From the day a couple determines they are right for each other, tradition has it that the bride-to-be has something wonderful to look forward to – an engagement ring! But, when it comes to the hunt for the perfect piece, sometimes what a jeweler has on hand isn’t quite the right fit. If a couple wants a unique ring or to incorporate sentimental metals or precious stones, considering a one-of-a-kind design is perfect!
We consulted with Robert Moses, Master Jeweler at Bowen Jewelry Company, to demystify the process of having a custom ring – engagement and/or wedding – designed. It isn’t as dicult or as expensive as you might think! Bowen’s does all of the steps in house, which makes it economical along with the assurance that everything is handled in one location.
Before you head out for a custom ring, be sure to have some idea of what you would like – both in budget and style. You can peruse Pinterest and also take a peek at what rings are already in the store to gain inspiration. Also, be sure to think about any precious metals and/or gemstones you already have that you may want to incorporate. Bowen’s can work within your budget to design a ring that is just right for you. After you have an idea of what you want, you’re ready to head on out,
Based on the couple’s ideas and inspiration, a concept is sketched, which can be viewed in store or emailed. A price estimate is also included.
Once the design is approved and the cost is assessed, any metal or stones the couple would like to incorporate can be dropped off.
Wax – which comes in a tubelike form – is selected and carefully carved into a wax ring.
The wax ring is adhered to what is called a “sprue”, and a type of plaster called “investment” is poured around it so that a form can be made.
Once the investment is set, the wax is melted and vacuumed out, which leaves an impression of the carved wax ring inside. The investment then becomes the plaster mold into which the precious metal is poured in order to cast the ring. The metal is melted, and a centrifugal caster is utilized to thrust the liquid into the mold. The process of centrifusion quickly forces the metal into the mold, which takes about 30 seconds.
The investment with the cast ring inside is then immersed in water, causing the plaster to disintegrate, leaving a rough ring.
The ring is then filed, smoothed and polished. Hand engraving can be added if desired. Stones are set into place.