A customer wanted to use some jewelry she inherited from her parents and grandparents. She wanted a pendant using parts of their gold and diamonds. She wanted to use as many of the diamonds as she could. She brought a lot of jewelry with her at our sit down. We chose the following pieces.
The old jewelry
A pair of gold wedding bands.
A wedding set consisting of various sized diamonds.
Designing with the customer
We began the process of designing after determining from her other jewelry and discussing what she liked and why. She liked simple but flowing shapes, and she settled on the design at the top right.
Changing old to new
I began by rolling the heavier of the two wedding bands through a mill, and then changed the shape through forging.
I soldered the form together and cut off the top piece.
Putting in the heirloom diamonds
Here you see it set with 5 of the largest diamonds, none of which were very large, ranging in size from 1 pointers to a 3 pointer. To give you an idea, there are 100 points in a carat stone. I made a generous hidden bail on the back from one of the rings in the diamond wedding set, because she wanted to wear it with a variety of chains she already had, including an omega.
She's a very petite lady and I had to be careful not to make the pendant too large, and I didn't want to gild the lily, so I didn't use all the diamonds. Her other wedding band and the extra diamonds were returned to her. Maybe she'll want me to make her a pair of earrings in the future.
Again, not professional photos, just shots on the bench as I went along making the piece.
If you've enjoyed the step-by-step story of how a piece of jewelry is made, look for similar stories in the "Making Jewelry Storybook" sections.
Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak