%)
DIFFERENT WAYS TO PUT IT
If you had 12k gold, you would have half gold, half other metal. (12 is half of 24). 18 is 75% of 24. 14 karat gold is 14 parts gold 10 parts something else. 10k is 10/24ths gold. It is all relative to a number system of parts of 24.
MIXING METALS. ALLOYS.
14 karat gold, regardless of it’s color is about 58.3-58.5% gold. The remaining percentage, is other metals that change the color, melting temperature, hardness, malleability and other characteristics of gold. A typical yellow gold alloy today would consist of gold (58%), silver (25%) and copper (17%). In Europe, older pieces of jewelry often have a slight rosier color. Their “recipe” for 14 karat yellow gold had a slightly higher copper content and lower silver content then most modern alloys giving them a pinker hue. If you were alloy gold with aluminum, you would get a purple colored metal that is brittle.
[Photo from Meevis.com]
WHITE GOLD. AN OXYMORON.
Before World War II jewelers worked primarily in gold, silver and platinum.
But during the war, the US government declared platinum a strategic metal and banned it for civilian use. Copper was also needed for the war effort so the US mint used steel to coin the pennies in 1943.
So Jewelers, stuck without a durable white metal, alloyed gold with nickel to “bleach” out the golden yellow metal.
That alloy does have a nice white appearance, however, it is not ideal to work with. It takes the whiteness of nickel but also takes the hardness of nickel, reducing the workability of the metal. Today’s typical white gold alloy still contains nickel, but just a lower percentage.
The common white gold alloy today has better malleability, a lower melting temperature for improved casting and is much softer then the high nickel alloy. However, as a draw back, the modern mixture is not very white. White gold jewelry today is often rhodium plated to brighten it up. Rhodium is in the platinum family of metals. Rhodium plating is fairly durable. Jewelry can be refinished and replated with rhodium to freshen it up.
Here at Atlas jewelers, we do our own casting. We chose a nickel/palladium white gold alloy that is white enough to not need rhodium plating. It is a bit harder to set stones, has a slight higher melting temperature and costs a little bit more, but the results for the wearer is superior.
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.