If Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” series in one of your favorite choices to spend time in front of the TV, then you will be more than excited to delve into another adventurous journey that will show you the other side of jewelry making. Today, we are opening the curtains of our world to show you how high-quality engagement rings are made. Well, the moissanite engagement ring, to be more precise.
When having such a stunning piece in possession, it is normal to start wondering how it has been brought into existence. However, one thing is beyond clear - it takes a significant amount of dedication, patience and expertise to be able to create a flawless moissanite engagement ring out of scratch. If the consumer feels tempted about choosing a particular style, metal, stone or setting, the jewelry artisan has a lot more to take into consideration. In the following lines, we are going to explain the classic process of making a moissanite engagement ring, presented to you step by step.
Step No. 1 - MAKING THE BAND
As you can already imagine, the ring’s band is made from a portion of metal bar. This is actually the basic metal that the entire piece is made of (gold, platinum, silver, stainless steel, etc). By using a special bending machine, the metal bar is given a round shape based on the finger size of the wearer.
Step No. 2 – CLOSING UP THE BAND
Once the band is made, the next step is to close it up. This process is called “soldering” , which includes a filler that has to provide the entire ring with consistency. The filler is made out of the same metal as the band itself (the metal bar). Therefore, the gap between the two ends of the metal bar are filled with the same metal and they create a complete round-shaped bar. The artisan then applies flux paste (also known as “solder paste”) to the bar, so that it won’t oxidize under high temperatures. After finishing the soldering, the entirely closed up band is put in a weak acid solution that will cause erosion and will remove the excess flux away. Once again, the artisan checks if the band features the right size and if needed, proper adjustments are made. At this stage, the piece starts looking like a plain wedding band.
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Step No. 3 – MAKING THE SETTING
The “making of” process depends on the type of setting that is going to be applied to the moissanite engagement ring. For example, solitaire settings are made with the so-called “die struck” technique. This provides the ring with a lot of strength, which is crucial in ensuring that the prongs which will be holding the stone won’t bend. With the “die struck” technique, the metal is pressed between a pair of hard steel plates with cut outs in the required shape. The final result is outstandingly dense and strong metal. The only inconvenience of this technique is that it is not suitable for all shapes and more elaborate designs.
Once the setting is made, the artisan has to attach the head (also called “gold cup”) of the ring to the band. For this purpose, he uses a piercing saw, which is the perfect tool to work with soft metals. Thus, he makes a wedge in the band where the gold cup will be filled. Next, the cup needs to be aligned with the band, so they are soldered together by using tiny specks of gold as filling. When the soldering is done, the inside curve is flattened in order to remove the remaining rough edges (if any).
Additional info: In jewelry, people who work particularly with settings are called “setters”. They are considered the most skilled workers in a jewelry workshop, due to the significant amount of time, patience and devotion it takes to make a perfect setting. The setting is the most important part of the ring, because if the stone is not set properly and securely, there is a huge, almost inevitable risk to come loose and be lost and that is simply devastating when it comes to jewelry with personal significance, like your dear moissanite engagement ring.
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Step No. 4 – MOUNTING THE STONE
Mounting the stone in its place from which it is expected to dazzle like a real sparkler requires placing it in a thermosetting plastic, then holding it securely in a ball clamp. The artisan carves a tiny seat in the cup to set the stone. Once there, by using a special tool the metal prongs are carefully pressed downwards on the stone to keep it safe and sound. After the mounting of the stone is finished, there is another checkup on the band’s size to ensure that it has not been distorted during the setting and mounting process.
Additional info: It is recommended to have your moissanite engagement ring checked every 6-12 months to make sure that the stone is still held securely in place. You can turn to your retailer or take it to a local jeweler to get this kind of service.
Step No. 5 – POLISHING
When the thermoplastic material is removed, the piece is placed in hot water and then it is washed properly and thoroughly. Once all of the quality checkups are finished and the green light is given, the moissanite engagement ring undergoes the final stage of the entire process - polishing. This process is carried by using a special rotating polishing brush. The effect of polishing is what we all expect - enhanced brilliance of the entire piece. The last step is placing the ring in a beautiful, sophisticated box and it is ready to be delivered to the customer.
Additional info: Moissanite engagement rings crafted of white gold undergo a second round of polishing called “rhodium plating” that gives them a spectacular metallic shine.
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Written by: Liljana Tomova