The voyage continues
The spaceship was presented and the engagement sealed. Within a year, our clients returned to discuss wedding bands. Naturally, after the complexity of the engagement gift, I did not expect the rings would be easy. Although they look very simple, indeed, they were not.
The request was to make two 9-mm pipe-style platinum bands with 2 mm of height. Half the width of each ring was to be stepped down and an additional 4.5-mm wide rose gold pipe-style band would slip over the recessed portion to complete the wedding band.
Where it became complicated was engraving one ring with the word, ‘FUTURE’ on both the exterior of the stepped-down section and on the inside of the overlay band. The other ring would similarly have the word ‘PERFECT’ engraved on it. David and Charlie decided they would wear their rings during the extended engagement period and exchange their outer bands to complete the sentiment ‘FUTURE PERFECT’ during the wedding ceremony. The words would be a secret message, since the engraving is not visible unless the overlay ring is removed.
It would have been much easier if both gentlemen had the same finger size, but one was size 8 and the other size 8.5. CAD came to the rescue again and I was able to use it to help calculate the required measurements to make this work.
I ordered machined platinum bands from a manufacturer, since they would already be work-hardened. The company was also able to mill the recessed portion of each band for me. We could have filed down the section in-house, but that would have left us with a lot of platinum filings that are expensive to refine, so it was worthwhile paying the manufacturer to make the base bands.
We hand-fabricated the rose gold bands to fit. Due to the half-size difference between fingers, the depth of the recessed section of each platinum band had to be adjusted to compensate, since the outside diameter of both had to be identical. Correspondingly, the rose gold bands had to have identical inside diameters, though different outside diameters, so they would align with the higher level of the base rings when the wedding exchange occurred.
These projects were challenging, though ultimately extremely satisfying. It was gratifying for everyone involved to take a client’s concept sketch and create an object that fulfils his mandate and still leaves room for creative input from myself and the team that helped bring it to fruition.
Llyn L. Strelau is the owner of Jewels by Design, a designer-goldsmith studio in Calgary established in 1984. His firm specializes in custom jewellery design for a local and international clientele. Strelau has received numerous design awards, including the American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA’s) Spectrum Awards and De Beers’ Beyond Tradition—A Celebration of Canadian Craft. His work has also been published in Masters: Gemstones, Major Works by Leading Jewelers. Strelau can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.