Instructables

Handmade Platinum engagement rings

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Picture of Handmade Platinum engagement rings
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Since my day job is making jewelry I figured I'd show a few engagement rings I've made. These are entirely hand made from Platinum.

The first ring was an especially challenging job as the opening in the the side of the ring is only 8mm wide. The vine sections are made from fourteen separate Platinum pieces. Platinum wire that is .07mm thick (about .003 inch) is used for the vines and the leaves were cut from Platinum sheet, hand engraved and welded to the vine sections. The assembled vine sections were then inserted into the 8mm wide opening and then welded into place from the back side. It's a very small ring- to put in in perspective the side stones on the top of the ring are 1mm in diameter.

The next two rings are entirely made from Platinum sheet and wire- no castings were used and there are over forty soldered joints in each ring. To make rings like these I start with the center head by forming the prongs and gallery wires, bending them to shape and joining them together. The prongs and gallery wires for the side stones are then added, paying close attention to the stone spacing. The ring shank is then hand forged, shaped and attached to the head assembly. The ring is then pre polished and the stones are set and then the detail work/hand engraving is done, followed by the final polish.

One of my happiest moments at work was when a woman picked up her custom ring and turned to her little girl and said "One day this will be yours."

You certainly seem to have a gifted pair of hands, to produce such diamond rings with such detail is very difficult. Thanks for showing us your capabilities.

Honus (author)  AndrewCampbell4 months ago
Thank you!
jthej5 months ago

I do see the seams. Sorry for busting your chops. I some how ended up on this site and saw the work which is nice. So many people say they do hand work in platinum and simply they don't. Too many people today think customizing is buying a shank then putting the appropriate head on for the customers stone and say the ring has been customized!! Suggestion, with platinum, you don't have to do a lot of pre polish, just keep everything clean along the way. Finishing difficult places can be done with polishing stones and a fine burnisher similar to what a dentist uses. The engraving on the shank should be either done at the end or should be touched up at the very end (including beading) to make it "pop". For "bright" cuts with the engraver, after sharpening, polish the graver tip on high quality crocus cloth. After you get the hang of it, your graver makes really bright cuts that are quite beautiful. Nice job.

Honus (author)  jthej5 months ago

We joke about that all the time at my work. I really dislike the term "customized" (as does the other jeweler I work with.) Buying pre made parts from a supplier and soldering them together isn't true custom work- it's assembly work. There's nothing wrong with that if that's what someone wants but it's not the same thing as true custom work. There's also a big difference between "hand made" and "hand fabricated." Hand fab jobs for me mean the entire piece is fabricated from sheet and wire metal stock- no castings or pre formed parts are used. I used to do a lot more hand fab jobs than I do today. This ring is what I would call a hand made custom ring but it most certainly is not a hand fab job-

http://www.instructables.com/id/Platinum-engagement-ring-from-CAD-to-finish/

I've never used crocus cloth to polish graver tips before. I've only used a ceramic wheel with a diamond spray. Thanks for the tip- I'll have to try that out. When doing hand fab platinum jobs I typically only pre polish the areas that will be hard to access later. I'll also often use a split lap to get the sides of a ring nice and flat before soldering heads on so I can get a really nice final polish later, especially on designs that have a halo style setting since it can be really difficult to access the area under the halo once it's attached to the ring shank.

I made the two rings in the lower pics around fifteen years ago and that was probably the first hand engraved ring shank I had ever done- lol. If you want to see some really amazing engraving look at the work done by Amayak Stepanyan. I met him a while back and got to see some of his work up close in person and it's truly amazing. I'd love to take one of his classes. Super nice guy too.

jthej5 months ago

I was curios because under the rings and inside the ring in the three lower pictures, I don't see either saw blade marks or file marks only what looks like casting porosity. On the sides I don't see typical bright cuts which you would have if it were done with engravers, so I am curious how you made it with out filing or sawing or engraving?? Thanks!

Honus (author)  jthej5 months ago
Both of the three stone rings shown in the three lower pictures were entirely hand fabricated from sheet and wire stock- no castings were used. The ring shanks were hand forged from square stock. To make the heads I cut a plate for the bottom and curved it and then fabricated the heads from wire stock. The openings on the bottom plate were cut out using a saw with a 4/0 saw blade and then I cut notches to fit the prongs- if you look close at the photo that shows the bottom inside of the ring you can see the solder joints where the shank and prongs are attached. I typically use a 1700 Platinum solder for this operation. The small curved sections in the sides of the heads are made from wire and are then added in. All of the engraving work on the sides of the ring in the bottom photo was done by hand using gravers. The bead work on the sides of the head is done by hand using a millgrain wheel and beading tool.

