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Process: Making a Very Special Wedding Band

January 23, 2018

My favorite thing about making jewelry is connecting with people, often in a sentimental way. (Yes, I’m a huge sap). When a piece I’ve made means a lot to someone else, that’s simply a great feeling and genuinely makes me happy. It was such a joy to make my best friend’s wedding band, I thought I’d re-live the process and share it with you here.

I learned a lot in this process and had some really great help and guidance along the way. The photos are mostly quick, in-action snaps on my phone so please forgive the quality. Oh, also add in a lot of torch action that I couldn’t really photograph. Here we go! 

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To keep things economical and learn something new, I started with 24K gold shot that I lowered to 18K. A small amount of copper and sterling silver added to the pure gold lowers the karat while keeping a lovely yellow gold color. 
Once I had an ingot of 18K gold, I formed/rolled it out into a wire of desired width.

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Nexts steps: Measure (twice of course), cut to length, file the ends flat. After that, anneal the metal so that it is more workable and ready to be bent into shape. 

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The ring bender is an awesome tool that speeds up the ring-forming process - as compared to using a mandrel and/or a vice to get the ends to meet. (I actually had no clue this tool existed until very recently! Other jewelers out there - do you have/use this tool??) Though I still used the vice to make sure there is enough tension in the ring for it to solder properly. 

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[Insert more torch action here - soldering]

It's almost looking like a ring now! 

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After hammering it round, I had some help in measuring out the segments of the band that will be the marquise shaped sections and choosing the right files to work with for each step of the way. Then it was time for some filing. Lots of filing. 

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With the filing done, I refined the shape with some flex shaft tools and good ol' fashioned sanding, and the ring was looking really close to ready-for-the-stone-setter state. 

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Finishing touches before going to the stone setter were adding a comfort fit on the inside of the ring using the flex shaft, sanding down/tapering the back side of the ring band for a more delicate feel, and a preliminary polishing.

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Twelve lovely little diamonds were set in this band by a great stone setter in SF.

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I love working with people to create custom jewelry pieces! Do you have a special occasion coming up? Have you imagined a piece of jewelry you can't seem to find anywhere? Let's make it happen together! 

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