Introduction: Making a Custom Platinum Diamond Engagement Ring

Picture of Making a Custom Platinum Diamond Engagement Ring

So, I am a professional jeweller.

I also sell some items on

If you are realy bored, you can visit my flickr page

A client wanted a traditional design for his engagement ring.

This instructable shows you how his ring was created using the lost wax casting system.

To begin with I cut a section of jewellers wax, ( a special wax that has great properties for cutting, sawing and carving) into the basic ring shape. I created a hole the same size required for the finished ring.

Step 1: Seating the Diamond.

Picture of Seating the Diamond.

The 5mm princess cut diamond is set into its postition in the ring.

I decided how high the diamond was to sit, then using small engraving tools, I cut a square hole for the diamond to sit in.

You can also make out lots of faint white lines on the wax ring blank. These will determine which partsof the wax are to be cut away to form the shape of the ring.

Step 2: The Basic Shaping.

Picture of The Basic Shaping.

I have now cut away the major excess parts of the wax, and the ring begins to take shape.

Step 3: The Setting Is Begun

Picture of The Setting Is Begun

I have now carved out the setting for the diamond.

Once this was complete, I scribed the central part of the ring shank, so that I could determine how wide the ring was to be.

Step 4: The Ring Shank Is Cut Back.

Picture of The Ring Shank Is Cut Back.

I have now used the scribed lines to cut the ring shank back to the required thickness.

The wax is now beginning to look more like an engagement ring.

Step 5: The Prongs Revealed.

Picture of The Prongs Revealed.

The client wanted a four claw prong setting for the diamond.

Here you can see that I have cut back the wax in the mid section of the setting to reveal the four corner prongs.

Step 6: Making It Visually Lighter.

Picture of Making It Visually Lighter.

The ring shank and setting were too "heavy" VISUALLY. So I created some airholes, to make the ring more delicate.

Step 7: Making a Mould

Picture of Making a Mould

I could have taken this ring directly into the "lost wax casting " process, but I decided to make a mould first.

Sometimes in the casting process, their may be a casting failure, where the item doesn't cast perfectly. By making a mould, I can create duplicates of this ring.

If the first wax produced, fails to make a good platinum cast, I can simply go to this stage and create another wax model using the mould.

During the "lost wax casting " process, the wax is lost in the process when it melts in the kiln. By making a mould I wouldn't have to re-carve the model should a failure occur.

Step 8: Pouring the Mould.

Picture of Pouring the Mould.

I use a simple two part RVT silicone moulding compound when I create my moulds.

You can see that I have half poured the liquid rubber into the mould box. I stopped to take the picture, and the mould box was filled to completely cover the ring model.

Step 9: The Finished Mould

Picture of The Finished Mould

Here is the finihsed mould 24 hours later.

Encased inside is the wax model.

I use a sharp blade to cut the mould open, to remove the wax model.

The cavity left in the mould is a perfect copy of the master wax model.

To produce more wax models, liquid wax is injected into this mould. Within 30 seconds, it cools and the mould is opened to reveal a wax duplicate.

If I wanted to produce hundreds of this design, I would simply use this mould again and again. tat however is for the "high street". I make unique items for each client, so I won't re-use this mould again.

Step 10: A Ring Is Finished.

Picture of A Ring Is Finished.

The wax model is then sent off to the platinum caster.

Whilst I cast my own gold and silver items, platinum casting requires some very specialist equipment. So the wax is used in the "lost wax casting process" and the platinum ring is returned.

I then clean up the cast piece, I file, sand and polish it and set the diamond.

Here is the finished item.


danadams (author)2016-08-02

Amazing, Thank you!

Fireson13 (author)2013-04-25

How do you remove your tool marks?

guitarmen62 (author)2012-10-22

Thank you so much for posting this - I made my first very detailed wax ring and couldnt imagine all that work being burned away. I searched all over the internet and could not find anything about anyone saving their wax model . . .only how to make copies of a master - until now : )
I dont understand why everyone doesnt do that - what if the casting doesnt work?
Very nice job!

eagleofjade (author)2008-03-22

This may seem like an obvious dumb question, but it is before you pour the mold, that you remove the diamond correct? I don't see that in the instructions and this seems to be the most logical place for that to occur.

chrisparry (author)eagleofjade2008-03-23

You are right. If the diamond were to be left in place, then the mould would capture this cavity, which means any waxes produced from the mould would then replicate the diamond in place. So the diamond has to be removed when the mould is made.

poonone (author)chrisparry2012-01-21

Hey Chris, My question is, if you have the prongs built over the diamond as pictured, how do you remove it? Do you cut it free and leave "V" tabs extending up to later be folded over the diamond or are you leaving more of a prong that you will cut with a graver prior to setting and folding it over the diamond?

