Instructables
Picture of Making a three stone diamond engagement ring.
So, you've met the girl of your dreams, and now you want to give her a beautiful ring as lasting symbol of your love.

Trouble is, you can't afford a fancy designer ring, and the ones you can afford are mass produced, studded with conflict diamonds, and polished in a sweatshop for your consumer pleasure. None of which attributes are terribly appropriate for lasting symbols of affection. Probably right up there with a flaming bag of poo.

So what's a young rogue to do? When in doubt grab a book, preferably one on wax jewelry making.. you'll need it.

This instructable will show you how to make a unique, but classic, three stone diamond and garnet ring using the "lost wax" process, and 100% conflict free stones.

Now, I'm not a jeweler, far from it, I'm actually a filmmaker (film reel http://www.abbeygateway.co.uk ), so if I can do this, anyone should be able to.

I'll be showing you the steps I took, the books I referenced, and all the tools I bought/used. I'm not claiming that I'm showing the 'correct' way to do this just the way I did it.

Please forgive the general crappyness of the photos, I own the world's suckiest point and click camera... go figure.
 
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A very detailed instructable, most importantly I'm glad the outcome was a positive one as you went to so much effort with the engagement ring, that deserved a yes in its own right. What did she say once you explained this process to her ? I bet she was so overjoyed?!
thomas1918011 months ago
Jewellery can say a lot about a person and knowing what your jewellery says about you is vital in any setting especially in a professional one. It may seem shallow that an interviewer would base his or her decision on what earrings or watch a potential candidate is wearing but the truth is much of the hiring process is done subconsciously and so conveying the right impression can go a long way towards securing the job. In an interview or position of employment you are being evaluated as a whole not just by what is coming out of your mouth.
Wedding Bands
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jgwalkup1 year ago
This is very informative and encouraging! I am planning on proposing soon, and I have been set on making the ring myself for some time now. When you took your ring to be cast, did you provide the raw materials (the gold)? Or did the jeweler take care of that?
Bown862 years ago
I love this Instructable! It is clear and concise and states the materials and instructions expertly!! Thank you for such a great Instructable! and for the encouragement from one beginner to another!!!

With the help of this tutorial myself and a friend made a beautiful ring that turned out spectacularly and with a much lower cost that at a store. It was made with diamonds that another friend brought home from the diamond mines in northern Canada (the workers and their family members are given a discounted price as employees, score!! :)).

I can't help but add that the comments made by MDEBLASI1 made me very sad that he is a part of our Instructable community, (A community that is meant to help and encourage others to think outside the box and push yourself to do things that you otherwise would not have thought possible), and only made me to want to do this more just to prove him wrong!! Which we did!! 

Excellent job, and thank you for teaching others to believe in themselves and try things that they didn't think possible!
edwatkins (author)  Bown862 years ago
Glad this instructable was of some use to you, and congrats on your rings!
Bown86 Bown862 years ago
I must also add that I was given Illustrator as a gift at work, we were all given some sort of dumbed down version of it to try and I love it!! It really is awesome for this type of work.

It's very very very simple to use and very straight forward and I've started using it for making designs for stained glass rather than drawing it on paper. and I suggest everyone give it a try, it's awesome!!! It's so simple!

I used to use Corel Draw and Cad, and still do sometimes, but Illustrator is my go-to now because of it's simple layout and easy details. I used these programs due to their user friendly aspects and since i am not a Cad Tech or Engineer I needed something simple to use that didn't require training or lots of practice.
crd20912 years ago
NIce
cereeal2 years ago
You need to write an Instructable just on how to create that good of a design in Illustrator!!! I assume you've had a length of training and practice, but any chance there was a quality tutorial or book that would help getting to that point?
This is really impressive. The finished product is absolutely stunning. Actually, stunning doesn't cut it. I honestly can't think of a word suitable enough to express how beautiful I think this ring is. Your wife to be is one lucky girl.!! Congratulations on everything!!
mdeblasi14 years ago
There is one important thing that you did not include in your parts and materials list. . . The years of experience it takes to become a proficient bench jeweler / wax carver. 
I have access to a complete jewelry studio and have been metal smithing since 2001 and I still wouldn't trust myself to carve accurate seats for faceted stones So yes, I love your work and was deeply impressed by your instructable, but shouldn't it have been posted on Ganoksin Orchid?

