The earrings came back for some more bling.
My customer decided that because she had some fancy yellow diamonds lying around, she wanted to add them to the existing ones I had finished last week.
All these pictures were taken on the fly, so there is some flux and dirt on the collets, apologies, but you get the drift.
I only needed to make two collets, so making another jig is not worth while.
Besides which, these two yellow diamonds are about 6mm across.
This is not really a common size for a tennis bracelet, unless you have very deep pockets.
Unlike the post last week where I showed my notes from the past, this is yet another way of making them, and the one I prefer when making them by hand.
Again, this is certainly not the only way, or not necessarily the best way of making them, but it works for me.
So I start with making some jump rings and soldering them closed.
I only need four, but I make six because Murphy always is hiding around the corner.
The top jump ring will be fitted first and the outer diameter will be a tiny bit smaller than the diameter of the stone the collet is made for.
Then I take a 0.7mm barrel frazer and make small indentation at four opposite sides.
Then I bend a ‘U’ and fit the jump ring straight and neat.
Here is a posed picture showing the start and checking that the diamond is just to big for the collet.
It’s important that the first solder joint is perfect, and the jump ring has not moved, because if it soldered skew, it is not possible to bent it straight.
Once that is done I bend another wire, position it, and solder it in.
The trick here is to use tiny pieces of hard solder, and No 6 nozzle on the Little Torch and a very small, soft flame.
View from the top.
Note that at 5 ‘o clock is the joint of the jump ring and the claw.
This gets smoothed out with a ball frazer (burr) later when I set.
Everything nice and level.
Now I cut off the two ‘U’ shaped pieces off.
This leaves me with four posts.
Care must be taken when cutting the posts shorter.
The bottom left one was inadvertently bent a bit out while cutting.
This does not matter, because I will straighten it back and probably only irritates Virgo’s—ha ha
Then I fit a jump ring that is slightly smaller than the top one.
I don’t make any indentation in it like I did for the first jump ring.
Rather, I size the jump ring so that it fits snugly in between the four posts and then solder it in place once the gap between the top and bottom jump ring is correct.
The picture shows the collet standing upside down.
The diamond is only slightly larger than the diameter of the collet.
Too often claws of settings cover too much of the stone.
Were this stone set in the same way in a ring, I would have made the collet a bit smaller, giving more ‘bite’ to the claws.
But earrings do not take much wear, so the claws need only a small setting groove to hold the stone tightly.
Here you can see the diamond is just a touch skew.
So just a tiny setting groove and a slight conical burr on the top jump ring will bed the diamond in with no stress, flat and level.
I then cut off the excess claw at the bottom and make two indentations and solder the little joining bar in place.
I use hard solder for everything up till now.
Then the collet is sanded down, any marks are removed and it is then polished.
The joining wire is 0.5mm thick and is bent like this at the start.
This is the only time I go down to medium solder.
I could use hard, but if something moves it is start again time.
Rather not take that risk.
Here are the earrings after setting and polishing.
These diamonds have a slightly difference in colour and in size, but on the ear it is not noticeable.
The collets, setting and photo’s took about an hour to do.
Writing it all up took well over two hours—ha ha ……