The Goldsmith's Blog

The Head and the Heart of Custom Rings

Kirsten Atmekjian - Thursday, October 26, 2017
Custom Ring

A customer's mother gave his wife two rings from deceased family members, with no other instruction or comment except "If you want them, they're yours". She politely accepted the rings, not knowing anything about their history or their former wearers. Those rings still sit, unused, untouched, and unloved, in his wife's jewellery box, as she ponders what to do with them.

Rings carry more emotional weight than most other pieces of jewellery. Engagement rings and wedding bands are among our customers' most cherished possessions. Sometimes the only tangible keepsake from a loved one is a ring. Fires and other natural disasters may destroy photographs and other mementos, but rings often endure, even when the loved one who gave the ring has gone.

It's truly an honour for us to work with so many people who trust us with their most precious pieces of jewellery. We're not just molding metal - we're helping re-shape lives. Many women and men who come to us bring rings from their earlier lives and ask us to help them create a new custom ring that represents their new beginning. We see their trepidation during the initial consultations. We work with them through the design, modelling, casting and finishing process. When they get to try on their new ring for the first time, it's often a very emotional event. There's often a lot of joy mixed with sadness and gratitude for what existed before. There's a reason we keep a box of tissues in our Design Studio!

While getting a new ring made from an old one can be a very emotional decision, there's a lot of logical reasons to do so. Recycling is better for our planet. That's especially true for precious metals, gems, pearls and other precious stones. Mining is a very resource-intensive activity. Previously-loved gold, silver, and other precious metals can be melted down, purified and re-cast into something new. This also helps keep down the expense. With gold currently sitting at almost $1300 USD per ounce, reusing what you have makes a lot of economic sense.

When you're ready to re-purpose an old piece of jewellery into something new, that reflects not only where you've been and who you are, but where you're going, come on in and see us. We'll be with you, each step of the way, while your new custom jewellery is crafted, and we'll be honoured to be there, sharing in your joy.

An Engagement Ring With Secret Powers!

Kirsten Atmekjian - Friday, February 17, 2017
SuperFit Engagement Ring

Many people have fingers that are narrower than their knuckles. This could be hereditary, but could also be caused by an injury to the finger or arthritis. Whatever the cause, putting a ring on can be painful. And, once the ring's on, the ring itself will often spin around the finger with the stones facing down and the plain part of the band always at the top. That takes the joy out of wearing a ring.

Fortunately, there are options that can deal with this issue. One of the best we've found is a patented design called the Superfit from a company in Philadelphia. The Superfit is a shank (back part of the ring) which we can order in different karats of gold and in different widths so we can create a custom ring with secret powers!

If you look closely at the picture to the right, you'll see some lines near the midway point of the ring. While these lines are easy to see in an enlarged photo, they're hardly visible when you're wearing the ring. To create this custom engagement ring, we fused the Superfit shank with a custom designed face (the top side of the ring) to create a custom ring that opens wide around the finger. No more painful attempts at putting a ring on or taking it off.

What does this look like when it's open? Kind of like this.

The Superfit Engagement Ring - opened

As you can see, the Superfit shank lets the ring open up to make it easy to slip the ring onto a finger. To open the ring, you press the tip of a ballpoint pen or a similarly pointed object into a button on the shank. This allows the release of the lock. To close the shank, just press firmly until you hear it click into place. Once the band is closed securely, the shank is completely smooth and comfortable. This gives you a custom, tailored fit without having to sacrifice comfort or style.

If you have an existing ring that is giving you comfort issues, it may be possible to add the Superfit shank to your ring. Just give Ken a call (905-227-5412) and ask him about the possibilities. 

From Old to New - Eternity Diamond Ring

Kirsten Atmekjian - Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Tale of Two RingsYou're unique. You have your own taste, style, likes and dislikes. Jewellery is perhaps one of the most personal of style choices.

A customer came to us with a diamond and emerald ring she'd inherited. It wasn't a style she loved. She had a beautiful diamond ring in a classic style that she loved and wore all the time. Would it be possible to take the diamonds from the ring she'd inherited and turn her beloved ring into an eternity style band?

