Friday, January 9, 2009

Tanzanite Ring, Curved Ring and Biltong

This is a 18kt tanzanite ring that I finished yesterday.
The stone was bought in Tanzania by my customer.
The white gold bars in the center will probably have diamonds set in at a later stage.

Normally, speaking from a gem cutting point of view, stones coming out of Africa or the east are not cut very well. In fact, I mostly buy these stones as ' rough', and then re cut them.
This one, a 9ct round, breaks the mold. It is absolutely perfectly cut. The facets all meet beautifully, the polish is superb. The stone is top colour and flawless. What a beauty.
And the price was a third of the wholesale price per carat.
Dang, why don't I get to buy this kind of material?

However, tanzanites are not good stones to put in rings. They are not hard and are prone to scratching.
My customer is aware of this , and I feel confident, because she is one of those people who is VERY light on her jewellery. A ring I made for her last year, and one she wears every day, had so few scratches on it that all it needed a rougé to bring it up to finish again.
Some people are like that. Very light on their jewellery. Others trash the jewellery in three months.
I have set hundreds of tanzanites, so I am confident in my skill set, but since it is not my stone, and I don't have a replacement stone should something go wrong, I was very, very careful in the setting process.
Sweating, actually. But it all worked out well.

Jennifer brought this pendant in, which she had purchased in Italy a few years ago, and she wanted to have me make a ring that matches it.

I made this ring on that design. I made it out of one bar of metal and it took some hot forging and serious filing, I can comfortably tell you.
It suited her very well and she was very happy.
Later this year in low season when I have more time, I am going to make a range of master patterns in this vein for the window.

There is a Chinese grocery store down the road. This is them making 'biltong' ( dried beef) ala St Maarten style.
I hate to think of the flies and dust and origin of the meat , for that matter.
I swear, my favourite alley dog called "Immigration", suddenly disappeared. She used to hang around the shop for a few months and when I inquired about her, there was only this mumbled response of that someone had fetched her....Right.
Needless to say, I only buy packaged goods from known suppliers from them.
Certainly not any cooked food, rest assured.
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