I find your comment rather pompous. Doesn't this prove you don't need to be a metal smith since 2001 to do this? I also find it interesting that this guy put his whole heart into this having no previous experience AND took the time to share with us. That's what this website is about. You should make YOUR own instructable, since you have so much experience and appear not to have made one yet. Then, you could add what you want on the materials list.
Modeling in Wax for Jewelry and Sculpture, Lawrence Kallenberg (Amazon used) $45.00
Jewelry Wax Modeling, Adolfo Mattiello (Amazon used $73.00)
     Does your library carry these books? Mine doesn't.
Equipment: (It looks like he may have gotten his supplies from Contenti –I priced RioGrande, basically the Sears of Jeweler's supplies.)
Bench: (The cheapest) $600
Work bench (made from some free wood from ikea), $0.00
Bench Pin $5.00
Bench Vise $250.00
Magnifying Visor $25.00
Carbide scriber $10.00
Degree Gauge $10.00
3" Scribing Dividers (the cheapest) $15.00
Vernier Callipers $33.00
Ruler $8.00
Ring mandrel $25.00
Jewlers saw frame (the cheapest) $10.50
Saw blades 1/0, 2/0, 3/0 (Approximately $4.00 for a 12 pack * 3=) $12.00
Fine spiral saw blades $4.50
Wax needle file set $20.00
Standard needle file set (average cheapest $50.00)
Large flat wax file $15.00
Double ended half circular wax file $35.00
Fine round needle file $15.00
Spiral Drill or Pin Vise $10.00
Drill bits, 0.8mm, 1mm, 1.3mm, 1.7mm (the cheapest are sold in 10 packs for $10.00) $40.00
Fine wax detaliers $10.00
Exacto knife (you've already got one of these— I'm going to give it to you) $0.00
I suggest $45.00 in wax.
Wax carving tools (the cheapest) $20.00
Alcohol Lamp and denatured alcohol as fuel. $8.00, let's just agree you have the fuel
Cordless wax pen (from Contenti, with replacement tips) $25.00

He used a CAD program for the design. Let's not include the $2000.00 that costs? And pretend you know how to hand draft.
Ring tube sizer $25.00
Flex shaft system entire, cheapest: $200 includes all components below
Flex shaft:
Flexshaft motor #30
Handpiece

Wax burs (the cheapest) $20.00
Wax detail burs (not sure what he wants here, lets throw in $10.00 to be conservative)
Wolf Tools wax trimmer $40.00
Cylinder bur 11.1mm (The cheapest) $10.00
Jiffy Jig (Contenti) $12.00
Wax: approxomately $45.00
Wax wire assortment Wax tablet assortment Wax ring tube assortment

Now we cast the ring—Let's send that out, for $100.00 rather then buy an oxy acetlyine rig including the gas, a crucible, casting investment, a casting form and a place to set all this up

It's time to polish the ring, I don't see that on his parts list, but in the photograph, there are still price tags on his polishers, from 7-15 dollars per. There are 14 tools in that holder lets say $140.00
There are also 3 setting burnishers to the side, The set seems to cost $70.00 Not listed stone setting pliers 20.00
Stone setting burrs for flex shaft $20.00
Polishing compound, three standard grades $15.00

We're not going to tally the cost of the metal, the stone, and the hours worked, because, That's the gift, right? So where are we?

$2091.00
Just about what it would cost you to set up a nice amateur jeweler's studio. Which is exactly what I said he had at the out set. Now that you are about 10 months late to the party Icasta, Thanks for bringing your troll.
edwatkins (author)  mdeblasi12 years ago
First, If you are going post prices to prove a point don't overestimate them for effect.

Second, stop and think for awhile why I didn't post the prices of things on this instructable, which was really made to document for my wife how her ring was made....perhaps it was because leaving the price tag on a gift is the height of bad manners.

But since you went ahead and priced everything anyway, let me correct you, as I kept detailed notes on this:
The tools and wax cost $450 total.
I paid a trade Jeweller $110 to cast and polish the ring, and set the stones.
So, no Idea how you ended you with $2k.

The main cost of this ring was the gold and diamonds, and there's no way I'm telling you what they cost.
I don't know what the problem is with this instructable. I began by saying that in my experience, this could not possibly be done by a beginner, simply because of the cost of the tools involved.
No one believed me, People on your instructible were rude to me for mentioning it----rude months and months after I made the point!
I use these tools every day, I know where they come from and I know what they cost,
I also know what diamonds and gold costs and I know what a persons time is worth---like I said, that was the "gift." But the tools are an investment. A huge investment. Why in the world was that so impolitic to point out?

