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Gold Unicorn Signet Rings

Elle and Scott wanted matching signet rings. They had started their new life together in Edinburgh and wanted a unicorn engraved on their signet rings because this is the national animal of Scotland. Keen to start their own family tradition, Elle contacted us and asked if we could cast them for her.

Here is how we cast their signet rings using Lost Wax Casting. We used a rubber mould to make the wax copies that we needed for these signet rings. This rubber mould was created from our ‘Master’ – the original ring that was hand made. The ring is encased in rubber and heated until the rubber melts all around the master. Then it is carefully cut apart and the master is removed.

The recess is used to squirt liquid wax into – to make copies of the master with. We made two wax copies of this master, one for Elle and one for Scott. These wax copies are attached to a ‘sprue’. Think of a simple tree formation, the wax sprue is the trunk and the wax rings are the branches. The sprue is needed to create space for the molten gold to flow into.

The wax tree is encased in a substance called ‘Investment’ this is similar to plaster of paris, a vacuum is used to suck all of the air out and it is left to dry out over night.

Once dry, the investment (with the wax tree inside) is heated in a kiln and the wax melts and runs out of the bottom – it is ‘lost’. Now we have a mould inside of the investment that we can use to create Elle and Scott’s rings.

We heated up the gold to melting point, it melts at 1,064 degrees – very hot! The molten gold is ‘flung’ from the crucible into the signet ring mould very quickly and centrifugal force is used to ensure it floods into every part of the mould.

Everything is now very hot, the investment (with the gold tree inside) is plunged into cold water, it can’t cope with the temperature change and it breaks down. Leaving a gold tree standing proud!

The freshly cast gold needs a bath in some acid to bring the colour out and clean off any investment that remains. The signet rings are cut free from their sprue and are filed and polished smooth and to a high shine, ready for hallmarking and engraving.

Elle loved one particular unicorn, but she wanted him without the beard, we showed her a couple of engraving proof’s to ensure she was completely happy, before any laser engraving was completed.

Elle and Scott were thrilled at how their matching signet rings came out!

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