Ruby & sterling
May 5, 2013
A couple of weeks ago we had a stone vendor come in to class, and he had the most beautiful ruby teardrop. It had to be mine, no two ways about it. I originally was planning to do something I’ve had on my Pinterest boards — small, simple and clean.
[edit: it looks like my Pinterest plugin has died…another one for the bug list!]
But when I went to start the work, I realized — the ruby wasn’t as small as it was in my mind’s eye. Baby has a belly! And it would knock the balance of the ring off if I set it horizontally. Change of plans. Kind of a 180, actually — I went from a simple horizontal tube setting on a slim, hammered band to a more complicated tube setting, set vertically on a triple band of beadwire sandwiching half-round wire.
And. I. Love. It. It had its challenges — the beadwire kept snapping as I worked it, soldering it all together required more heat control than I have because of that, and cutting the seat in the band for the tube setting took forever. But it fits perfectly and it’s comfortable (we were worried that the band would be too thick with the liner I used) and I swear, the open back of the tube setting means the ruby practically glows.
I started by rolling down a piece of 18 gauge sheet to 26 gauge, which I used to form the lining for the ring shank.
I then made three rings — two of beadwire, and one of half-round wire — that fit the profile of the 26-gauge lining. Those were then soldered onto the lining (easier than it sounds…much, much easier), which then spent ages in the pickle.
While the shank was pickling, I did battle with the belly on that ruby to form an outer bezel that FIT. Forming the inner bezel for the tube was comparatively easier, and soldering the whole thing together and making it look nice was a cakewalk.
Then I cut a seat in the shank for the tube setting, soldered the whole thing together, did a pre-polish and set the ruby before doing a final polish.
And then I did a happy dance. :D