Friday, May 14, 2010

GS: Antique Ring Repair

I have been up to my eyeballs in itty bitty time consuming projects (paperwork, small repairs, plain wedding bands, etc) and not much has been all that photo worthy. BUT I thought this was a worthy repair to share with you all!

Last year used a family diamond to make this sweet engagement ring...

The diamond came out of an engagement ring from the bride-to-be's side of the family. There was much discussion on what to do with the 100+ year old platinum setting. It couldn't be melted down because it had been repaired throughout the years with yellow gold, white gold and possibly some kind of brass or lead and would contaminate the metal in melting. And in the condition it was in, it wasn't wearable.

So, I came up with the idea that when it was time to get married, we would repair it and set a semi precious stone in it and so the bride could give it to her sister. Well, that time came!

The ring had issues... the under gallery of the head was not just damaged, but missing.

Because we used the diamond for the new engagement ring, we had to take all precautions to make sure it wasn't damaged in removal from the antique band. What that means you use a more destructive method to the ring (life over limbs!) to remove the stone unharmed and we were left with no prongs on the head.

So, to repair this I had to work slowly and methodically. The ring is nearly paper thin (especially in the shoulders with the filigree) and filled with random solders that have various melting temps. This makes it really difficult, well, to keep from melting and destroying the ring.

The first step was to repair the under gallery of the head. I had to ball up metal (I used white gold because of the melting temp) and round out the missing area for the ball to fit, then soldered it in using the lowest melting white solder I could get my hands on (so I wouldn't disturb the other soldered areas.) After the 2 white gold balls were soldered in, I filed down on the outside to match the surrounding surface. The balls were left larger on the inside to help create a little more support.

And when that was completed, I added a white gold bezel to the top to hold the Aquamarine...

And from there, I LIGHTLY polished the whole piece (just to shine it up a bit and make the new and old sections somewhat match) but I didn't not refinish the ring because that would take the wonderful aged character away from it. And I finished with setting the Aquamarine... and this is the end result!

A beautiful antique ring that just had a slight makeover. Just helping to restore the beauty that was already there!

1 comment:

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