Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Continuing Saga of the Diamond Ring.

Firstly, let me say I am not unhappy.

My customer can change her mind as she wishes.

Firstly because she is a great  lady and I like her lots, and also because she pays the piper, and so she can call the tune.

The brief was for a large cluster with a 6 carat center diamond and a bunch of thirty pointers around it.

Cluster Ring (1)

We do not kid around here. All certified diamonds.

Cluster Ring (2)

First I check out the fit around the center stone.

Cluster Ring (3)

Then I file the center out and settle the surrounding stones into a domed plate of gold 1.2mm thick..

She wanted to see just diamond, so I make the distances between the stones as little as I can get away with.

Cluster Ring (4)

Here is the bed for the stones pierced out with only final finished left. Some goldsmiths make this with jump rings and solder them all together. I like doing it this way because then there is no solder, thus nothing can move during further soldering operations.

Cluster Ring (5)

Checking to see that it all lies well.

Cluster Ring (6)

Then I soldered the center claws in. The center stone will set a tad higher than the surrounds.

If you look carefully, you will see there are actually 24 claws. The tiny one is for holding the surrounds in.

Cluster Ring (7)

Making the basket. I use a soldering pad and scribe lines in it, so that nothing pulls out of alignment during soldering.

If this were my ring, I would have put in 24 wires instead of 12, but the brief was to have as little underneath as possible.

So 12 wires it was.

Cluster Ring (8)

It looks a little bare to me. I would have liked a thinner wire in between each main wire .

Cluster Ring (10)

So I made a rough shank, as per order and glued the basket to it. Then I just dropped the diamonds in so that my customer can see what it will look on her hand.

She decided she hates it because it looked to pointy and the center stone merged with the surrounding stones.

This is the life of a jeweller.

Although I suspect my jaw dropped when she said that, because I had walked her through all the stages of manufacture up unto this point.

She was quite prepared to pay for the cluster and she then decided she wanted it pave set with the center stone in a white gold tube.

Cluster Ring (9)

Pave rings like this are more simple in construction.

Cluster Ring (11)

The design called  for a solid , tapering pear shaped tube.

I make a paper model first.

Easy to cut .

Cluster Ring (12)

Then I glue the paper strip onto the gold and pierce it out. The black is just the flashing from quenching in the acid.

Cluster Ring (13)

Here I am fitting the bed into the bezel.

After I finished the ring, ready for setting, she decided that I must also set little diamonds in the outer triangles in between the surround stones.

Sigh, yes ma’am.

Cluster Ring (14)

Setting the ring.

Pear shape stones always are tricky to set, what with the point.

Cluster Ring (15)

Anyway, the setting all worked out.

If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it, you will see the little diamonds set in the outer edge.

Pave setting is rigid.

Once the stones are mapped out, there is very little room for change.

Not with this ring though.

Not with this lady, bless….

Those twelve little stones were VERY difficult to set.

Because it had not been planned, I had to set with my microscope at high magnification, using an ongellete no 2 so I could get the tiny beads raised.

I normally you an ongellete no 4 for general pave setting

There is little actual design to a ring like this. I mean, it is just a giant stone with lots of diamonds around it.

Not everyone's taste for sure, but it is nice to work with such expensive stones, I must say.

Cluster Ring (16)

The thin shank, as ordered.

OK, so the ring was not rejected this time, but the first thing she wanted was diamonds set in the sides of the tube.

60 of them.

This ring has already 12 carats of diamond all top colour and clarity and puts it way into the six figure value.

Serious, serious bling.

Personally, I prefer the cluster, but then again, I only play the tune, not?

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