Finally, I think my estimate to cast was $100.  You paid $25 more than that for the shop to set and polished the stone --- great! congradulations!
How in the name of god is it any skin off any one's nose to suggest that aside from that, you did work, not magic; and work costs money.
So my "be nice" comment is… I just bought everything on his list for $550 but upgraded quite a few things since I may want them in the future. I am an artistic guy and believe I will have quite nice results. Incase anyone is wondering the true cost of these tools.
poonone poonone2 years ago
Oh, and warning! Noob mistake, you don't need the #30 head that he suggested in the parts list since it comes with the flexshaft… Gotta return that one.
And ya ended with troll wow!!
edwatkins (author)  mdeblasi12 years ago
I can't speak for those that offended you, but it seems they took umbrage at your implication that a beginner could not do this, and that it would cost a fortune to do so.

I am a beginner, I did this, it did not cost me a fortune.
Now, can we let sleeping dogs lie?

If I could delete this whole thread I would do so, perhaps you would be so kind?

Broom mdeblasi14 years ago
Um, I think his work made it pretty clear that those years of experience aren't absolutely necessary. After all, this isn't "ExpertsImproveTheirSkills.com"!
mdeblasi1 Broom4 years ago
You may persist in believing so.  I tend to think otherwise.
Broom mdeblasi14 years ago
Ah, you're so cute when you act all serious. Who's a good little jeweler? You are! I could just eat you up!
mdeblasi1 Broom4 years ago
I beg your pardon?
Broom mdeblasi14 years ago
Don't beg! You're cute enough as it is!

Make that disapproving face again... please?
LOLWUT?
lmao @ mdeblasi1
  I think the point is to show people that they can do it. I try a lot of things on here and they don't turn out so good. Most of them look nothing like the pictures posted. Lol. But I feel inspired to try new crafts and sometimes it inspires a serious interest in something. You shouldn't not post something just because there are people on here who don't know how to do it. Isn't that the point of the website?
edwatkins (author)  mdeblasi14 years ago
Hi, thanks for you comments.

I appreciate the skill and time needed to learn a craft to a professional level.
But, this was the first ring I ever carved (well the second if you count the disastrous first attempt with the wrong kind of wax).

Is it something you could sell in a jewelry store? Probably not, it's a bit squiggly, and the pillars aren't exactly the same length. But those imperfections are exactly what makes it so special to my wife and I, it's hand made, truly unique, one of a kind, flaws and all.

The day people stop doing things outside of their comfort zone, simply because they don't have the experience, is the day the human race stops innovating. I wonder how many airplanes there were before Mr Wright built his?
Bravo, well said Sir.
"I wonder how many airplanes there were before Mr Wright built his?"

Several, the Wright's just perfected what was already out there. Another step in the evolution of manned flight. Their was plenty of knowledge and experience out there, they just added to that knowledge base with their own ingenuity.
edwatkins (author)  JettaKnight4 years ago
Not really my point, but sure.
Hats off to you Ed.  This is an admirable first wax carving project., but don't be so quick to discount that first disaster.  Every time I melt something, or break something in the studio I try to take a sanguine attitude towards it, and say "well, I learned never to do that again." 

A really tremendous thing about being a metal smith is the fact that your materials are recyclable; if you melt the pendant, roll it back out into sheet and start again.   And our tool kit, we really have one hell of a tool kit, from hammers torches and tongs, to the finest files and tweezers. 
Cheers,
Marya
By the way, are you a member of Orchid?
Roflolommo2 years ago
I kinda hope I can find this again in like 70 years when I'm ready to settle down.
rperez53 years ago
Thanks For Sharing.
quakefiend3 years ago
and this isn't what you do for a living?! You, sir, are insanely talented.
hhornburg3 years ago
this is amazing.
If my man did that for me I would be endlessly thrilled!
harigast3 years ago
i love this one. a great look at the process. if i tried this it would look something akin to the clown bed homer made for bart.
lug big lug3 years ago
WIll plaster of paris work for the lost wax process?
"Apollo have limited inventory, but do sell loose stones to the public."
I was looking on their website to buy a diamond and it says," Apollo Diamond will be selling it's cut and polished cultured diamonds in finished pieces of jewelry. At present loose stones are not available." Is this information old, did they change their policies, or you buy your side diamonds elsewhere?
edwatkins (author)  Klayton Kress3 years ago
I bought mine from them two years ago. So they may have changed thier policy since I bought the diamonds.

However, I gave them a call and spoke to them directly when I ordered the stones, they were very nice and sold me them loose.
I messaged them on the site and they said you can call and order them, much as you said. Apparently you can't get them online but you can still get them.
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