BEFORE (1 of 3) : This ring apparently got jammed in the drivers seat of a car when the seat was being adjusted. Miraculously the tanzanite was not harmed during the ordeal.
BEFORE (2 of 3): DIAMONDS MISSING! Due to the ring being bent out of shape, many small diamonds popped out and were lost.
(3 0f 3)
The Restoration Process Step by Step //
Step 1: Reshaping
First I removed the large Tanzanite from the ring to prevent the stone from being damaged. I then slid the ring on the end of a mandrel and slowly pulled the ring upwards to a somewhat round shape.
A rawhide is great for moving and forming gold. I gave it some pounds and some taps to make it even more round.
Step 2: Unsoldering (separating) the rings.
This ring is actually 3 rings that have been soldered together. There is the main center ring and two matching bands, one on each side the center. It became apparent to me that I would have to unsolder the rings completely to do a better job rounding them out and restoring each one individually. Here I use a small torch to heat up the ring until the solder starts to flow.
Separation! Once the solder starts to flow (the solder that originally held the rings together), I use soldering tweezers to pull the bands apart from each other.
Step 3: Focus on each ring individually.
Now that all 3 rings have been separated, I can concentrate on making them all round, and focus on what needs to be done on each individual ring to put it back in “like new” condition. This usually involves a lot of stone tightening. (The stones that didn’t fall out were very loose)
Step 4: Fetch some diamonds!
Here is an enlarged cell phone shot of some of the replacement diamonds I would be setting into the ring.
Step 5: Stone Setting Time!
I individually set diamonds that have fallen out using a beading tool, which virtually pushes gold over the stones to keep them secure.
The rings are back together!
Let’s briefly talk about the gaps between the rings. The reason why theses gaps exist is because these rings were not originally made together as a set! Many times when someone wants to add a “wedding band” to an engagement ring, they end up picking rings that are pre-made in the jewelry display cases. If you wanted to achieve a flush look, it is possible to do so by creating custom wedding bands to match any engagement ring.
Step 7: IT’S POLISHING TIME!
There are many steps in the polishing process, but this is the final one. The ring is buffed to bring out a beautiful high polish.
Step 9: Rhodium Plating
Rhodium is electroplated on the white gold ring which results in an extra white appearance. This is very common with all white gold jewelry, over time the rhodium will wear off and white gold jewelry will begin to have a yellow tint to it. A “clean, polish, and rhodium” will bring back that bright white shine.
The Final Result //
Tanzanite Ring Restoration Complete! (1 of 3)
(2 0f 3)
Nice and round again!
(3 0f 3)
All done! Being a goldsmith is a very rewarding career for me. I enjoy being able to work on new projects on a consistent basis. You never know when someone might get their ring caught in a drivers seat again. (I seriously need to find out more details about how that happened.)