Our workshop is regularly asked to turn a customer's own jewellery, perhaps family items that have been kept in a jewellery box unworn for years, into something new that can be worn and enjoyed again. We recently made new wedding bands for two brothers and their spouses from their own family rings. This is the story of how it happens
We were presented with a collection of old inherited wedding rings, some very worn and misshapen, some that had been cut off and damaged, to make four brand new rings, two gents and two ladies. (pictured above)
The rings are placed in a crucible and heated to approximately 1100 degrees Celsius, at which point the gold starts to melt.
The gold is now in a molten state and flowing together as one mass.
The molten gold is now ready to be poured into the casting mould to make an ingot.
Then, it is allowed to cool down.
It's then tipped out and ready for the goldsmiths to start making the new rings.
The gold ingot is then passed through a series of decreasing gauge rolling mills, to form it into a wire.
Every few passes the jeweller must heat the wire until it is red hot, then allowed to cool down slowly. This is called annealing and helps to prevent the metal becoming too brittle to work with.
When the wire is the required width and depth for the style of the 1st ring, is it bent to form a circle with the use of a forming press.
Basic shape of the first ring.
It is then cut off from the wire, as each of the final rings is different. The wire will go back through the rolling mill to alter the shape from a flat to court cross-section, and then the shaping process is repeated for 3 more rings.
The rings are then straightened with the ends aligned before being soldered together.
We now have four, slightly rough looking, basic rings.
Time for a bath, an acid bath, to remove carbon deposits from the surface.
As the engraver will be cutting patterns deeply into the surface, it's left in its rough state. If the customer had wanted a straight polished finish, we would emery with progressively finer grades before buffing and polishing. This is the end of our workshops part on for these rings as the next step will be done by specialist engravers.
The finished rings are back from engraving and what a transformation, three with very different techniques. From left to right, diamond cut, deep laser engraved, traditional hand carving. These designs were chosen from the 100's of choices of wedding bands that we have available in our showroom. Alternatively we can engrave your own design around the ring.