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Making our own wedding rings


#1

Dear Everyone,Some of you might remember me posting about an antique
platinum filigree peridot (now a chrysoberyl) engagement ring a
while back.

Gemstones for Antique Platinum Filigree ring
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/gemstones-for-antique-platinum-filigree-ring

Well, we’re getting married, end of this year! (yay!) Having taken a
two quarters of metalsmithing, I thought it would be really great
and personal to make our own wedding rings.

I have made a silver ring before, but Iwould now need to work with
gold. (platinum would be too expensive for us). Since my e-ring is
platinum I was thinking of white gold wedding rings. I do have a
workshop set up at home and I’m equipped to work from home if I need
but I am a bit tentative about working with gold since I have not
done it before and thought perhaps I need to do one of two things or
both:

  1. Ask the good kind folks at Ganoksin for some guidance and do it
    myself

  2. Enroll in a choose-your-own-project type of class where I can
    make my rings there with instructor guidance

Also, my fiance and I talked about all the ways to come up with some
gold for the rings, since the prices have skyrocketed.

They include:

  1. Panning (is that even going to be enough?? are we fantasizing?)
  2. Buying vintage or antique store gold items and melting it down
  3. Fork up the cash and buy gold

So are options 1 and 2 even possible? Anyone done this before? I
have 7 months to work on it, would appreciate any help I can get on
how I should approach this.

Thanks much,
Amy


#2

Hi, Amy.

You will find gold much more fun to work with, particularly in the
hot work. In fact, I would strongly recommend palladium white gold to
you. I am assuming you won’t be rhodium plating the rings, in which
case metal color is a consideration for matching the platinum e-ring.
The white color of palladium white gold is excellent, and a fairly
good match to platinum. At the bench it works like platinum, and best
for me, it’s nickel-free. After having our wedding rings made (many
years ago!), about a year into the marriage I developed an allergy to
my ring, or specifically to the nickel contained therein. (I wasn’t
allergic previously.) So, I had to ditch that ring. Fortunately, I
have kept the husband!

Hoover & Strong offers excellent quality palladium white gold
seamless ring blanks - milled and cut to your specs: width,
thickness, finger size. You can then finish as you choose with
texturing, forging, stones, etc. (Remember to order it small if you
will be forging it.) The usual disclaimer - I’m just a happy
customer.

To come up with the gold:

  • Panning? I doubt it.

  • Buying vintage? Maybe, if you can find a clueless pawn-shop owner
    who’s been under a rock for a year. With prices so high right now,
    even the ignorant are becoming educated about gold as a commodity.
    (Not implying anything about pawn-shop owners! Don’t email me about
    that!)

  • Forking up the cash? Yep.

All in all, any gold you can recycle is a good idea, but I have
found trying to refine gold myself to be tricky at best. Silver, no
problem. But gold is a different story. Send it to Hoover and they’ll
send you wedding ring blanks in return.

All in all, go for it. Your rings will mean that much more if you
make them yourselves. Best wishes to you and your marriage!

ginger meek allen


#3

buy new gold- bite the bullet and do it…

  1. gold is more forgiving than silver you can and have made a
    prototype in Ag so after working out any kinks, go for the gold…It
    is straightforward-

if multiple soldering is reqiored use appropriate grades of solder
hard can be remelted a few times ( up to 3 without any problems at
all- USE 18 kt or above. it is the best choice combining greater
workability than 14 and enough gold for the money trationalize the
expenditure… OR- for unique rings, that use some different metals,
even a billet with Pt and yellow, white or rose golds and silver,
etc. to just silver and copper -for budget concious metals buying and
since you seem unsure of your skills, buy a length of pre-fabricated
mokume-gane from Hoover and Strong- not only will you have a
patterned metal band to start with but there are many available
billet arrangementsw and price tiers too! If you are uncertain of
skills, don’t use Pt…it will be there down the road when you get
better, and have the right high heat torches) etc…It is not just
like picking up a length of 14kt. gold and bending it round,
soldering it closed and finishing it easily.

I am a firm believer in avoiding taking a class to have someone walk
you through creating your ring…and far more a proponent of creaating
it first in silver then once perfected, in gold. The experience you
gain is equal only to the confidence you instill in yourself. Not to
mention the added cost- far better in my opinion to sink the bucks
into gold, If you mess it up, cut the soldered areas off and remelt,
refine ( sal ammoniac and charcoal powder 1:4 used a pinch at a time
into the crucible with that scrap and 50% minimum new gold grain)
pour etc. and roll as desired…no polling mill available buy sizing
stock and work from there. Feel free to contact me off list with
other questions, concerns etc. rer


#4

Firstly congrats!

