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Diamonds in enamel

Hello there, I’m hoping some of you might have a little insight for me
here. I’ve seen some diamonds set in a cloisonne cell that looked
beautiful and didn’t loose any of their luster. I’ll be darned if I
can figure out how it’s done. I was told cold enamel was used to set
them in their cloisonnes, and I have tried a variety of ways (not on
diamonds, but other and have been dissatisfied with the
outcome. Any ideas? Thanks in advance, you folks are the best.
By the way, does anyone here live on the southern Oregon coast? Lisa –

I don’t know for sure, but I would venture a guess: my guess would
be that the diamond was set in a bezel on the enamel backsheet, and
then the Durenamel went around the already-set diamond. I hope this helps – Quik.

Are you referring to Magic? They have set stones in the enamel by
cloison wire cells and also possibly by using tubing. Funny you
should post this as I was experimenting with this a few weeks ago
also trying to figure it out. I have set stones successfully (mostly
cz’s) directly in the enamel and flash fired them. It looks good, but
better if it was set in a bezel. I was told by my enameling
instructor that they have even been glued into the wires, from her
own investigation. I hope this helps and good luck!

Sara D. Commers
C&L Gems LLC

Diamonds stand up to the heat of a kiln, so they can be fired into
the enamel. I would suggest making the cloisonne piece as you usually
would, adding the diamonds on the (hopefully) final firing. Use a
diamond burr to cut a seat in the enamel for the diamond. Sometimes
the diamonds pop out of their seat during firing. I set 7 diamonds in
a piece this way, of which 2 had to be fired in a second time. The
most amazing thing was that I found the two diamonds. Try firing on
mica or on a trivet on mica, so that the lost diamonds will land on
the mica. Other stones with a high MOHS rating may also be used this
way. Stones that have been altered in some manner will change, usually
by turning black. Stones that are too soft will shatter. Alana

Hi Lisa, I think the term cold enamel refers to an epoxy or resin
type of enamel. It is not a true vitreous enamel which fires at
about l450-1500 degrees in a kiln. Tube settings can be set in your
vitreous enamel — tall ones, so that they will be high enough
above the enamel so that they can be burnished over the diamond after
all firing is completed. I have set small cabachons this way, but
never diamonds. I fire the bezel in at the time that I fire the
cloisonne wires, and use a rather heavy gauge fine silver for the
bezel,.so that it will not collapse during the enameling process. I
prefer 24 gauge–but have gotten by with 26. I use I T solder for
the bezel seam, but fusing would be better. Perhaps some other
orchidians can offer additional suggestions.-- Alma–who also lives
in Oregon, but not on the coast. . .

Hi look into Rio Grande’s catalog, or call them about firing
gemstones in Precious Metal Clay. They give a list of what stones can
handle the heat. If a stone can be fired in PMC it ought to survive
the lower enamel heat too. Although I experimented alittle, some did
change color. I have set opals into enamels by using fine silver bezel
higher than the cloisonne wire and gently bending it over the stone
after the enamel is finished and ground.I think you can also just drop
a diamond directly into the enamel, but it doesn’t show up much, and
is a waste of a stone I think! Good luckk- Sue k.

Now that I am torch working glass into beads and small sculptures
more than metal working, I have found that good quality Cubic Zirconia
in different colors, and clear, make an interesting ‘pickup’ in a bead
or a ???. It depends on what your final market will be. The new
diamond stimulant (M…???) brain fuzz this morning, may
work very well too, but I have not priced those.

Also, in Lapidary Journal, sometime in the last year, I briefly
scanned an article on real ‘Laboratory Diamonds’ in gem quality and
size. Don’t know what projected price will be. I always hesitate to
use a high priced diamond in an experiment. I have successfully
Vacuum cast wax ring trees 6 inch Flasks with diamonds in place. Up
early to see what Hurricane Gordon is going to do to us down in
Florida. Good Luck,

Lee (Lady Lee)

Hi Lisa,

Basically, what you saw I believe is a “Carbonlokd” product where
diamonds are fused in a high carbon based compound (60 %). This
process was developed by Dana Senanayake from Sri Lanka. Products of
this sort are manufactured and marketed by his company "Blue Diamonds
Jewellery Worldwide LTD. This compound seems to have a complementary
refractive index and shows the diamonds brilliance without any loss. I
believe the formula for this compound has been a closely kept secret
until now. At this time, I am toying around with some similar
materials, and soon as I get a satisfactory result, I will post it.

