Handmade Platinum Engagement Rings

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Introduction: Handmade Platinum Engagement Rings

About: I'm a former bicycle industry designer turned professional jeweler. I like working with my hands and am happiest when I'm in the shop building my creations. If you need help with your project just let me know!

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."

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    69 Discussions

    Professional Jewelry making instructions are difficult to find. Thank you!

    1 reply

    Finally, I get the birthday gift for my girlfriend. :D

    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.

    1 reply

    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.

    1 reply

    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-

    https://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.

    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!

    3 replies

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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!

    1 reply

    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.

    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.
    https://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-Homemade-4-Band-Puzzle-Ring/

    2 replies

    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.

    Thanks for the tip. Do you have any links to where I can buy Sterling Silver?