Steps to designing an engagement ring
Imagine walking into a jewelry store and seeing the many marvelous pieces of jewelry. There are collections for every occasion. The most popular event for incredible jewelry is an engagement and a wedding. From movies to celebrity news, engagement rings are the first noticeable things people see. Engagement rings show loved ones how much they have been appreciated and an expression of a promise of lifelong commitment. It’s easy to think that there must be a factory making them by the tens of thousands every day. Like everything else, mass production is a plausible guess, but what goes into making fine jewelry?
History of jewelry
Jewelry making has been around since antiquity. Although adornment might not have looked like today’s, people long ago used feathers, bones, and colored pebbles to beautify themselves. What we consider the top of the line, aesthetically pleasing decoration was used as a day to day tools. According to gemsociety.org, the earliest identification of a necklace was dated about 25,000 years ago. It was a bone necklace discovered in a cave in Monaco.
The same article entitled, Early History of Jewelry: Ancient Times to the 17th Century, mentions the different locations in the world where jewelry was found. For example, in the Mediterranean and Iran circa 3000 to 400 B.C, necklaces, crowns, earrings, and amulets were offered to gods and adorned statues. Other countries such as Egypt, Bahrain, Greece, Italy, and Russia have rich jewelry history.
Jewelry making process back then
Earlier methods of jewelry making used metal work such as granulation and filigree. The granulation technique utilizes small gold balls placed on a metal surface in geometrical designs or patterns, whereas filigree used gold or silver wires to form beautiful works of art. The Egyptians and the ancient Greeks were known for these methods.
Another method used back then that is still implemented today is cloisonné work and casting. Cloisonné is an enameling technique used between the 10th and 12th centuries. This practice was highly favored in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Since the Bronze Age, casting has been used to create different shapes. Metals were melted down and poured into desired molds until hardened.
Making engagement rings today
Matthew Trent, a well-known craftsman in the jewelry industry, says that today’s market is flooded with many channels that give all of the details and options for an engagement ring. In the end, it’s the jeweler’s job to educate, listen, and work with the customer to build a ring that suits their taste and lifestyle. According to an article found on marthastewart.com, he and three other jewelers take us behind the scene in the world of custom-made engagement rings.
Step 1: Meet the client
Since jewelry making is an art, the design starts with the client’s vision. Whether in the form of a drawing or an expressed idea, this is an important step for the jeweler. A general survey is taken about the shape, cut, setting, accent gems, and overall design of the ring. Once all the information is assembled, then the jeweler can move on to step two.
Step 2: Model making
There are two ways that jewelers create models. One way is by hand. A skilled craftsman will make a model out of wax or use different metals to construct a master model. Another technique uses computer-assisted design programs or C.A.D that allow the creation of the tiniest details. Adjustments and specifications can be made as needed. At certain high-end jewelry stores, clients can witness a 3-D model as it is created in real-time. Computer designs can also provide a client with alternatives of the same design. Once the digital specifications are approved, the jeweler moves on to step three.
Step 3: Molding and casting
For this step, the wax is weighed and heated to fit the model created before to perfection. Once accomplished, the mold is cooled and prepared for the metal. The cavity that forms after the wax is melted away, and then the casting process begins. Chloe Di Leo describes this process when she says: “The metal, typically platinum or gold, is then selected, heated, melted, and carefully poured into this cavity, making sure there are no air bubbles and porosity.” This step must be done carefully, so the jeweler will ensure the ring is sturdy, durable, and flawless. No wonder fine jewelry costs as much as it does today.
Step 4: Setting and polishing
During this step, the accent gemstones and the diamond are placed on the metal. This step can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. The time depends on the number of stones on the ring. Certain metals require high heat when being welded by soldering or the use of a laser. A jewelry store in Beavercreek, Ohio is known for jewelry repair and resetting gemstones that have been put out of place.
Once the gemstones and diamonds are set, polishing comes next. The purpose of this stage is clear. The jeweler wants to ensure a smooth, clean, and even finish. During this part, the jeweler also inspects for scratches, dents, and any other imperfections.
Step 5: Cleaning
The final step is straightforward. Steam is usually used to provide the optimum result. The steam can clear the smallest of impurities for an impeccable finish before presenting it to their client. After a final inspection by all parties involved in the creation of the engagement ring, a sparkling keepsake is ready to be worn and enjoyed.
Wearing jewelry has been around for a long time. Diamonds came on the scene relatively later when advanced methods permitted proper cleaning of the popular gem. Before then, Egyptians and Greeks made it possible for modern-day jewelers. The use of their techniques in today’s jewelry-making process makes for beautiful engagement rings.
The jeweler first meets with a client to discuss ideas and design. They then get to work on creating a model by hand or with the aid of a computer-assisted design program. After creating a mold and setting the stones, the ring is inspected, polished, and cleaned for its final presentation. Over time the ring may need maintenance to keep it in great condition. Check out a jewelry store in Beavercreek, Ohio that has a skilled staff who specializes in jewelry repair and custom engagement rings.