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A Bespoke Design Around Client’s Gemstones

Danni had inherited this sentimental family ring. She booked a Design Consultation at our Shaftesbury Design Studio to chat through options with Louise.

Danni loved the gemstones, and she also quite liked the placement of them. She wanted to alter the band and setting, so that she ended up with a more refined style of ring.

She was interested in the original metal that the ring was made from. We can acid test metals to let us know if they are gold or silver or platinum, or if they are indeed a base metal that we can’t work with.

You can see that this metal tested as 18-22ct gold because the acid has turned yellow. Louise and Danni talked through the pros and cons of different precious metals, Danni decided that she wanted a naturally ‘white’ metal that was hard wearing.

After some thought, Danni decided to have her aquamarines re-set into a new ring design in Platinum.

The first step was to un-set her gemstones and measure them for a CAD design. You can see Mark expertly removing her aquamarine gemstones from their settings. He used a fine saw blade to cut through the claws holding the main stone in place and carefully took it out. The remaining gemstones were taken out one by one.

You can see that Danni’s central gemstone was cut quite large and deep, this is a showstopper of a gemstone! Danni had four smaller aquamarines to set either side of her main stone.

It was time to start designing in CAD (Computer Aided Design) this powerful computer programme allows us to create new jewellery designs and shoe photo-realistic images to our customers.

Danni was happy with the original placement of her gemstones, she just wanted a more modern feel with a thinner band. She liked the main gemstone pointing down her finger, and two smaller gemstones on either side. We used this design brief as inspiration for her new ring.

Danni was unsure whether she wanted a plain rubover finish to her ring, or a milgrain edge – this is where a tiny tool is used to create ‘bobbles’ around the setting. Milgrain gives a more vintage feel to a piece, where a rubover is smooth and more modern in look. Milgrain is applied after the stones are set, but with CAD we can show the effect this will have to the piece, allowing our customer to make an informed choice, instead of a guess.

Danni opted for the plain rubover setting, without the bobbles created by the milgrain finish.

Danni wasn’t that local to us, she had made the journey for her Design Consultation but it wasn’t that convenient to just ‘pop in’. She was keen to try on a 3D resin print of her new design, to make sure she was completely happy with everything.

Once Danni had decided which finger she was going to wear her new ring on, we sent her a finger gauge to double check her size. We also sent her the resin print of her design, this is 3D printed from the CAD file, so what you see in resin, is exactly what you get in platinum in the finish.

This is a really good idea because it allows you to ‘try before you buy’.

This stage reassures you that you have made all of the correct design choices, before any precious metals are cast.

Danni was able to try her design on in the comfort of her own home, and then she confidently asked us to cast her new design in platinum for her.

This was cast from recycled platinum. Using Lost Wax Casting leaves a slight fingerprint texture to the metal, this then needs to be filed, sandpapered and polished to a high shine – this is called ‘cleaning up’. The two pieces of platinum below are called a ‘two piece cast’ this means that two seperate pieces are cast and then assembled.

The reason for this is that it is easier for our Goldsmith’s to get their tools into all of the nooks and crannies for a good ‘clean up’ before the two pieces are soldered together to form the ring. Changing platinum from a textures satin finish to a high shine is achieved by filing, sandpapering and polishing smooth. Platinum takes a long time to polish, there are many different grits of sandpaper to work through, it takes hours to achieve this high shine.

You can see the difference in the texture in the platinum in the above images. Her settings are made to measure around her aquamarines, our Stone Setters skilfully slot these gemstones into place and carefully ‘rub over’ the platinum, creating a ring around the edge that holds the stone in place.

Her ring was given a full UK hallmark – including the celebratory stamp for King Charles |||.

You can see how perfectly her gemstones fit! The gallery settings allow light into the underside of the stones, maximising the sparkle.

It was a complete delight to welcome Danni back to our Design Studio to collect this beauty!

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