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  Diamonds   Gold   Platinum   Colored Gems   Wedding Jewelry   Wax Casting   Care & Cleaning  

Since so many of you have placed custom orders created by Òcarving a waxÓ, I thought it would be fun to show the process in photos.

The birth of this new ring for the shop started with particularly beautiful gem. Sure, pink sapphire may be the new pop ÒrockÓ star of the jewelry world, and yes, it looks great on most skin tones, but what attracted me to this one is itÕs brilliant flashy cut and wonderful shape.

The next step is very high-tech: pencil and paper. But now I can start getting creative. I knew I wanted that curved element somewhere, and it felt right holding the bottom edge of the stone and sweeping up to the right.

Originally it looked like the area above it would be a good place to set several small diamonds, but once I drew the triangular shaped space on the left, I knew a trillion shaped diamond would look great there. (More diamonds on the other side might start to take away from the simplicity of the design.) Then a bit of serendipity: there was one in the safe just the right size. And a thought: 18K gold? Yes, the richness of the gold would play nicely with the pink of the sapphire.

OK, time to carve! Slicing off a piece from a tube of jewelers wax, I scribed lines first on the sides and then around the circumference. Sawing off the excess at each stage, and then shaping with progressively finer files and small knives, the final wax stage is reached. This part usually takes several hours.

Then off to the casting company it goes, where itÕs surrounded in a flask with finely grained plaster, heated in a kiln so the wax can melt away, and injected with molten metal, 18K gold in this case.

What a transformation, but the raw gold with its frosty finish sure doesnÕt look like precious metal at this stage! A tool that sounds distressingly much like a dental tool takes care of that, with miniature wheels of different shapes and grits. All that precise carving in the wax stage allows the gems to be set securely, and after a few final stages of polishing on the big lathe, itÕs ready for its big debut!