The reason you don't see typical bright cuts or file marks or saw blade marks is because of the finishing/polishing work I do as I construct the ring. When hand fabricating with Platinum I do an awful lot of pre polishing before I solder joints.
jthej Honus5 months ago
When I look at the center ring and trough the openings in the bottom center head, I don't sew saw marks or file marks so what has caused all the porosity? I am curious. Thanks!
Honus (author)  jthej5 months ago

That's not porosity from casting- I can assure you that bottom section was made from a flat sheet of Platinum rolled in a rolling mill. It could be that is polishing compound. After rolling the piece out it was curved to match the inside ring size dimension. Then the cutouts were cut with a saw blade, cleaned up with a knife edge graver and then polished using a round toothpick loaded with Platinum polishing compound.

I have a custom hand fab Platinum coming up soon at work- the entire ring will be made from sheet and wire. I'll be happy to document the entire process from start to finish so you can see how it's done.

jthej5 months ago

A question please, how do you describe the parameters of "hand made"? Does it include casting or does it have to be100% hand formed and saw piercing every opening in the metal and 100% hand engraving every detail and relief cutting for deapth in the filligree? Thanks!

Honus (author)  jthej5 months ago
Handmade for me means the item was made by human hands using either hand tools or machine tools. Casting is usually done by a human using an induction casting machine or centrifugal casting machine- that is to say a human operates the machine just like a human would operate a table saw. Very few jewelers have the ability to do quality Platinum casting in house so the job of creating the raw casting is usually farmed out to a facility that specializes in that process. Sometimes I will hand forge a Platinum ring vs. having it cast- a process known as hand fabrication. All of the detail work is done by hand- cleaning up the casting, cutting seats for the stones, engraving, stone setting and polishing.
mishyoyo7 months ago
ive never seen such beautiful craftsmanship!! :)
Honus (author)  mishyoyo7 months ago
Thank you!!
lukish1 year ago
Since you have much better tools/materials/skills than me, could you try making a puzzle ring like the one I made? Also, please tell me what type of silver wire would be good for this project.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-Homemade-4-Band-Puzzle-Ring/
Honus (author)  lukish1 year ago
Sorry for the late reply! Puzzle rings are pretty common- I'm not sure it would be worth it for me to make one. I'd use Sterling Silver wire to make a ring like that. Fine Silver would be too soft.
lukish Honus1 year ago
Thanks for the tip. Do you have any links to where I can buy Sterling Silver?
Honus (author)  lukish1 year ago
lukish Honus1 year ago
Thanks. Please tell me what hardness and gauge I should buy (half-hard?) because my grandma wants me to make her one and I want a new one for myself as well. Thanks in advance.
Honus (author)  lukish1 year ago
I can't tell you the gauge- that depends on how you want to make the ring look so that's up to you. There is a wire gauge chart here that shows gauge to mm conversion. I don't think I would use anything smaller than 14 gauge.
http://www.powerwerx.com/wiregauge.asp

Half hard wire is fine.
lukish Honus1 year ago
Thanks a lot! Just gotta buy some wire now.
Honus (author) 1 year ago
Here's a project I did last year that came in for a cleaning/polish so I grabbed a few pics of it while I could. This ring originally looked very different- the pear shape side stones were not included in the original setting. What I had to do was remove the head and center stone and rotate it so the pear shaped stones could site between the prongs that held the center stone. Then I removed the stones along the sides of the ring and relocated the shoulders that originally connected to the center head- I had to move the shoulders back and then fabricate under bezels for the pear shaped stones and then reset the small side stones that went up the shoulders. Then I made two new matching rings that fit on either side of the original engagement ring. Modifying jewelry can be a real challenge!
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bpfh1 year ago
A couple of questions if I may: one that I am burning to ask, especially on the photo of the rose gold pendant: How do you set the smaller stones around the edges? Do they have individual tiny clasps to hold them in place or are they set with some sort of glue?

The other is about soldering: what sort of gas torch would you recommend for a beginner, and where can you get your soldering supplies?

Your work is brilliant, and somthing I would like to do. Thank you also for the amazon links, though the "concepts and techniques" is an eye-watering 100 bucks :) I don't think I'm anywhere near good enough to get this sort of book yet. I'm still playing with wire wrapping!

Cheers,
Daniel
Honus (author)  bpfh1 year ago
Daniel,
Thanks for the kind words!

The smaller stones around the edges are set using small beads of metal. First a hole is made to fit the stone (called a seat) and then the metal is cut away around the hole leaving small metal prongs (called bright cutting.) The stone is then inserted into the hole and the metal is pushed over the stone using a beading tool. A beading tool is basically a round tool with a pointed end that has a cupped shape on the tip. When you force the metal over the stone with this tool it leaves a rounded bead of metal that holds the stone in place. You often then have to go back with a sharp tool called a graver to clean up any excess metal around the beads.

