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A Handmade Ring to match a Bangle

Alan had bought his wife this gold bangle abroad. It had a particular pattern that she loved.

This bangle would have been cast with this pattern as part of the original mould. Alan wanted some family gold re-worked to form a new ring for his wife to wear on her thumb. They had some sentimental family gold rings that were not being worn by anyone. Alan wanted to rework these into a new ring, with the same pattern to match her bangle.

You can see that their family gold rings were melted and poured into an ingot. When old gold is reworked it becomes tough and difficult to work with. The molten gold cools very quickly inside the ingot mould, and this makes it hard.

Once the ingot has been poured, a process to soften the gold called annealing can begin. Annealing is where the gold ingot is heated very slowly to a colour called ‘Cherry Red’, this is the point just before the gold actually melts, it is then left to cool slowly in the air. Doing this a few times allows the gold to relax and become softer and easier to work with.

Her band was hand crafted by rolling her gold through steel rollers, this changes the shape to create a wire in the correct width and profile. This ring was a D shaped profile – flat on the inside and curved on the outside – so if you cut the ring in half and looked own the cross-section, you would see a shape the same as the letter D.

The wire is hand formed into a ring and soldered at the correct finger size. It is then given a first polish.

Once her band was handmade, it was then hallmarked at Birmingham Assay Office, a full set of UK hallmarks – including The Queen’s Jubilee Mark..

Once hallmarked; it was then time to put our laser engraver to work! Stuart has created the artwork for this pattern, from the original bangle, this was emailed over to Alan and he approved it. They returned to our Shaftesbury Design Studio to try the ring on for fit – it was the perfect size! It is possible to stretch or compress a fully engraved band, and the re-polish, but Louise wanted to double check that his wife was happy with the fit, to avoid working on the ring once the engraving was perfectly applied.

For this design, the background was lasered away, leaving the matching pattern standing proud. You can watch the laser working away in the video, and the ring being slowly rotated as the pattern is applied.

Laser engraving (on the ring) gives a very ‘crisp’ look, whilst casting a pattern onto a piece (on the bangle) leaves a more ‘organic’ feel. This was fully explained to Alan beforehand, and he was happy with how this pair looked in the finish.

It was a complete delight to welcome them back to our Design Studio to present these before Christmas. Side by side, they are a very stylish match!

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