Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Simple Repair

This ring was originally  brought in to the shoppe with a simple complaint. There was a prong that was catching on "things". When I originally looked at the ring, I saw there were prongs that had moved off center of several of the stones. It was just a simple repair to do. All I had to do was reallign the prongs and make sure all of them were placed securely down on top of the stones. Once I cleaned it, I inspected  it closer and realized that the ring was broken in the gallery area. You can see the break in the close up photo above. 
 Once I recieved approval for the added repair, I soldered a piece of metal into the break of the ring.

 Then I pulled out my handy dandy round file to reshape the metal to match the rest of the gallery area. Below you can see the repair completed with the properly alligned prongs, and the ring rounded back out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Family Treasure

Last month one of my favorite customers brought this family heirloom into the shoppe. Her mother had it made back in the 1900s. (That seems so historic doesn't it?)

My client wanted to have the bracelet updated
with less bulk and less weight. She knew exactly
what she wanted even down to the new toggle.
You will notice the coin on the very left is an additional one she brought for me to add to the bracelet.

I removed the bezels from each coin and used a jump ring soldered at the top of each coin to attach them to the bracelet. I used a hard solder to do this as it is much stronger and more secure than using easy solder The coins are all 14kt gold and from the mid-late 1800s to the mid 1900s.

I weighed bracelet before the repair and then after the repair. I have scratched my head several times trying to figure out why there wasn't much change in the weight. As I am typing this I am reminded that the extra gold coin's weight added to the weight of the restyled bracelet. Thus the slight change in weight.

I don't know if you can read this weight is in dwt. A pennyweight (dwt) is a unit of mass. Jewelers use the pennyweight in their calculations for the necessary amount of precious metals in casting items using the lost-wax casting process. It is the common weight used in the valuation of  precious metals. While "dwt" is the most common abbreviation for pennyweight (as "d" was the abbreviation for "penny" in the pre-decimalisation British system), some sources list "pwt" as an alternative.I

If you will look closely at the finished bracelet, you will see I added a security chain for my customer's piece of mind and my very own piece of mind, as this piece truly is a treasure.

Once I was able to do a restoration polish on the bracelet and coins the piece turn out stunning! My customer loved it! ... and I loved that my customer loved it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

December 9, 1987

That is the post mark date on a package that finally arrived today! Not that the post office had it all this time , but that it was bought for us way back then, and then held in storage. The man who bought it and the man who stored it had every intention of using it at one time. Actually the gentleman we bought it from did not even know what was in the box.

We just bought a lapidary business yesterday. The man we bought it from, bought the business  and put it in storage, and never once used any part of it. When we originally went to look at what was available. I saw this box:


I could not believe this box set unopened all these years! I wanted to open it while we were looking at the equipment. It wasn't my box so I kept my mouth shut and tried to not let the "wondering" control me.

I so patiently waited Wes to unload his "stash" of goodies off his pick up. I found my handy dandy box opener see it in the bottom left corner of the picture? I am so proud of myself. I have had that one for over a year and have not lost it yet. Well, back to the box.

So very carefully and slooooooowly he opened the box.......

He is the proud owner of a brand new 1987 Lortone Rock Tumbler! What more could a man ask for??
I have never used one of these, but I have a feeling it will be well used by my wonderful Mr. Fossilman!

I hear him in the back room "romancing the stones" He is oooohing and ahhhing over them as he is giving them each a bath. It has been almost twenty five years since they have been cleaned. I sure hope we get to go home at a decent hour tonight!

So there you have it! The mystery of the unopened package mailed oh so long ago! Thank you Mr. Oler for buying it for us and thank you Perry for storing it for us all these years!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wedding Bands

These bands go with the engagement ring I posted earlier this month.
The couple chose to use their birthstones with diamonds for their wedding bands.
The Sapphire and diamond one of course, matches the  engagement ring.

Here is a close up of the Sapphire and Diamond band. The sapphires are so brilliant in their color. You just want to gaze at both the rings (engagement and band) together, without interruption.
Nathan, you did VERY VERY GOOD!

The Pariaba Tourmaline and Diamond are for the groom. I think this ring is one of the most beautiful man's wedding bands that I have ever seen. The colors of thetourmaline, the diamonds and the color of the metal make this piece breathtaking for me.

You will also need to understand that this color is one of my two all time favorite colors.I know that all three of these rings will be "show stoppers" They are breathtakingly beautiful!
I want to show a picture of the engagement ring on the bride's finger.

August 6th is just around the corner! It won't be long until these rings of covenant are worn continually for at least the next 50 years!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!

When my children were little, the word pretty was used by them instead of the word jewelry. So anytime I had jewelry on that caught their eye, I heard, "pretty!".

This is an engagement ring  was made especially for a lady that I have known for the last 12+ years.She is such a wonderful  person. I was so excited and honored to be chosen the jeweler of choice by her fiance' to make her engagement ring.