The gas torch I use is called a Hoke torch. I've been using the same torch for nearly fifteen years and it works for all precious metals as well as brass and copper. I use a mix of Oxygen and natural gas but you can also use Oxygen and Propane. You can get one here-
http://www.ottofrei.com/Hoke-Jewel-Torch-With-3-Tips-For-Oxygen-and-Natural-Gas.html

Otto Frei also sells all the other tools and soldering supplies you would need.

One of the best sources for books is used book stores. There's lots of great jewelry books out there and many have been in print for a very long time.

If you have any other questions just let me know!
Li Sashay1 year ago
Lovely.
Beautiful!
Nice! I cant wait for the instructable. I have been wanting to build my own engagement ring for my girlfrind for some time, but lack the skills and some of the tooling. it would be nice to see how it is done.
Juleemt2 years ago
That is just.... amazingg!!! Im doing my first steps into jewerly and I would love to see a step by step of these pieces... I wish I could do thatt!! sounds like a dream! :D
Honus (author)  Juleemt2 years ago
Thanks! I'll get around to a step by step as soon as my works schedule permits. :) Here's a couple more rings I just finished. If you have any jewelry manufacturing questions just ask- I'm happy to help!
PlatRing.jpgSixProngPlatRing.jpg
Juleemt Honus2 years ago
Thank youuuuuuu :D
lloydrmc2 years ago
Huh - more of an advertisement than an instructable.
Honus (author)  lloydrmc2 years ago
Sorry for the confusion- this was done for the "I made it photo contest" along with a couple of other photo entries so a full step by step wasn't a requirement. It definitely wasn't meant as an advertisement.

I've hopefully got a really neat custom job coming in the future that I'll be able to fully document for a step by step instructable. Usually my work schedule doesn't allow me to document the jewelry making process as the delivery timelines are so short but I've been pushing my boss to let me document more work for the future.
lloydrmc Honus2 years ago
D'Oh! Please accept MY apology. I did not know that was the basis for your posting.

It would be cool if you could do a step by step. Meanwhile, your work is beautiful.
Honus (author)  lloydrmc2 years ago
No problemo- thanks! Now that I think about it I actually need to revisit some of my old instructables that are a bit lacking in documentation and see which ones I'd like to do over again. I know for sure I'll be building more bikes. :)
lloydrmc Honus2 years ago
Cool.
pikeucf2 years ago
I'm truly blown away by your skills for this Jewelry making. I'm sure you've received many requests for purchase. I would also love to inquire about the possibility to have you make one or sell me one that you've made already...any chance? I’m just about to drop on the knee for a proposal and it would be a super special to have a hand crafted ring in hand while I do it, and on her finger for life! If helps, (LOL) she’s also and engineer like you. So I’m sure the craftsmanship would be appreciated from us both. No pressure! lol
My favorite:
http://img.instructables.com/files/deriv/FXA/PXRH/GLWR1SSZ/FXAPXRHGLWR1SSZ.THUMB.jpg

Either the case, I just want to say, AWESOME WORK!
Honus (author)  pikeucf2 years ago
Thanks!! I can definitely make a ring for you. I don't have any rings pre made as they are custom made for each customer. Just message me and we can talk about it further.
black hole2 years ago
Good heavens, you made this?!
Honus (author)  black hole2 years ago
Yep! Here's my latest creation I did for a client- it's a rose Gold pendant with a 30 carat red Zircon surrounded by champagne and white Diamonds. It was a lot of fun to make. :)
RoseGoldZirconPendantFront.jpgRoseGoldZirconPendantFront2.jpgRoseGoldZirconPendantBack.jpg
This more or less resembles my face upon seeing those pictures. =D
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Honus (author)  black hole2 years ago
Haha! That's great!
EarningH2 years ago
Great work, amazing
Honus (author)  EarningH2 years ago
Thanks!
jadekikyo2 years ago
Wow you are truly gifted. Do you have an etsy or other online shop? I would love to check it out. If not can you send me a message please? I'd love to know how much you usually charge for the rings you make. I know it depends on what is used but maybe an estimate. I simply ADORE that last ring. When my husband and I got married we could only afford one ring. I'm thinking I may want you to do my second.
Honus (author)  jadekikyo2 years ago
Thank you so much! I sent you a message. :)
jadekikyo Honus2 years ago
Hmm, I'm not sure what happened but I the message isn't showing in my inbox. I thought maybe it was just taking it's time delivering or something but it still hasn't shown up.
kward33 years ago
i really like this how much do you sell them for and how do ppl go about buying them from you
Honus (author)  kward33 years ago
I'll be happy to discuss it with you- just send me a private message describing what you want and we can talk about it. Price is entirely dependent on the complexity of the job and how much metal is used, stones required, etc.
damn! i wish i could do this. :)
Honus (author)  kristylynn843 years ago
You can! Looking at your eggs you definitely have the aptitude. Take some jewelry making classes- at the very least you'll have a lot of fun and it will enhance your knowledge of stones. :)
wow! that's amazing :D you rock! i just submitted an instructable that talked about your kind of work!! <3 you're good!
Honus (author)  kristylynn843 years ago
Thanks so much! It looks like you found a really great jeweler to make your ring- it looks fabulous! Bezel setting heart shaped stones isn't easy and it looks like they did a perfect job. :)
poofrabbit3 years ago
I love the open work! Nicely done! Voted for you for the I made it! Good luck!
Honus (author)  poofrabbit3 years ago
Thanks so much!!
dfireeagle3 years ago
im wanting to get into making rings soon, i was wondering if you had any tips for a beginner? thanks in advance.
that ring looks amazing. you are definitely talented.
Honus (author)  dfireeagle3 years ago
Thanks for the kind words! I'm pretty much self taught but one book you should look into is Jewelry: Concepts and Technology-
http://www.amazon.com/Jewelry-Concepts-Technology-Oppi-Untracht/dp/0385041853/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301887553&sr=1-1

