Magnified Crown

August 12, 2011

Before I start, I wanted to pat myself on the back by putting out my 20th blog. Other then that I just went to check the gold price today and thank god it went down $48 from yesterday. It now sits on $1748 an ounce. That’s still ridiculous. The rise of gold prices is chipping away at any healthy comeback from this recession. Don’t get me started on diamond prices. I have a buddy of mine that works for a diamond dealer in downtown and he is not loving life on Friday’s anymore. I’m at his pad knocking down a few beers on a Thursday night and he gets on his phone and checks to see if the diamond prices have changed. Every time it goes up, Friday morning, he’s back in the office and adjusting his computer system to the current price change. For people who have invested in diamonds and gold years ago, yes, it’s great. For people who have old stock and have bought diamonds at older and cheaper prices, it’s amazing. But, once you’ve sold off your 1ct D VS1 triple X and made great money on it, out of your old stock, this is where the problem comes in. You’re forced to buy it at the current market price.

Back to my gold rant. I had a few estimates I gave out a few weeks ago at a different gold price for some special orders in the works.  I had to make the call to my customers that if the price of gold continues to rise, the estimate will have to change. I told them to notify their customers of the current situation. In the span of a month, gold has risen $300. Everything is going up and when my prices go up to keep up with current costs, please understand why. The moral of this story is this: Silver is a cheaper, up and coming solution for all your jewelry needs. The bar has risen for silver to fill the void left by the sky-high prices of gold, platinum, and diamonds.

For the past month I received calls for carving jobs. Weird right? The first call was to replace this Caesar head carving out of a 14x12mm oval shaped onyx.

Poor guy never had a chance.

This one has more details and better lighting.

Fast forward a month into the job. With some trial and error and some inspired German engineering, you end up with this bad boy.

It came out great! Thank god. This was a nightmare of a job but it finally paid off. The amount of time and labor that was put into it was immense.

I want to start incorporating some of my special order work and show off the high quality craftsmanship that goes into our work. From the jewelry side of things to the gem cutting and inlay lapidary world, I’ll stick true to my blogs name and always show off some sort of gem cutting or inlay work that goes into a piece of jewelry I’ve made.

A got an email from a customer wanting me to match a 14 karat yellow gold ring but add my own touches to it. They also wanted a solid piece of onyx wrapping around the shank. Physically impossible right? When you see the picture you’ll think it’s impossible. I like to keep some things secret in order to protect my technique. So with this ring I’ll tell you what I did but won’t show you the steps. Inside the bezel, they wanted an old school skull and bones look. They also wanted it to be magnified. They wanted a high cabbed stone with free form facets. They also wanted the ring to have a rough finish and the onyx inside the shank to have a rough finish as well. If you haven’t pictured it yet, they wanted it to look like it came out of a treasure chest.

And here it is! This is a top view of the free formed Quartz I cut on top of this bezel. I used around the skull some black enamel to bring out the skull and bones image.

Here’s a side view of the piece. Notice the rough finish look and notice how thick the onyx is. It almost takes up most of the shank.

Here’s another look at the bottom of the shank. Notice the bevel tips on the shank that gives it different levels.

I’m in love with this shank. I mean, to some people, it’s not a big deal ring but the way this onyx sits in the shank flush is very difficult to pull off. I personally like the whole design of this ring.

This was the view I wanted to show you. Notice how the shank is one big circle. How did I get the onyx to sit inside the shank? I cast 2 pieces separately and cut the onyx accordingly to the shank. I Slid it in and soldered the other piece of the shank. Then I filed it down to size. It’s a lot of hard work but well worth it when the product comes out like it did.

And here’s another top view look with a better shot of the skull and bones guy popping out of the free formed Quartz I cut. It came out great and everyone was happy at the end of this project.

My next blog will feature a nice breakdown of a special, ‘one of a kind’, cut I designed that sort of looks like a shield. It might involve diamond bezels around this ‘shield’ cut, but who knows. Till next time..

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