Register for our Exclusive Events to be invited as a VIP, these events are not open to the public.

Vine Leaves Pendant

Kate had four beautiful gemstones that were given to her by her brother. She had a square cushion cut pink gem, a round green gem, an oval yellow gem, and an oval brown gem. These four gems complimented each other as a set really nicely.

Kate and Louise discussed some jewellery different options, they talked through the ideas of a vine leaf ring but dismissed this because the gems are quite big and Kate has little hands. It would have been a squeeze to fit these gems into a decent ring design.

Louise suggested a pendant with vine leaves intertwined around her gemstones, with some gems in fixed settings and some dangling freely – to create movement and sparkle. Kate liked the idea of a circle pendant encapsulating her gems. Louise showed her a rough outline sketch of an idea, before showing Kate a full CAD image.

You can see Louise’s original outline sketch imported into CAD (Computer Aided Design), Kate’s gemstones are to scale and in their new settings. The two gems in the red rings above are the two gems that will dangle freely.

The beginnings of Kate’s pendant are emerging below, after checking the initial design, Louise asked Kate about the placement of the vine leaves. Kate’s preference was that these were placed around the outside of her gemstones. You can see the difference that adding these small, detailed vine leaves makes. The pendant immediately looks and feels far more organic.

Louise felt that the design needed one more vine leaf in the middle to create a central focal point. This additional fifth vine leaf gives the pendant balance and symmetry, whilst retaining Kate’s original design brief of keeping it natural and organic.

This powerful computer design program allows us to see different views of our jewellery. The grey image below shows the pendant as a finished piece, the second image shows how this pendant will be cast – in five different pieces. The third image shows a side view of the gemstones above their individual made-to-measure settings, and then the main pendant in green at the bottom.

Each individual setting was cast in it’s own right (there are four of them), and then the main vine leaf pendant as the final piece. This is called a five piece cast – because in total there are five components that make up this pendant. The reason for this is two fold; firstly it allows our goldsmiths to get their tools inside all of the nooks and crannies for polishing – prior to assembly, and secondly, the two settings that are going to dangle freely need to be hung and then soldered by hand.

The images above are called renders, these are photo-realistic images of what the finished piece will look like. You can see all angles of the pendant including the back. At this point, the design can be changed and modified before any precious metals are cast. We can also 3D print a resin copy if you want to see your design in real life – before casting.

Above is Kate’s freshly cast rose gold, we 3D printed a wax from her CAD file and used the ancient art of Lost Wax Casting to create her piece.

There is a slight fingerprint texture to freshly cast gold that is left over from casting. This needs to be ‘cleaned up’ – our Mark used needle files, different grits of very fine sandpaper and our polishing wheel to bring the gold up to a high shine. Louise and Mark agreed to leave a very slight texture to the vines and leaves to give them a more natural feel. The settings, outer circle and bail (part that the chain slides through) were all polished up to a high shine.

Each setting has a ‘sprue’ on the side; this is where the molten gold flowed into the mould, this sprue needs removing so that the settings can fit perfectly into their exacting spaces.

You can see the difference between images one and two above. The first image shows the freshly cast rose gold with the settings simply placed where they should go. The second image shows the pendant after it had been ‘cleaned up’ – it’s much shinier and the sprue’s from the settings have been removed. All four settings are now soldered exactly where they should be, with two of them hanging freely.

It was time for Marcelo to set Kate’s gemstones in a rubover style of setting (also called bezel setting). Each gem fits into it’s made-to-measure setting perfectly, Marcelo expertly ‘rubbed’ the gold over the outer edge of the gemstones, securing them in place.

After a final hand polish by Mark, a dip in the ultrasonic to remove the polish, and a quick blow-dry, this pendant was ready to go home!

It was a complete delight to deliver this bespoke pendant to Kate, designed with her input, around her own sentimental gemstones, featuring winding vine leaves in rose gold, with a natural and organic feel.

Email Sign up

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.