Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Ring for Diana

I was approached recently to copy a much loved ring with great sentimental value for a friend of the client. This ring seemed initially to pose a challenge, it was nothing like anything I had made previously, I do not include stones in my designs too frequently and these were quite unusual shapes.

I think the original ring was made in India, the design, mainly owing to the shape of the stones, is quite organic in contrast to my own simple outlines. I decided this was going to be good for me!

The first job was to identify and source the stones. The pear shaped moonstone and black stick pearl were pretty obvious, but the blue stone proved a little more difficult, I eventually came to the conclusion it was a kyanite, these are very hard to find in this country in cabochon form but I managed to find a faceted kyanite, I really wanted to keep the blue stone - it catches the blue in the black pearl.

Fine silver bezel wire is used to make a bezel to hold each stone. It must be a perfect fit before soldering onto the silver mount. The mount is curved to fit the curve of a finger and the bezels are filed to fit - probably the most tedious part of this adventure!

It is pretty easy to melt fine silver - so extra care is taken when soldering them onto the base. I little bearing wire is soldered into the kyanite setting, necessary to hold a faceted stone. Excess silver is cut and filed away before the silver balls are added. I do believe we are on the home stretch....

I sent the D shaped silver wire I would use for the ring shank to be hallmarked at the Birmingham Assay Office before I formed it into a round. This was then checked to make sure it would fit a size M finger good 'n' proper before I soldered it to the bezel.

So there it sits - awaiting those lovely stones. Holes have been drilled in the back of each setting to enable the stones to be positioned, they also allow a little light to shine through.  A pusher and burnisher are used to push and burnish the fine silver around the stones hopefully holding 'em nice 'n' snug.

Da daaaa...

I have heard Diana is pleased with her ring, and I'm so very pleased to hear it! I did enjoy this project, it is sooo good to be taken out of your little comfort zone, it usually results in a learning curve both beneficial and enjoyable. I now have a 'thing' for unusually shaped stones, it has set in motion a whole new project.... I did get more of those lovely pear shape moonstones...