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Family Birthstones White Gold Bracelet

Lesley wanted one of our Family Birthstone Bracelets handmade in white gold.

She had 8 family birthdays to incorporate; her late husband, her children, her grandchildren, and of course – one for herself! Lesley lives a distance away from Shaftesbury so Louise worked over the phone with her, using video and pictures to demonstrate the design. We discussed different birthstones for the months with multiple birthdays in. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having the same birthstones for the same months, but Lesley wanted something different for each family member.

Louise sent Lesley a parcel of different birthstones, and a choice of colours and tones. Lesley hand picked the ones she liked the best from the selection, she chose to arrange her birthstones in the order of the generations of her family. These are the gems she chose:

  • January: Pink Rhodolite Garnet
  • February: Dark Purple Amethyst
  • March: Medium Blue Aquamarine
  • June: Pink River Pearl, and Moonstone
  • October: Opal, Pink Tourmaline, and Green Tourmaline.

The setting we use for these bracelets was originally handmade by our Mark, and then moulded in our workshop. This moulding process creates a rubber mould for us to be able to fill with wax for casting. This allows us to cast the exact number of setting you require for your bracelet.

Lost Wax Casting is an ancient art for creating replicas of items in great detail. To start a ‘master’ is handmade, this is used to create the copies, it is placed inside rubber and heated so the rubber melts and fills all of the nooks and crannies. This is left to cool and carefully cut in half, the master is the removed. The rubber is put back together and wax is squirted inside.

Once the wax is cold, the mould is opened and the wax copy is carefully removed. 

Once the wax replica is ready, it is attached to a main sprue; similar to a tree trunk. The additional smaller sprue that was attached to the original silver ring, creates one of the ‘branches’ for this wax ‘tree’. The job of the sprue is to create pathways for the molten gold to flow through, on its way to the actual ring part of the mould.

The wax ‘tree’ is made by hand and then covered with a metal tube. A substance called ‘investment’ (similar to plaster of paris) is poured over the top and left to dry out for 24 hours. The whole thing is heated and the wax runs out of a hold in the bottom and is ‘lost’. (Lost Wax Casting).

Now there is a recess inside, exactly the same as the original ring, with the pathway (sprue) for the gold to flow through.

Molten gold is ‘thrown’ into the mould and centrifugal force is used to spin the metal into every tiny detail of the mould. Everything is now very hot, and once spun, is plunged into cold water. The investment can’t cope with the temperature change, and bubbles away.

Leaving the gold ‘tree’ standing proud. The sprue is cut away with pliers and returned to the pot for re-melting in the next cast.

These bracelets are available in yellow or white or pink gold. We cast the exact number of settings you would like in your bracelet, especially for you. Then we work out how many links you need to create the desired length of bracelet to fit you exactly. Once we have the settings and links ready, we space your gemstones evenly around the length of your bracelet.

You can see Lesley’s white gold links and settings have been soldered together and polished, this is done entirely by hand and to the correct bracelet length for her. Her clasp was soldered in place and the next step was to hand set her birthstones.

Lesley had hand-picked her birthstones from a selection that Louise had sent for her. She chose to place her gemstones in the order of the different generations of her family. Our Mark expertly hand-set her birthstones and welded her safety chain in place. Lesley chose to have a pair of matching moonstone studs made at the same time – because she loved the faceted (cut) moonstone that was going into her bracelet so much!

We really love working on these special pieces. There are so many different layers of meaning and sentiment in these. Each one is made to measure, with your number of family birthstones, from a selection that you can choose from yourself.

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