Commission: 1 x wedding band in 925 sterling silver, d-shape, approx 5.5mm wide, approx 1.3mm thick, size “P” with high polished finish
Above: 925 sterling silver nuggets. Either bought from your refinery or alloyed by yourself. The 925 stamp on the inside of your ring stand for 92.5% pure silver and the rest is made up of base metals such as copper & nickle. Why not use 100% pure silver? It is to soft and not usable for every-day jewellery items. You need to harden the pure silver by adding other alloys in such as copper.
Above: To get the ring making process going, the sterling silver nuggets must be melted down into a blob, or in this case a bar, thick and wide enough to make your ring.
Above: Once you have your basic bar, it is time to roll it down into a neater square bar to obtain the perfect flat sides and shape for your finished product. To get to the 5.5mm wide and approx 1.2-1.3mm thick band. The square bar needs to be rolled well past the 5.5mm square mark to compensate for the fact that when you roll it flat to 1.2-1.3mm, the more you roll your metal the wider it becomes too.
Above: The square bar is rolled flat to the desired thickness. With knowledge and experience you will hit your commission’s dimensions. It not, you will have to start again or in some cases the metal can be worked down by filing and sanding it down if it is wider than wanted. Here, in the case of a d-shape band you also have to take into consideration that the sides still need to be edged and worked into a rounded or d-shape, so you have to compensate for that by making sure your plate is thicker than 1.3mm at this stage, but must be at the correct width of approx 5.5mm.
Above: Now it is time to cut the flat bar to size keeping in mind your final ring size must be size “P” once it is shaped, soldered, sanded and polished. It is important to take care and cut straight and neatly so that when you bend the ends together that they line up perfectly and flat against each other for a perfect solder.
Above: Once the your plate-ends are perfectly lined up, it is soldered together. With sturdy bands like these it is important to make sure the solders run properly in the inside and outside and sides of the band
Above: The next job is to hammer the misshapen piece of metal into a round ring form. Always taking care not to overwork and put permanent dents on the surface with your hammer. Anneal your metal as soon as it becomes work hardened. At this stage your ring should have a relatively flat top, well bonded together and when lying on a flat surface as above, the sides should be even with no ‘wobbles’. Issues with any of these factors should be addressed before going over to the next stage.
Above: To get the desired d-shape of your ring you need to start filing down the edges of your ring, working evenly, filing around and around on both sides of the ring until both filed sides meet neatly in the center of your band sloping down towards the edge in a rounded shape
Above: Once you have the shape of your band, the process of sanding and polishing must begin. Starting of with a relatively coarse emery paper, approx 320 grit, and work your way up to approx 1200 grit paper. This will ensure a smooth matte finished, blemish-free surface with (as seen in the picture). Visible solder-marks as above must be sanded down untill it is removed or only lightly visible
Above: Once the sanding process is finished it is time to make the polishing motor earn it’s keep. All buffed up the ring is super shiny and ready for the Customer to collect and enjoy for many years to come!