  1. Panning (is that even going to be enough?? are we fantasizing?)
  2. Buying vintage or antique store gold items and melting it down
  3. Fork up the cash and buy gold

Option one, my folks (and my grandparents on my Dad’s side too) did
this to get the gold required together, so it can be done. Do your
research, namely find an area where panning is shown to give good
yields, otherwise a metal detector is another option; a bit more hit
and miss though. Remember you only need to get together some 10-15g
of fine gold, if you want to end up with 14K or 18K (even less
required) bands.

Option two sure go for it, easier to do, only need a purchase or tow
to get what is required, best bet is to send the result of for
refining though so you end up with an alloy of known properties.

Option three is the wimp’s way (just kidding); you will have the
best results the quickest…

Just my experiences and opinions.

Cheers, Thomas.
Janstrom Designs.


#5

Amy,

I admire you wanting to make your own wedding rings. There is a lot
to consider when doing this, especially with white gold. Do you plan
to make wax models and cast them, or fabricate them, by making an
ingot, and rolling out stock? Panning fo your own gold, I think, is
fantasy. That gold that comes out of streambeds is not pure gold,
you know, and has other elements mixed in, so refining to pure gold
would be advised.

If you buy scrap gold, what kind of alloy is in it? Will it cast
well, or roll out well? That is always a crap-shoot, and you are
lucky if it will do what you want.

Go with pure gold and an alloy that is made for doing what you want
to do with it, and the color you want it to be. Personally, I don’t
use “casting” alloys, except for special cases. You can’t roll it
out, because it is too brittle. If your scrap gold has ANY casting
alloy in it, you won’t be making an igot and rolling it out.

A traditional white gold alloy has been nickle based. Cheap, but
brutal to roll out. Many complain about it not being white enough,
requiring rhodium plating (which I don’t like to do). However,
palladium as an alloy for gold is wonderful to fabricate with, has a
great white color, but is pricey.

You might want to consider working in palladium if you are on a
budget. Easy to work with, great color, about the same price as 14k
gold. Your silversmithing techniques should serve you well when
working with gold, but I’d get some dark lenses for melting the
palladium and palladium alloys, and if you want to work in platinum,
do your homework, as it requires much more care and eye protection.

Good luck!
Jay Whaley


#6
Remember you only need to get together some 10-15g of fine gold, if
you want to end up with 14K or 18K (even less required) bands. 

Woops that should have read: “Remember you only need to get together
some 10-15g of fine gold, if you want to end up with 14K (less
required) or 18K bands”.

Sorry about that.

Cheers, Thomas.
Janstrom Designs.


#7

Amy, if people could get enough gold to make 2 wedding rings by
panning in any convenient amount of time, we’d all be out panning
gold…You could be the lucky one, who knows? Plus you’d still need
to refine it or at least clean it up. Melting old gold is an option
for someone like you - we don’t use it at all, but we need a steady
supply, not just 2 rings. You’d just need to be very careful to buy
gold that will blend together and do the job. Again, not so hard for
just 2 rings, but care is needed. Either of those you’ll need to
either hammer it out to shape or have a rolling mill - or send it
out and get mill products. Also not so hard, if you’re determined and
have some ability. There are things in highly technical goldsmithing
that are worlds away from what most people learn in schools, but
making gold bands, even with some custom things about them, is well
within the realm of someone who can make silver bands. The
differences are small - you’d need gold solder, obviously. And
you’ll need a bigger hammer, because white gold is a LOT harder to
move. And then there’s always casting… It’s certainly doable, if
you’re so incined, though.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#8
1. Panning (is that even going to be enough?? are we fantasizing?) 

Hope you live near a gold bearing deposit

2. Buying vintage or antique store gold items and melting it down 

problematic, potentially frustrating

3. Fork up the cash and buy gold 

Do this if you can, final product will come out better than remelted
old gold

You will probably find gold much easier to work with as it can be
more forgiving of miscalculations.


#9

Hello,

M’dear, if you try to pan for gold for your rings, you will have to
have your wedding at the stream.

We are all delighted to help you, of course, however with such an
important project it would probably be best to go the
pick-your-own-class-project-route. I also recommend just buying the
gold from a refiner. Yes, it’s more expensive now, but by the time
you get the rings made, the savings in aggravation will be worth it.
If you try to melt down jewelry to use in a project, well, you don’t
know what mystery alloy will show up later to make you cry.
Especially with white gold, which can be beastly even when it’s new.

Have you considered making silver rings, rather than gold? If you
still wanted white gold later you could upgrade. That way you’re not
as vulnerable to gold fluctuations (sorry, it’s the dollar).

Please remember that this is just a ring, a thing. An important
thing, yes, but it’s the circle binding your hearts that matters.

Susannah Page-Garcia