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I wonder how azures are formed in die struck rings. And is that
process adaptable to a small shop? Because cutting them with a saw is
rather time consuming.


I don’t exactly know how a die cuts azures, but i’t pretty obvious
that there are little “punches” that just press it all in - they’re
not cut, they’re pressed. I just don’t know how the dies work in
detail. I also don’t know how you would do it with a saw – You do
mean the sloping square sides around the holes inside of a ring,
right? Those are azures. I do it the old fashioned way, and yes, it’s
time comsuming. I start with a cone square bur or similar
is your friend), and knock out the rough, and then go in with a flat
graver to finish them off.


There are dies that punch and form the azures all at once in most
mass produced rings…

By hand, it takes quite a bit of practice, and a specially sharpened
double bent inside ring graver. (Wow, that was a long - but accurate
description:) I can cut them pretty quickly in platinum, and 18K, a
lot more slowly in 14K white nickel alloy. Never had call for it in
the “new” palladium white alloys.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA


Hi John,

I have seen it done with a saw, It takes lots of skill and patience.


James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


I have seen it done with a saw, It takes lots of skill and

In my youth I would always azure every opening behind every stone.
Some pave patterns demand a square grid, while others develop a
hexagonal honeycomb effect. Even a straight channel looks better
with azures, which could be square boxes or interlocking leaf

I always used a saw, working with the ring upside down. The trick is
to cut symmetric openings with just enough wall edge between them
while being aware of not cutting the opposite part of the shank with
your blade. It is inevitable that you cut the shank a few times, but
can be avoided with practice. There is a rhythm that is really
pleasing once you get started, and the demands of being attentive to
both the azure and the opposite edge of the shank is mentally

Now I do my azures digitally…much claener, and no nicking the
opposite part of the shank.

I assume all of you know that azure comes from the French ‘a
jour’…referring to ‘daylight’…

Hope this helps,