Now you will see why I call this piece "Pretty". It will definitely catch the eye of anyone that gets glimpse of it.

We (He and I) spent quite a few hours searching for the perfect stone! We found it! Here it is!
This is a Gemological Institute of America graded stone. It has a serial number engraved into the girdle of the stone. This photograph is magnified several times over. You can see that it is a beautiful stone. The GIA report states that the color is a F and is very slightly included. Meaning that with the naked eye you can not see any inclusion at all.  The F color is very very favorable. Most diamonds in the market are H and lower on the alphabet scale. This one is two color grades better than "normal". I would love to have a stone  this size and color in my personal collection.

Her honey wanted to add natural blue sapphires to the engagement ring. This is what he decided on.

We ordered two perfectly matched round stones to set on each side of the diamond. These stones are phenomenally colored and their quality is very high!

This is what the ring looks like now... with the exception it is finally on her finger and now it is catching everyone's eye and time and time again.... she is hearing Pretty! Pretty!  Pretty!

Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!

Congratulations Nathan and Lynette!
May you be as happy as you have always dreamed you would be!

Monday, February 21, 2011

One of my All-Time favorite pieces!


Last month I had a new client couple come in to the shoppe.  They are still fairly new to the area. They had been sent to me by a personal reference. I don't believe they told me who sent them, but God bless whoever did! They brought in a piece of jewelry for repair, plus a few vintage pieces that are very nice. There also was a few pieces that they were ready to do something different with.

After a few visits, I got to know this sweet lady a little better. I found out that she is musically gifted and loves to sing. I could see the passion of this great love in her eyes.  They began to glaze over with lofty thoughts, as I believe mine do when I talk about jewelry.  She had asked me during one of her earlier visits if I had any musical pendants in the shoppe. I had a couple ordered, but none in stock at that time.

When she came in to pick up her piece  I had repaired, I pulled this sterling silver treble cleft that I had just gotten in. It was pretty, but not what
her heart truly wanted. We visited a little more then I suggested that I build her what she wanted
with a couple of the pieces she was ready to
let go of. I would use the sterling silver piece as a guide to work by. It was not to be identical, but similar. She also wanted to use one of her diamonds in the bottom part of the pendant.

She had two different colored gold pieces to work with so I suggested making the piece two-toned. That would make the piece more versatile, being able to be worn with other pieces of either color of gold.

The first thing I did after cleaning each of the pieces thoroughly was to take them apart. Then I had to find the parts that would work into what I needed it to do size wise.  After annealing the metal pieces, I bent them in the shape that I needed them to be. (Here I go again, showing parts that do not look beautiful, but I do want to share the process.)  I had thought that the round jump ring would work to hold the head for the diamond. Once I attached it,

I did not like it, so off it came immediately! I decided to bur an indention in the thicker part of the white gold to attach the head to. I like that look much better. It seems so much more protected and secure.

The bottom curve of the treble cleft, was the most challenging part. Getting everything to fit and line up was abit more detailed than it looks. Really! I had to file and indention into the white gold where the yellow gold was to lay on top of.  Once I had the indention filed, I soldered one end of the swirl to the center part of the treble cleft. Once it was clean, I used my flat end pliers to secure the yellow gold into the crevice of the white gold. Then I corrected the curve in the swirl. There very well may be proper names for the different parts of the treble cleft. I do not know.  Please excuse my ignorance if there is.
Here you see where I have attached the head for the diamond and the left part of the swirl. I finished off with the top part of the treble cleft marrying the two metals together into one piece.

I was so, excited to see the result of the marriage, that once I cleaned it in acid, I had had to finish the piece off immediately. I could not wait until the next day! I did a pre-polish on the piece before setting the diamond. Then I put a high polish on the whole piece. It turned out absolutely delightful!

I love the piece, yet the best part of it is that her     
honey was pleased with. it and commented so
kindly on it when he picked it up. I am not sure
how much of a surprise it was,  when he gave it to
her. She called me shortly after he picked it up,
She was thrilled with the results. It made my heart smile to have my craft so appreciated. This couple is good for anyone's ego.

This last picture does not do the pendant justice. The play between the two metals is like beautiful music. It flows perfectly together  making a beautiful melody of metal.

 Yes indeed I do love this piece, but what appreciate the most in all of this, is the new friendship the Lord has brought into my life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Look what I have aquired!

I am so excited!
I am not sure what all I am going to do with them, but I am sure I will have fun doing it!

On the left are hand carved shell cameos.  They shell is carved away from the focal
leaving a raised focal. On the right are intaglios. They are carved out of stone leaving
the focal to be below the surface of the stone. So in essence, it is the reverse of a cameo.

I have personally fallen in love with the cameo of the little girl and the sheep. I keep thinking
it would be such a lovely ring and a constant reminder of my Shepherd.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my new find!