What is Azure?

The most interesting aspect of ring fabrication I’ve seen, are the ones with a separate ring soldered (by your choice) to the inside of a finished & stone-set ring. If there aren’t any inside-rings, the shell (two sides of the ring) of the ring could create a line deep into the person’s finger.
So what do these “inside-rings” look like? I have collected some photographs on this topic from my own casino-related line of jewellery, to the more common basic patterns. The whole idea is to prevent deep marks on the finger, from this, a whole slew of patterns came into vogue, ideally created originally by the European jewellers.
What processes in the earlier days did the jeweller cut out ‘each & every pattern’? He used to pierce the metal under each stone hole & cut a little pattern with a saw thin #006 or a #009 saw blade, I repeat “under each hole”. The labour of this magnitude, was mind-boggling. I’ll show you some patterns I used with an Onglette #1 graver! All the little cuts were cut by this setter, using an Onglette #1, then using a slightly modified in the width, Flat graver #40. Even for me, this labour was intensive!!!
Imagine under each & every diamond set hole there was a little hand-engraved or saw-cut pattern! Prior to setting of that one stone, the jeweller would let his saw blade finely cut a design, remove the saw blade & go to the next hole. Insert his saw blade, cut the same pattern, remove his saw blade (if it didn’t break), on & on till every hole was pierced, when finished. Then he would give that ring to the setter!
For making pattern in & on the separate inside-ring he would carve out nice little design and then solder with his mouth,blow-pipe or hand-pump torch & solder that inside-ring to the main ring, Remember, this was over 100 years ago & soldering techniques have dramatically changed, now we have CAD!.:>)


In my day we saw pierced the “azure” effect onto the rear of diamond set brooches, like this one. In the workshop this was actually called backing out.

James Miller FIPG


Oh my gosh, the ring with the deck of cards motifs azured in - I would love to see the public-facing view of that ring! What a fabulous confidence-inspiring ring for a gambler!
The last photo, though, is just as lovely as can be. So pretty.
Thank you for describing the process.

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