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The Making of a Diamond Pendant

Jewelsmith working on piece of custom jewelry

Inherited or disused wedding sets – we see these a LOT. Yes, you can sell it, but you might have what you need to create something you will LOVE and WEAR. Why not consider re-envisioning the materials into something beautiful – something fabulous – a celebration of family or a celebration of YOU that you can enjoy wearing every day? Come along with us into the Bremer on-site studio and explore the step by step creation of one of our favorite diamond basics – the solitaire pendant – made from a guest’s great-grandmother’s diamond and wedding set:

Before: A beautiful family diamond and yellow gold bands. Unused, sitting in a box. It’s a shame! Let’s hand them over to one of our talented goldsmiths, AJ, and make something gorgeous. Let’s go!

After removing the diamond from its setting, the next step is to separate the bands so we can use the gold to form the bezel for the pendant. AJ first dips the soldered bands in a boric acid/alcohol solution to create a protective barrier around the gold. Otherwise, the metal will oxidize when heat is applied.

Turn up the heat and separate those bands!

We don’t need all that gold for our pendant, so we’re going to melt down just one of the bands (the rest can be saved for another fun project). The band is place on a charcoal block and heated up with the torch [I’m melllltinggg!] until the gold ingot (dragon egg?) is formed.

Here’s that dragon egg cooled off. If it were a Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Bean, what flavor would it be? Hmmm

Next up is the rolling mill – watch your fingers, kids! This contraption does exactly what it looks like it’s meant to do – flattens and rolls out metal (preferably not fingers).

Here AJ measures up the rough stock with Boley calipers to see how much more length we need.

Here’s the resulting square stock, rolled into flat stock.

Things are finally start to take shape! A bending tool is used to begin rough shaping the round setting for the pendant.

After bending the stock, the gold is heated up yet again to a nice rosy orange color. This is called annealing and it softens the metal into a more malleable state.

Next up, he bends the bezel setting closed using pliers, hammer, and anvil. (Hi Randy!)

Size check!

A bezel block helps to further refine the shape of the pendant and ensure that it’s perfectly round.

Time to close it up! Here AJ solders the open seam of the bezel using plumb gold solder.

Another size check!

No, he’s not filing his nails He’s using a sanding stick to flatten the surfaces of the pendant.

It takes a very stead hand. Here AJ is cutting the bright cut on the inside edge of the setting with a flat graver.

The guest has requested some art deco styling, kind of like a sunburst. These decorative grooves are cut with an onglette graver.

Add a bail to the back and a silver chain and voilà! Not only is it a beautiful diamond pendant, it reflects the guest’s personal style and is a wearable reminder of her great grandmother. Nice job, AJ!

Don’t let your old or unused jewelry languish in a box! Enlist the help of the family at Bremer and let our talented professionals help you create something you LOVE!