Ken had a look at both rings to see what they were like. The diamonds in the emerald ring were slightly smaller than the ones in her own ring. Still, Ken felt that it could be done.

To the right is the customer's diamond and emerald ring, being compared in size to the ring being updated. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves...

Into the wax we go!Our customer's existing ring had a band of diamonds straight across the top in a very classic style with a gold shank (back part of the ring). To convert the ring to an eternity style, the shank had to be cut off. The golden shank would be used to create the settings for the new portion of the ring.

Jewellers use carving wax to create one-of-a-kind pieces using the Lost Wax Casting method. When the wax model of the ring is complete, it is carefully sprued (adding one or more tubes to the model to pour molten metal through) covered in investment (a type of plaster) and cured in a kiln. This process burns off the wax, hence the name Lost Wax Casting. When the mold is cured, it's ready for the molten metal.

Our customer came in at this point to try her wax ring on for size. This was her favourite, beloved ring, and we'd essentially cut it in half. Ouch.

The original diamond and emerald ring.

It was probably a shock to see it like this. However, getting the sizing right wasn't an option.

Before the carving took place, Ken needed to remove the diamonds from the customer's existing ring. These are the diamonds that would be set into the new part of the ring. 

Next came the carving.

Each diamond required a new setting to be carved. These settings not only had to fit the new diamonds, but they also had to match the original settings while holding smaller diamonds. Furthermore, they also had to be the right size to that the ring would fit properly on our customer's finger. Not an easy feat!

The next picture shows the ring from various angles, focusing on the new settings for the diamonds that would be added soon.

Several views of the ring's settings

With an infinity style ring, sizing is tricky. Most rings have a shank made of solid gold. If the ring is a little small or large, the shank can be cut and gold taken away or added to change the size of the ring.

For this ring, the shank was removed, so the ability to re-size the ring was taken away. Each setting had to be just the right size and also had to match the settings from the original part of the ring.

Doing this work by hand takes time, patience, special tools and lots of  experience.

The next photo shows the ring with each setting carved out. The diamonds needed to be hand set into the settings and the whole piece evaluated for size, balance and overall esthetics. Once Ken was happy with the settings, the ring was prepared for the Lost Wax Casting.

Below is the finished custom-made infinity style ring. Our customer was thrilled with how it turned out! The new diamonds blend seamlessly alongside the originals, making beautiful use of the stones from the ring she inherited.

Inheriting a piece of jewellery that doesn't suit your personal sense of style can be challenging. Someone wanted you to have that heirloom piece. Transforming a piece of jewellery into something that brings you joy is what we do at Steadman Jewellers. Over the years we've created thousands of unique rings, pendants and other pieces of jewellery for our customers.

We invite you to drop in and see how we might be able to bring some more joy into your life.

Custom-made Diamond Eternity Style Ring

From Wax to Wonderful!

Kirsten Atmekjian - Thursday, July 21, 2016

This beautiful white and yellow gold ring was custom made for a customer who wanted something special to wear to her daughter's wedding.

Our customer came to us with an older ring with beautiful stones, so she and Ken worked together to create something unique.

The shank (back of the ring) is made of 14K yellow gold and the top is made of white gold. The creation process involved Ken hand-carving the main design of the ring from a solid block of wax. The wax version was used for the fitting, after which the mold was created and the metal poured. Once the main body of the ring was formed, Ken added hand-wrought flourishes around the gems for a unique touch.

You'll notice the ring is slightly square-shaped. This is both practical and stylish. The ring is more visually noticeable because of the shape, and it also doesn't spin as much as a round ring would.

The wedding went off without a hitch. We don't want to say that our customer's ring took the spotlight, but she says she gets so many compliments about it. She's thrilled with the result.

We're happy to have brought such joy to our customer with this custom ring. If you're looking for something truly unique, consider paying us a visit and see what we can create for you!

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