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Replicating a Lost Family Ring

Kate had two sentimental rings, one had a single diamond in a rubover setting. The other was a three stone comprising of one central sapphire and a pair of diamonds either side set in 18ct yellow gold.

The single stone diamond ring had a platinum band with a rose gold setting for the diamond. Kate had an additional platinum wedding band, she wanted both of these platinum bands incorporated into her new design.

Kate had made a sketch of from her memory, the sketch was of a ring that belonged to her mum who had passed away, sadly the ring had been lost, and Kate wanted to replicate elements of the original design in her new one.

Kate came to our Shaftesbury Design Studio for a consultation with Louise, they sat and talked through different design ideas. Originally Kate had thought that she wanted a single stone ring, but as she had the other two diamonds in a ring that she would never wear, so she came to discuss her options.

Kate decided that she wanted a three stone ring made with her sentimental diamonds, and set with her family platinum. She wanted her design based on her sketch.

Louise carefully unset her diamonds to measure them for the new settings. There wasn’t enough family platinum to make Kate’s entire new ring, so it was agreed to make her settings from new platinum and rework her family platinum into the band.

The best way to get the detail that Kate was after in her settings, was to create a CAD design for her to view and approve or change. Louise showed Kate the photo-realistic images created by CAD (computed Aided Design) of her new settings and asked for feedback.

Kate said – “Oh wowzer Louise!!!!! That looks absolutely fantastic! And just like the original solitaire setting! It’s like you have looked into my brain, it’s absolutely perfect. Stunning. I cannot thank you enough for doing this for me. I actually feel a bit emotional! Thank you so so much.”

After this super positive response from Kate we cast her platinum settings, the purple lines in the CAD image above show where her new platinum would start and finish. Below the purple line is where her family platinum would be reworked into the new band.

Using CAD and Lost Wax Casting to make her settings give the strongest profile for the metal. Casting as one piece means there isn’t lots of solder holding the individual pieces together. We 3D print a wax copy of her settings and use the ancient art of Lost Wax Casting to make the settings.

The wax is encased with a substance similar to plaster of paris and left to dry out. Then it’s heated and the wax runs out of the bottom and is ‘lost’. The molten platinum is ‘thrown’ into the recess, and then plunged into cold water. The plaster can’t cope with the temperature change and it breaks down, leaving a platinum ‘tree’ standing proud.

Freshly cast platinum needs to be filed, sandpapered and polished to a high shine. This takes time achieve, its a time consuming job because of the amount of detail in the settings. Once this is finished, it was time to melt her two platinum bands together and roll out one new band ‘shank’ for her ring.

Nick did such a great job with this, he then expertly claw set her diamonds into place, we hallmarked her ring and after final clean and polish, it was ready for Kate to come and collect.

This is such a lovely story about turning old jewellery into new. Taking old gold or platinum and making it into new jewellery that you will wear everyday what we specialise in.

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