Friday, July 31, 2009

Stylistic Scarab Beetle Ring and a Fused Diamond Ring


There is a fine line between a goldsmith making what he wants or making things to sell.
For instance, I sometimes make precisely what I like and, mostly they don't sell very fast, I'm afraid.
So eventually they sit around in dusty corners of the safe or in the shop window collecting tarnish.
On the other side, most of the shop jewellery I make is not too over the top.
Jewellery has to be pretty, practical and priced within reason to have a good chance of selling.
Believe it or not, this is one of those rings.
OK, so I think it is pretty--- Some might not (G).
This is the fifth beetle ring I have made, and whilst they don't "fly off the shelves", I don't own the other four anymore either.
I also just love doing this kind of work.
The sapphire is a stone I re cut from an old junk ring and it came out nice and bright.
It is loosely based on a stylistic Egyptian scarab beetle. I carved basic ring in wax and then I cast it.
Then I carved the tourmaline.
The legs were carved and filed out of 1,5mm 18kt white gold wire and then soldered in place.
Then I soldered the tubes in and set the stones.
The first two pictures show a glint of light behind the stone.
With a stone like this, which is essentially a fancy cabochon, that shouldn't happen.
Because the stone essentially has a flat bottom so no facets to reflect light.
Polishing the bottom of the stone simply shows the gold underneath and changes the apparent colour of the stone, so that's no good.
Cutting the gold away allows the finger to be seen, and that works with some rings, but not this one.
So what I do is I finish the bottom of the stone off to 1200 grit to diffuse the light..
Then I rough the bottom gold surface up with a 1mm ball frazer.
Then I rhodium plate only the bottom surface.
This acts as a neutral reflector and make the stone really stand out nicely with out being garish.
It also by chance gives a bit of light movement inside the tourmaline which imitates a green iridescent beetle body quite nicely.
Serendipity, dude.....
This is a ring I made for Lynda. This is work I also really like doing.

Made out of 18kt white and fused yellow gold.
The diamond looks much better than in it's previous setting.
I like asymmetrical settings.
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