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Wedding Band Woes

Hi Everyone at Ganoksin, I am getting married on August 2,2008 and
have put off buying wedding bands. My fiance and I want simple, white
gold, flat bands., probably pretty thick (7-8mm). We are both Yurok
Tribal members from the Klamath River in Northern California and
would like our rings to reflect our culture. We want to put
traditional basket desings on our rings (simple geometric forms). I
would like to design and make the rings myself. I took an
introduction to jewelry class in college and am pretty creative and
patient, so I think I can do it myself. Does it make a difference if
I use 14K or 18K white gold, what about the alloy? Can I use muratic
acid to actually put the design in the rings, or should I have them
cast? Is it smart to just buy the rings on the internet and then put
the designs in them, or is that too risky? I’m at a loss, i’m not
sure where to begin, or if I have enough time…please help!

Louisa McConnell
Hoopa, CA

I would like to design and make the rings myself. 

5th dimension -“Come on and marry me Biiiiiill - I got the wedding
bell Bluuuuuees!”

Louisa it’s not that hard… The easiest way is to carve waxes and
have them cast - that is if you know or can find someone to cast
them - Orchid can help there, too.

It makes no real difference if it’s 14kt or 18kt in any objective
way. They’re both fine - 18kt white can be tricky to work depending
on the alloy.

You can also buy gold bands and carve into them - muriatic acid will
NOT etch or alter them, and the acid that will is not something
you’ll want to get into. The only issues with that is that it’s more
difficult and takes more tooling than wax does. Plus you need to be
carefull about it unless you want to buy another ring if you mess

Probably wax is the most forgiving for a novice, and you should have
plenty of time if you get started, too…

Hi Louisa,

I’d second John Donivan’s reccomendations about acid etching gold and
add even if you plan to do alot of etching waste disposal becomes an
issue as well. If you desire to engrave on metal(old 14kt bands
picked up on the cheap ect.) you’ll want to practice on some silver
,copper or brass scrap to get the designs and technique worked out
before moving on to your more expensive materials. Simple designs
are easy to create with a jewelers saw and careful filing and or
stamping.Practice on flat bands cut from copper waterpipe with a
jeweler’s saw. Copper is softer than the gold your ultimately
planning to use. Brass would be a better practice material to
simulate 14k. Alternitively, wax is easy to carve just remember to
watch the weight of the wax as a small difference in the weight of
the wax translates into big differences in cost.If you would like to
discuss this further email me off list or call me at 707-822-8983
yea I"m in arcata.