Beyond the display windows of a jewelry store where flashy pieces are exhibited, have you ever wondered what really goes on in a workshop to make them?
Today, I’m going to bring you behind the scenes to give you a better idea about how a halo diamond ring is made in the jeweler’s workshop.
Firstly, it takes a lot of dedication, craftsmanship, and patience to create the perfect ring from scratch. From a consumer’s point of view, the entire jewelry buying process involves selecting a metal for the band, choosing a stone, and then the type of setting to mount the diamond.
While it ends there for the consumer, this starts a series of backend processes as the jeweler will then go on to create the ring based on the chosen characteristics.
Do note that I am describing a general process for creating a piece of diamond jewelry here. The process may differ slightly depending on a variety of factors such as the metal type, the stone used, how the gem is to be mounted, the setting design, skill and craftsmanship of the jeweler.
The first thing to do is to create the band from a piece of metal bar (e.g. platinum or white gold). A bending machine is used to work the metal bar into a circular shape that is based on the wearer’s finger size.
The next step is to close up the band by soldering. To create consistency in the entire ring, a filler made of the same material as the metal bar is used for soldering. This solder fills up the gap where two ends of the bar meet to create a complete circular bar. Flux paste is also applied to the bar to prevent it from being oxidized under the high temperatures.
After soldering the band, it is placed in a weak acidic solution to erode and remove any excess flux away. This is also the stage at which the band is rounded out. The ring is then checked for the correct size and if needed, adjustments are made to achieve the required size. At this stage, the band is smoothly formed and can even be used as a simple wedding band after it is polished.
Depending on the type of setting, the process may be a little different.
For this particular type of ring (see image below), a left-over piece of the bar is made into an arc and is flush fitted with the band’s circumference. The ends of the arc are thinned out by hammering it on a mandrel. Flux paste is then re-applied over the entire band and the arc before they are soldered together.
A piece of the left-over metal bar is rolled into a loop and placed into an oval setting punch. Once punched, the metal will be shaped into a conical shape which will be used to hold the diamond. Next, this gold cup has to be fitted into the band to form part of the final ring.
A jeweler’s saw is used to create a wedge in the band where the cup will be fixed. The cup is then aligned with the band and the two are soldered together using small specks of gold as filling. After soldering, the inside curve is smoothened out to remove any remaining rough edges.
To set the gem, the ring is first placed in a thermoset plastic and held securely in a ball clamp. A small seat for the stone is then carved out in the cup. Thereafter, the prongs are pressed downwards onto the diamond to grip it in place using a special tool.
After removing the thermoplastic material, the ring is placed into hot water and washed thoroughly. The last step is to perform touch-ups and to polish the ring to give it a nice luster. For white gold rings, the ring goes through another step of rhodium plating to give it a nice metallic sheen.