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How Go Create A Gold Ring

Now gold is available to all and sums up today's bling society. As early as 2000BC Egyptian kings and queens adorn themselves in golden jewellery encrusted with precious gems. When the Spanish sailed to the new world in 1492 they discovered stunning Mayan and Aztec masterpieces, still considered today to be the best examples of precious metal work.

Today elaborate gold jewellery and precious gems are beyond the reach of the average person except for the diamond ring, still the customary symbol of engagements.

The client and the jewellery designer first decide how the ring will look. The designer then measures the clients finger to determine the ring size. He then sketches out the design they've agreed upon. In this case a grooved band with 3 diamonds and a model maker works with a special carving wax. Using a compass he measures off and marks the width of the band then carefully saws it off.

With a precise gauge the model maker puts the carving on a stick with ring size markings called the mandrel. He adjusts his compass to the ring size then scores the finger hole on the block of wax. He then takes his drill and carefully carves out the hole he scored. The wax is ground off from the outside of the band, using the compass again the middle of the band is scored and a groove marked. Then using a very fine drill bit the groove is carved out. With a file the grooves are refined and the curves of the ring are shaped according to the design.

After putting wax prongs on the band a wax stem is attached to the model. The stem is then positioned onto the base of the cylinder that the jeweller will use to cast the ring. The base goes onto the platform of a vacuum machine. The jeweller puts a cylinder on top of the base then pours in a special plaster. The vacuum sucks all the air out of the plaster, this is a key part of the process because if any air bubbles remain the finished ring will be out of shape. In less than a minute the vacuuming is done and the cylinder goes into the furnace.

The wax model evaporates leaving a void the exact shape of the ring in the hardened plaster. Next, they melt the gold. The gold content of jewellery is measured by karat. The lower the karat, the less gold and the more alloy using cheaper metals such as nickel, silver and copper. After 5 hours the cylinder comes out of the furnace and goes into the casting machine. The machine spins for about a minute. The centrifugal force shoots the liquefied gold into the plaster mould. The jeweller then immerses the cylinder in cold water. This cools the gold and makes the plaster disintegrate. What's left is the cast gold ring, but its surface is rough so it's on to the finishing process.

The jeweller saws off the stem and gets to work. He files and grinds the ring until the surface is smooth. Then he stamps on his trademark and the karat marking. The ring is hammered on the mandrel to make it perfectly round. The jeweller then hands it over to a polishing specialist. The polisher runs the ring against a series of buffing wheels until it's bright and shiny. The polisher then passes it on to a gemstone setter.

The setter straightens the prongs that will hold the diamonds, then with a delicate drill bit he carefully carves out the inside of the prongs. The edges of the diamonds will fit directly into these slots. He readjusts the prongs then sets the diamonds making sure the prongs hold them down securely.

For this design a one carat diamond in the middle and a half carat diamond on each side is used. The jeweller then immerses the finished ring into the ultrasonic machine. The vibrations in the water penetrate every nook and cranny washing the ring. Finally the ring is placed under a jet of hot steam to blast away any remaining residue. And there you are. With the ring like that who wouldn't say "I do"

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