I was just going to refinish and rhodium plate the three rings.
I suggested that I solder them all together.
I noticed that the thin band would be perfect to act as spacer/shim to fill the gap created by the base of heads holding the princess cut diamonds.
The marked area was cut out to create a flat surface for the diamond band to fit flush.
Here is the cut band fit into place, soldered and polished.
The beauty of this wedding set is the history of the parts but I didn’t learn of all the history and meaning and story behind these rings until after I completed the work.
I think it is awesome to keep and use sentimental jewelry. This has quite a progression. As she put it:
“…We upgraded to the larger center stone (when we could afford a bigger and nicer set than my original one). I kept the band from that set and I wore it with the the solitare for quite a few years.
When our first son passed away, hubby bought me one of the smaller stones in honor/remebrance of our little one we lost, and to remind me that I was as strong, unbreakable and beautiful as what the diamond represented. Once Peyton was born he bought me another stone in honor of him!
On our 10th anniversary we had the three diamonds all set into one ring. It symbolizes the family bond.
On our 15th anniversary he bought me the diamond band. I could never part with the thin band because that was what he placed on my finger when we said ‘I do ‘.”
Like the age rings of a growing tree, this wedding set shows the triumphs and tribulations of what life brings walking hand in hand with the ones you love.
The issue with this ring was that the halo was sharp and catching. The solution that we came up with was to add a wire frame to the halo. The stones would be more protected (a few missing) and the edge would be smooth.
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 would be a tough to repair the channel with the torch. Tanzanite does not handle heat. And it is not a very tough stone as far as setting. Any contact with a metal tool and it will chip the surface.
I protected the stone with watch makers putty to absorb any stray laser beam or reflection and repaired the channel with the stone in place. I built up the missing channel by slowly melting 30 gauge gold wire with repeated laser shots. Probably did about 300 hits. The ring really looked good after burnishing the shank and sanding and polished the ring.
When I started in this business I was blessed to apprentice under three reputable brothers. I learned the trade from each of the siblings, each with their expertise in gold smithing. They did not cut corners and took pride in their work. It was not until years later when I saw another side of the business. Like in all vocations there are bad apples. (A very small minority) We have all heard the horror stories. But I am not opening up that can of worms.
A minor offense is using low karat to repair chain and soldering in heads. The lower melting temperature makes it an easier repair. It makes you feel like a super repairman. The down side is that the soldered area tends to tarnish. It is also a less expensive solder. It does not seem like a good place to cut corners. But we see it from time to time.
Here is a peg head soldered in place with low karat solder. This darkness at the base will repeatedly come back even after repeated polishing.
Most of the outer prongs holding in the diamonds were very worn.
The channel for the bagguttes also needed attention.
The 4 prongs holding in the emerald were thin and worn.
I removed the emerald and completely removed the center prongs so I could work on the retipping the diamonds with out fear of damaging the center stone.
The picture above shows all the rebuilt prongs, repaired channel and 4 new wires welded in for the center stone.
As you can see, the prongs are all beefy and the ring looks like new.
This is another great repair for the laser welder. This platinum ring was missing a stone because 2 of the 4 beads holding it in were gone. Platinum has such a high working melting temperature it can be a problem re-tipping stones. You can damage a diamond torching a ring to repair temperatures. Most jewelers use a white gold solder to do those type of repairs.
The laser welder allows you melt metal right were you need it. Working with a .3mm beam, I hit just the tiny bead with a few shots and build it up some with platinum wire. Then I opened the beam to .45mm then .6mm to soften and round the new bead.
Tennis bracelets often come in for repair. The rod part of the tube hinge is usually the part that breaks. The wire has to drilled out and replaced. The tube counter part usually shows wear too, so it is best to build that up while it is apart.
Here is shown the drilled out wire and rebuilt tube before soldering in a new rod.
The wire is soldered in place, sanded and polished to complete the repair. Here is a picture before the final polish. 4 hinges were rebuilt on this occasion.