Creating the 'Three of us' ring

29 October, 2004

Clients are often interested in how a piece of jewelry is made. My pieces are either made completely by hand from sheet and wire, or a one off cast is made using CADCAM technology. I employ whichever method will give me the highest standard of fit and finish. The following illustrates how the 'Three of us' ring was made by hand from white gold.

The 'Three of us' ring was designed with CAD, but fabricated by hand from metal sheet and wire. Here are some pictures of its fabrication.

A CAD Rendering of the chosen design Forming the ring shank around mandrel with mallet Filing the cups in which the stones will sit.
Sawing a round disk for the bottom of the cups. Doming the round disk with a dapping block and dapping punch. Soldering the dome to the bottom of the cup.
Burring seats for the cups. Soldering the cups to the shank.  
After the seats for the sapphires have been burred and the insides of the cups polished, the sapphires are carefully hammer set in place using hammer setting tools. The finished ring.

Argentium™ Sterling Silver

21 January, 2003

I read an interesting article on about a new silver alloy called Argentium.

Argentium™ Sterling Silver is a registered and patented alloy developed by trained silversmith and tutor Peter Johns at Middlesex University England.

The alloy, unlike standard Sterling Silver is tarnish resistant. Any faint tarnish that may develop can be easily removed with ordinary water and a sponge.

The alloy is also resistant to firestain, a purple stain which occurs in Sterling Silver when it is heated during fabrication. Firestain spoils the high shine of a silver object and can take hours to emery away.

Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. 100% silver would be too soft to be used for jewelry purposes, so copper is added in order to produce a harder alloy. However the copper within Sterling Silver oxidizes when heated, causing a purple stain just under the surface of the metal.
Argentium™ Sterling Silver contains 1.2% Germanium which reduces this purple firestain.

For more information on Argentium Silver see