Jade Solitaire Ring

10 Mar

The jade ring!  I photograghed it in progress.

1

Creating the bezel. It’s roughly the right height, and now I’m cutting and filing it to the right circumference (above).

2

Cut and filed so the two ends will be a tight fit.  I’ve sanded the ends so they are clean for the solder.

3

Soldered. Now it needs to go into the pickle to remove oxidation.  Oxidation must be removed before more soldering, or the surface will not take the solder.   Pickling removes oxidation without removing gold.

4

While the bezel is in the pickle, I work on the band for the ring.   I hammer in one direction, then anneal, then hammer the other.  I do this until the bezel is the right gauge and shape.

5

Annealing (above) is necessary to reduce the stress on the gold.  As gold is worked,  its crystalline structure becomes fractured.  If the metal is worked too long  it will crack.  Annealing is the process of heating the metal to a high enough temperature that the crystals reform.   The white material is pumice.

6

The band is formed into shape, and it’s gone in the pickle.  I’m ready to solder the bezel to its base.  I make sure the bezel fits the stone, and all edges are clean and smooth.  The syringe holds paste solder.  It’s a bit more expensive than standard solder, but I feel it allows me to work more precisely.

7

Bezel on backing, with solder at its base.  For me, this is the trickiest part of a ring!  I often ruin things at this stage by getting things a bit too hot and melty, and then I have to yell really loudly.  You can see the bezel has become a bit misshapen.  Right before I took this picture I was pressing down on it to ensure a tight connection, and at such a high temperature the metal was a bit malleable.  Once it cools I will need to be sure it is set in the right shape.

9 The bezel shape was sound after a bit of  fine tuning.  I cut it from its backing, and sanded and pickled it.  After cutting, forming, and sanding the band, I soldered it to the bezel. Before I go further, I need to even out the top of the bezel, leaving enough gold to press over the stone to hold it in.

10

Pickled, and then added a gold granule on the top of both sides of the band where it joins with the bezel.

11

The jade is set, and now the ring is ready to be finished.

20090310_2894

Finished.  First, I gave this ring a satin, sanded finish, and it just didn’t sing for me.  The high-polish was a much, much better choice, and pulled everything together.

www.vakadesign.com

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5 Responses to “Jade Solitaire Ring”

  1. Carla June 11, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Finally someone bought this ring and I can stop staring at it!

    • vakadesign June 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

      I could make another just for you 😉

  2. Carla May 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    sweet sweet ring ❤

  3. vakadesign March 11, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you, Galina!

  4. Galina March 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    Hey Katie,

    Thanks for sharing your work process with the world! It’s fascinating, and the ring is wonderful.

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