I would like to here publicly express my gratitude and thanks to
Robert and Michael Aurelius for their generous gift to me of a
pair of their wonderful AUR-92 filter lens visors.
Robert, the original founder of Aura Lens Products, Inc, and a
fine jeweler in his own right, and his son Michael, who now owns
and runs the company, contacted me “out of the blue” with an
offer to give me a pair of these glasses in any form I’d like, to
thank me for the small effort I put into moderating the
rec.crafts.jewelry newsgroup. Although a few people have been
quite generous, and many of you have extended friendship, which
in itself is a valuable gift, such gifts are not solicited or
expected, and this wonderful offer was a welcome and unusual
surprise which I’ve gratefully accepted.
I’ve been working now with this product for a couple weeks, and
would like to recommend it to any of you who might find that such
a product would help your work. I know it helps mine.
I first discovered the Rose Didymium type of lens a number of
years ago, when I saw a glass lampworker wearing such a lens at a
county fair, and happened to get to discussing the glasses. In
essence, what they do is to filter out the bright yellow color
that floods a flame when it contacts any sodium containing
material, such as glass, or in our case, fluxes. For the glass
worker, the flame on the glass becomes colored bright yellow
where it touches the glass, making it harder to see what the
glass is doing. Lenses that filter the sodium line out of the
spectrum totally eliminate that glare.
It occurred to me that these glasses might be of use in
soldering, since bright yellow glare from the flame is something
we too must contend with in soldering jewelry, or melting and
pouring gold and silver. I found then, that my hunch was
correct, and I’ve been an avid fan of this eye wear since. The
jewelry industry hasn’t yet caught on to these, but those fellow
jewelers, such as some on this group or the mail lists I’ve
discussed them on, have tried them as well, and I’m now not at
all the only convert I’m aware of.
In essence, with such lenses, the color you see is metal glowing
from heat, not gasses in the flame picking up color from glowing
sodium ions. You can see the temperature of the metal much more
clearly, and see the solder flow more easily as well. I’ve found
them to be of great help indeed, especially as I’ve had some
problems with my eyes due to diabetes that has made glare an
increasing problem for me.
Aura lens products produces these basic didymium lenses of
course, and the basic lens is a very fine product. It offers
great filtration of the sodium line, as well as good filtration
of ultraviolet. The lens appears either a pale green or a pale
rose color, depending on the light source. The name didymium,
by the way, is a coined term, derived from the two rare earth
elements used in the filter formulation.
However, they’ve also carried these products farther than the
common basic didymium lens. Among other things, they’ve added
elements to the formula that restore the apparent color accuracy
of ones vision, as well as adding infrared protection to the
lenses, which the basic didymium lens lacks. The result is their
AU-92 lens, which is what they’ve given me a sample of. In use,
I find it significantly more comfortable to use, due to better
color rendition, as well as knowing that the increased infrared
absorbtion is a good idea. (Long term exposure to elevated
infrared levels may be a factor in developing cataracts, or so
I’ve been told)
For gold and silver soldering operations, as well as general
casting operations of these metals, I’d rather expect that this
lens (the AUR-92, they call it) is just about ideal. They do
also offer another version, their AGW-186, which increases the
infrared filtering even more, but at the cost of weight and the
fact that it cannot be made up as prescription glasses.
And yes, they WILL make the AUR-92’s in single or bifocal
prescription lenses, if you wish.
If you visit their web site (http://www.auralens.com) you’ll
find complete descriptions of their products and pricing. I’d
note that although some of these things are not cheap, in my view
they are indispensable aids that are well made, well supported,
and well worth the cost. The glass lamp workers and blowers have
all figured out these lenses, and swear by them. Those of us
working at jewelers benches may well benefit by also taking
If you’d rather contact them directly, Aura lens Products Inc.
is located at 51 - 8th street North, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota,
56379 Their toll free number is (800) 281-2872, or (320)
253-0919, or fax (320) 253-1239
Thank you again, gentlemen, for your kindness and generosity.