I'm including some photos with hopes that you might offer me any suggestions on the best way to set a round diamond into this configuration or point me to a resource vaguely like what I'm doing… I know, I'm a newbie… but this is a great learning experience!

I'm asking because I'm building a similar four prong semi square configuration to hold a round diamond. I have the measurements for the diamond so I'm building it just smaller than the diamond in order that someone (not me) can cut in the diamond and somehow fold over the prongs that have been cast into the ring. I do not want to use wax wire, I really want to "build" the prongs into the mold

chakra (author)2010-12-10

i have tried some crude lost wax process casting with aluminium alloy.. but this just ROCKS!!! mine doesn't even come half way close to this finish..

**- HEY!! u didn't give a riser for the cast!! how does it work then? how u avoid blow holes or cast defects????

Lemon (author)chakra2011-02-20

The finish you see in the final image is not what you end up with when you break the ring out of the mold after casting. It is then the jeweller's job to grind and polish the ring to make it look nice. The stone is then set.

The process for casting precious metals is quite different compared to casting metals like iron, brass and aluminium. For one, you are often working with a much, much larger quantity, requiring risers to be employed.

byudzai (author)2011-01-06

The step I would love more info on is carving the hole for the stone. I've tried doing this and found it near impossible to carve a hole just the right size and which held the stone well underneath. Do you melt the wax and press the stone in?

macman808 (author)2010-12-13

why do you have to make another wax ring? wouldn't you just give the platnium guy the original? cause then you wouldn't have to make a mold?

R1Ch0 (author)2010-03-21

how much for a block of jewelers wax?

lampworkz (author)R1Ch02010-05-30

look up carving wax. the more hard the wax is, the more brittle it will be. for really detailed work, you want the hardest wax.

lampworkz (author)2010-05-30

thats a great instructable. i used to work in a ring manufacturing plant. i was the "detail department." we made high school, collage championship and some superbowl rings. i was quality control at the end of the line before the wax rings went to tree-up (where they put all the rings on sprues, it looks like a tree and they invest and cast about 20-30 rings at once). sometimes i'd have to add wax to the shanks of the rings and re-carve letters or whatever got messed up. really cool job, as i love to work with the tiniest (sp?) most detailed things. got laid prices today :/

ratdude117 (author)2010-02-05

Wait, I have a question. So, this big block of rubber has your carefully carved piece of wax inside it, and you start slicing it in half with a knife? This sounds scary. Aside from experience and care, is there a technique or something to keep you from scratching or cutting the outside of your piece?

berky93 (author)ratdude1172010-02-18

I don't know about preserving the original, but considering it is a mold, as long as you cut precisely you could simply re-mold a new one out of wax, this time with the mold already sliced in two for easy access to the ring.

Rossiroller (author)berky932010-03-21

 there are ways to make to mold with the slice already in it, by pouring half, then pouring the other half..... but in this case, because of the air holes, i dont see how you could cut the mold in half without having to cut the ring in half...... i guess thats why im not a jeweler!

 simple - lay the ring on its side

CaseBoy (author)ratdude1172010-03-14

 see the big block of rubber is a mold, so you don't really need the carved wax. 

biker53 (author)2010-05-25

Hi. Really interesting regarding the wax model. 
My jeweler has made a wax model for the platinum ring that will be made. It is wide, at approx. 14.5mm at the top which tapers gradually to 8mm at the bottom (shank.) The finished ring will weigh approx. 26dwt.
He rounded the inside edge of the wax.  Will this enable the ring to spin around on my finger compared to if he left the inside edge squared?
I have other rings with squared (not rounded) inside edges which do not spin on my finger, which is how I like it, and was wondering if a rounded edge would have the opposite effect.
Thank you for any guidance.

Tape-structable (author)2010-03-23


scubaru (author)2010-03-20

They actually showed this process on I think "How Stuff Works" (On Discovery Channel).  It was really incredible to watch.  Wish I had the tools/skills/materials to do this myself.

sora005 (author)scubaru2010-03-20

 it was how its made, and yes that would be a fun hobby

monkban (author)2010-03-02

Coming to this a bit late... but... You noted at the top of this that you "created a hole the same size required for the finished ring." This is actually an important step to understand, especially for the novice. Did you use something like a Matt Ring Tube Sizer? Thanks!

rccollections (author)2010-02-15

 Would like to know, how long it takes to make a custom three stone platinum ring?

Can some one answer this question?


fatimagrrl (author)2009-11-28

 i have a question.. if you wanted to make several rings in different sizes...would you would have to make each wax mold per size then to duplicate them create a rubber mold for each of them? or there an easier way?

jillybishop (author)2009-09-23

what tools do you use to carve the wax? I find it very difficult to get sharp detail, although, as I've only just started casting, that's probably not surprising.

