These days there seems to be a huge interest in antique style jewelry that spans several stylistic periods.
Antique Style: Turn of the 20th Century
One of our stylistic favorites are the very detailed designs that were first made popular at the turn of the last century, the early 1900’s. These styles were manufactured using a technique of die striking the designs from relatively thin pieces of sheet metal, usually platinum in that era. The process is similar to “coining”, which is explained here. The style fell out of favor for a while, but interest in these designs were revived in the 1950’s when someone discovered the old dies used to manufacture these rings and began using them to make the designs in white gold. Platinum in that era was becoming a strategic metal and prices soared so making the designs in white gold made them more accessible to a broader market during that era.
We’ve had several recent requests to reproduce this style of ring.
This one was a request to remount some family diamonds for one of our fantastic clients. She sent this picture as a reference…
Faithful, But Better with CAD!
So we went to work! Going through several changes as we evolved the design. The pitfall of the old way of making these designs using die-strike technology is that the ring is “struck” in halves, and soldered together along the longitudinal center line. Not that solder is bad technique, but that technique makes for a thin shank, as is visible above, and also very thin sides on the top of the ring. So thin that these hollow rings can have pretty sharp edges in contact with the finger. I’ve seen these designs that, when worn with another ring along side, wear to knife-sharp edges, really problematic for the wearer.
Faithful, to the original aesthetic but better in that with CAD and 3D Printing combined with the traditional technology of lost wax casting, we can make the ring in one solid piece, with more structural integrity and larger finger contact areas. This results in a sturdier and more comfortable ring.
And the final result you see in this picture…
With our client’s blessing, we can now offer this antique style ring, that retains the flavor of an era and is built to our standards of aesthetic and structural integrity! Have fun as you choose your materials! We offer both Natural and Lab Created diamonds and although the design is currently designed to accommodate a 1/2 Ct. center and 1/3 Ct side gems, we can modify to your preferred sizes or even your family diamonds! Contact us here for your personalized request! Or simply order from our catalog page here!
One Other Recent Antique Style Ring
Here’s another recent antique style reproduction. Shown here both the original ring and our finished product. Our client first brought the original ring, in sterling silver, pearl and rhinestones with the idea of restoring it to use as a wedding ring. Unfortunately, the original ring was modified at some prior time using lead which makes any further work on a piece of jewelry impossible. Not only is it somewhat toxic, it contaminates a goldsmiths bench. You can see the new ring is very similar, thought not identical to the original. It was made with 14K white gold, diamonds and a black button pearl. The client decided that she preferred a black pearl and we suggested using a button shape to keep the profile of the pearl lower, and therefore less likely to snag on pockets and clothing.
These types of projects are fun for us and help to preserve a style and sometimes preserves a family tradition.