The Complete Metalsmith is also a good inexpensive book-
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Metalsmith-Illustrated-Handbook/dp/B000N0TBJ8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1301888567&sr=8-2

Jewelry: Concepts and Technology is probably one of the most comprehensive books there is on jewelry manufacturing. I'd also check into local community college classes and see if there's something available. Really the best way to learn about making jewelry is just to do it.

When I first started making jewelry I had an old bookcase I attached a small table top to and used that as a bench in my apartment. I had very basic hand tools and a small propane torch and that was pretty much it. I worked mostly in silver and inexpensive stones.

The best advice I can give is to buy just the very basic tools (saw, files, torch) and master them. The key to being a good fabricator is learning how to master the control of heat with the torch.

Start with simple stone settings (round prong set and bezel settings) and practice using CZ (Cubic Zirconia) to keep cost down until you're ready to move onto more complicated/expensive stuff.

If you have any other questions just let me know!

yomero Honus3 years ago
thanks for the book references, i used to make some jewlery myself sometimes, something that always gives me trouble is soldering, but anyways, ill be sure to chech out those books! :-)

thanks for sharing
Honus (author)  yomero3 years ago
One other thing I should mention are some classes that are available. New Approach School has classes in stone setting that are fantastic. Blaine is a great guy and a VERY good instructor. If there is any class I would recommend that a jeweler take it's stone setting as that is probably the most difficult thing to learn. You can check them out here-

http://www.newapproachschool.com/
nanosec123 years ago
These rings are unbelievably beautiful !!

Honus you do some amazing work, I am so glad I followed the link you posted for Scoochmaroo, otherwise I wouldn't have seen them.

5 of 5 again, I truly admire your craftsmanship
Honus (author)  nanosec123 years ago
Thanks for the kind words!
reaperSKD3 years ago
Wow, that is amazing. I work in a jewellery retail store here in the UK, and would love to start learning how to make jewellery. How long would you say it takes to learn as a craft and become skilled enough to make it a job?
On a side note, the detail in the shoulders and colets on that ring is incredible!
Honus (author)  reaperSKD3 years ago
Thanks for the kind words!

I started making jewelry on the side when I worked in the bicycle industry and I began selling my work in a small gallery within a year. Within two years I was working as a jeweler full time in a retail store and I've now been at it thirteen years and I learn new things all the time.

A lot of it depends on whether or not you have the aptitude and dexterity required. One of the big things in working in a retail environment is that you have to be pretty quick too. I usually say three weeks for a full custom job but that is dependent on what the work load is. The rings in the photos probably have around two to three days of solid work in them but they are fairly complex rings to make. The average custom ring I make probably has six to eight hours in it.
NachoMahma3 years ago
. Great work.
. What do you alloy the Pt with? What do you use for melting/welding the Pt alloy?
Honus (author)  NachoMahma3 years ago
Thanks! I usually use 95/5 Platinum/Ruthenium and sometimes 90/10 Platinum/Iridium alloys. For soldering Platinum alloys I use 1500 and 1700 Platinum solder but I also weld it with either a gas torch (natural gas/oxy mix) or a laser welder. I use the same gas torch for melting it into small ingots for rolling out stock using a rolling mill.
kablooie3 years ago
I'm not into jewelry myself but those are beautiful pieces.
Honus (author)  kablooie3 years ago
Thanks! I'm personally not big into jewelry but I do enjoy making it.