DiamondBack (author)2009-08-09

My oldest daughter made her first ring, in HS, using the lost wax process. Turned out quite nice. It was neat, seeing her process is the same as the professionals

lozank (author)2009-08-02

Many thanks for the very good instructable, may I inquire, however, what variety of silicone could actually be used to withstand the high temperatures of the molten platinum, and, where might one find some wax that can actually be so well worked? I had noticed you called it jewelers wax, ( all of my previous attempts at wax carving have been made neigh on impossible by the difficulties of dealing with paraffin) Many thanks.

samando (author)2009-01-24

Do you just throw away your old mould? If not , where does it go?

aqwiz (author)samando2009-05-14

it's called "breaking the mold. . . e'er heard of it?

samando (author)aqwiz2009-05-15

nope, I haven't, sorry

aqwiz (author)samando2009-05-16

wow, then you have missed out quite a bit culturally, . . . if someone says "they broke the mold on this (whatever)" it means that it is unique, and can't be made again (aside from mimicking the original) in other words, craftsmen regularly break their molds (and dispose of the pieces however they see fit, be it recycling them into new molds, if applicable, or throwing it away) so that the item that they made is completely unique and 1 of a kind

samando (author)aqwiz2009-05-16

right, thanks to both of you for explaining the phrase so well.

aqwiz (author)aqwiz2009-05-16

can also apply to people and non-moldable objects, as an analogy for uniqueness

airgun (author)2009-04-28

try brassknuckels or a sieries of rings to make tht desing just helping sincerlyyour friend -Bammmy boy

guitarman63mm (author)2009-03-05

Say that I wanted to practice making jewelry, in the hopes of someday being competent enough to make my girlfriend's engagement ring: what would I need to start out with?

cursed_kross (author)2009-02-26

I took a class back in high school and we made rings like these. My first one didn't turn out so well, but it still would have been cool to have seen this before hand. Back then I didn't even think of making a silicon mold to produce more. Now that I have more crafting experience under my belt I may have to try and make another ring or two lol

luch (author)2009-02-26

Very cool! I would love to some pictures of the tools that you use! Would you be able to post some?

hg341 (author)2009-02-17

i likedloved this but i would like if you would do more on the lost wax casting and show you casting a ring i would like to see how from a pro how to do it

you made a spelling error in step 9 "...again. tat however is for... "
i faved it

KellCorn (author)2009-01-03

Thank you for this instructables. I just moved to the UK and would like to know a good place for jewellery/setting classes do you have any ideas? Thank you

theRIAA (author)2008-12-09

how much did you charge?

crazyd943 (author)2008-10-15

Hey, just wondering where would you recommend buying small amounts of this 2 part? Also, you say you use a sharp blade in separating the mold, what sort of technique do you use? Sorry for noob questions, I'm 14 and looking to start some pewter casting, things like simple rings and coins to start with, also, could I make the silicone mold with a metal coin or ring rather than have to carve with wax? Many thanks, Louis.

Vlorbschnat (author)2008-09-17

What platinum casting house did you use?

Kookie007 (author)2008-03-26

Wow this looks really professional!

triggernum5 (author)Kookie0072008-03-26

Perhaps because he is a professional..:) Only critcism I have on this is why opt to write up a Pt casting that you can't show the ENTIRE process for, when he does actually cast easier to work with metals himself.. I'm curious how the wax gets lost.. Is it instantaneously vapourized? I always assumed they used some kind of powder-mould more like the wax template..

chrisparry (author)triggernum52008-03-26

Hi The wax melts at about 70 deg c. The flask witht he wax in is put in a kiln for a couple of hours which helps to cure the mould and at the same time burn the wax out. It just melts away to nothing.

liny (author)chrisparry2008-08-16

wasnt wax melting point 54 deg celsius? Or is it a special type of wax.

triggernum5 (author)chrisparry2008-03-31

So it must be vaporized? If it just melts, then the wax would occupy the more than the same volume in liquid state.. I'm unclear how the casting works, ie: what nore heat resistant substance does the wax mold displace to accept the platinum? Or is it silica-like, and can drain liquid wax?

chrisparry (author)triggernum52008-04-01

The steps of making covering the wax in investment (which you cast into) is not shown. That alone is its very own instructable A google search on "the lost wax casting method" would answer all the questions that you have. It is quite a detailed process.

smurfsahoy (author)chrisparry2008-07-02

If you're casting a huge item by lost wax (like a statue), you might have multiple connections to the outside air (vents in addition to the sprue), and you might even melt the wax out/fire the mould (if you use clay) upside down so it drains out, since evaporation would take much longer, then flip it over and cast the metal.

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