PS> If anybody who has some bright concept such as this one and
looking for a place to furthur persue it. I would like to offer our
facilities and some staff assistance as well as a handsome package to
complement that.

Fouad Ghazzaoui
Prod. Develpmnt. Mngr.
Lazurde Group for Industrial Investment.

Hello Lisa, The following is a little away from your original query,
but you may find it interesting. I have completed a number of pieces
where I have transparent-enamelled over pave-set diamonds in platinum.
My first attempts were not too awful, but after doing a couple of
courses with Carolyn Delzoppo here in Sydney, Australia, I realised
that I had been putting the pre-fired enamel on too heavily, and not
using clear flux to advantage. (I was getting too many bubbles in the
fired enamel which clouded the appearance of the diamonds.) Since
Carolyn’s tuition, the results have been quite beautiful. The trick is
to put the enamel on in thin layers rather than impatiently trying to
put too much on at once. It’s painstaking, but worth the effort.

The diamonds go through the kiln heat quite happily. While enamel
slips off smooth or polished platinum quite readily, the beaded metal
of the pave-setting holds the enamel well.

Rex in Olympic-mode Sydney - and loving it!

Hi Lisa,

While I’m a newcomer to this (translation: I’ve never heard of cold
enamel, before), I do know of an enamel called Ceramit, which only
requires 200 degrees F to fully cure, and is roughly 80% as hard as
high-temperature fired enamels (i.e. can be wet ground and polished,
like standard glazes). Unless I miss my guess, you could use
successive coats of it to build up an enamel “bezel” around your
intended Diamond’s girdle. The one potential fly in the ointment that
comes to mind has to do with the different expansion and contraction
rates of the materials involved. If you’ll contact Stuller Settings,
at 1-800-877-7777 (here in the US), or 305-357-8020, they’ll be able
to help you out. (Ceramit’s on p.183 of their latest Tools catalog.)
Hope this helps!

All the best, Doug Douglas Turet, Lapidary Artist/Designer Another
Bright Idea! P.O. Box 162 Arlington, MA 02476 (781) 643-0389

Hi all,

I would like to direct your attention to the Gem & Gemology issue
summer 2000, vol 36 # 1, page 77, for an article on “Floating diamonds
in jewelry”. Georges Mouzannar and I have worked on this line of
jewelry using diamonds set on enamel. You can visit Mouzannar web site
and take a look at these jewelry

Fady Sawaya
3D jewelry designer

What is the purpose of enamel over diamonds? Is it aesthetic or
something else especially if it is transparent enamel and are your
sifting or painting on the enamel. I do not believe I have ever seen
enamel over diamonds and does anyone have a picture on one of their
sites of a piece where this process was used. Miki

Lisa, I don’t know if you have seen Marianne Hunter’s work, she is
featured in one of the books that Alan Revere wrote. Actually, I
thought she was the first to add diamonds to vitreous enamels and then
fire in a kiln without a bezel. Of course, there are so many
enamelists and jewelers in the world, I am really not up on it all so
don’t quote me. I have always found the technique interesting and very
beautiful and I have only seen the technique done in her work. I am
not in anyway affiliated with Alan’s School or book sales and I have
only met Marianne once, but I thought you might be interested in
seeing her work and his book page on his web site will give you a
glimpse of it.

I don’t have anything to add to the technique it seems you have
received some good on how to’s. Just though you might be
interested in someone else who does this technique.

Happy enameling!

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs
Willits, CA

Marianne Hunter does beautiful work, I’ve seen it at the Aaron Faber
Gallery in NYC. She fires very small diamonds suspended in the enamel
without any metal settings and the result is a glistening field of
color and light. I believe other enamelists (Fusager?) also use stones
like rubies and sapphires that can withstand the heat of the kiln used
to fuse the enamel. The stones used are teeny and, I might be wrong,
but these stones may be lab grown and normally used for industrial
applications. I have never tried this techinque, but having seen the
results I feel it’s well worth trying out. Juliet Gamarci