Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Complicated question

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

soleil

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
2
Hi all,

I''m so happy I''ve found you! I have a complicated question (at least, I think it''s complicated) and I''m a little intimidated about just walking into a jewelry store.

OK, so here''s the setup.

My BF has proposed. We discussed ring options and made a few decisions. First, my wedding band has to be pretty indestructible because of my lifestyle (I am an adrenaline junkie - I do triathlons (swim in the ocean), race bicycles, ride motorcycles, jump out of perfectly good airplanes, and the list goes on). Second, my engagement ring needs to be fairly small, as I have tiny hands a a 1 ct diamond looks HUGE on me. We have been looking at styles and decided we like the look of pave'' and other intricate "dainty" styles. We had also decided we wanted color - possibly even a colored stone as the focal point of the ering.

So after all of this discussion, we have been blessed by the discovery of a family heirloom ring.

We''ve been told we can do what we want with it (include melt it down and use the metal to make a completely different ring).

So what is the problem, you ask?

Well, the diamond is an old miner cut (round), and is (I believe) just under a carat. No idea about any specs, and the weight may be off. That''s just my uneducated guess. I think diamonds can be recut, but I actually like this one and wouldn''t really want to consider that as an option. But that rules out a colored stone as the focal point, because I''m certainly not going to use something this big as a side stone. Plus the ring is yellow gold, while we had decided on white gold or platinum. Actually, BF is getting titanium (for several reasons) but we wanted white gold or platinum for me.

It''s very important to BF''s family that the ring be used.

So I guess I have lots of questions. Can a yellow gold ring be melted down and turned into white gold? Would a jeweler think I was insane for requesting that? Could colored stones be used in a pave'' type setting, or would that look ridiculous? Could colored stones somehow be incorporated to enhance an old miner cut center stone, or would that just not be good? And, given the sentimental value of both the diamond and the gold (the gold actually came from two sets of grandparents - two wedding sets were melted down and made into one ring, using the diamond from one of the wedding sets), given the sentimental value, how would I find a jeweler who is willing to help design something that will fit my lifestyle, make everyone involved happy, and understand the gravity of what this means? And, if I find all of that in a jeweler, is there any way to compare prices, or should I just trust that the jeweler will be honest and up front with me? Would a jeweler even be willing to perform this sort of task, knowing that probably the only money they are going to make is on labor, and maybe a few small stones if the pave'' thing works out?

I''m so confused. Any help/guidance/insight/whatever would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time!

Lost and confused in Dallas
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
4,255
Hi Soleil...first of all, congratulations on your engagement!

I can''t answer all your questions, but I do have a few thoughts. How wonderful that you get to use a family heirloom for your Ering! ...and an Old Mine Cut?? That''s the best, in my book!


I don''t think you could melt down the old YG ring and remake it WG...If you found a benchman who was willing to use the old gold (there could be problems with this), the ''new'' mounting would have to be rhodium plated to make it white.

I''d recommend mounting the stone in a new mounting, and saving the old gold one for later. Maybe put a colored stone in it for a right-hand-ring...It could still be of great sentimental value too, if you chose a colored stone that has some ''meaning''. (For instance, birthstone of first child, your anniversary month, etc etc)

Colored pave is certainly doable, but I personally prefer diamond pave. For color, I''d like colored side stones...even super simple ones (like baguettes) would be lovely. Sapphires are probably your best bet since they''re so durable...

Is this any help? Maybe it''s a start, anyway!

widget
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I think you could definitely incorporate colored stones into the ring. A good way to do this would be with a ruby or sapphire halo, which means the center diamond is surround by a circle of tiny sapphires/rubies/diamonds. You can see a lot of these at FayCullen.com, a vintage/antique jewelry website.

I''m not sure about melting down the gold to make another ring, but I do believe you can rhodium plate yellow gold, which makes it look white. (White gold is rhodium plated also to give it a whiter look.)

Another option is to replace the diamond in the original gold ring with a colored stone and wear it as a right hand ring. Then reset the diamond altogether in a halo setting either with diamonds around the halo or colored stones, and pave diamonds on the band.

Hope this helps!
 

justjulia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
2,308
I think San Diego Lady has a pretty diamond and sapphire band... I would definitely think about using the diamond, but how about as a pendant? Then get a plain titanium, with possibly some channel or flush set little diamonds in it, as your wedding ring. I''m worried you might go to great lengths to get this diamond set into an engagement ring only to put it away in a jewelry box, based on your active lifestyle. A pendant won''t get banged up, and you could still incorporate some color into it, if you want, ...I base what I''m saying on some of the Tiffany Jazz necklaces (look at the Tiffany site).
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I think a pendant might be nice, that way you can have the stone which has sentimental value, but still do what you want with your e ring.

I think a saphhire with white diamond side stones could be nice. I do not think pave would be durable enough, though you can certainly leave your stone at home and wear a platinum band if you are going to be rough on it during an activity...

Congrats!
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
I can''t answer all of your questions, I am far from an expert around here...but how would you feel about having two rings? One to fit your active lifestyle (a titanium band to match yourfuture hubby''s perhaps?) and then a ring the antique stone to wear for out''n''about occasions? I also love the idea of using the stone and making a RHR out of the inherited piece. You could do all of the above, what fun!
 

crown1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
1,682
i would use the diamond and get a new mounting. i believe that melting down the gold without removing other elements can cause porosity and problems with breakage. this may be wrong hopefully an expert will address this for you.

i would get the platinum band for my adreneline rush days and mount the diamond in a setting with some blue sapphire accents.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
I have a few things to say.... first of all congrats!!!!!! :)

Then... in random order of importance:

I love classic rings for wedding rings that are plain and have no additional adornment. They''re so handy too!

I love antique cut stones, especially old mine cuts but they are generally a bit more cushiony. If it is a true round, is it possible it is an old european cut? Either way - those are gorgeous and I''d *jump* at the chance to use them!!

You know... you can have more than one band also... you can have one plain one while you''re out roughing it and another from your wedding night or late on, for an anniversary that is adorned with rubies or diamonds or sapphires - or any combination therein. You can definitely have an eternity band made of colored stones, though sapphire and ruby are going to be your toughest (hardest) after diamonod.

Not many places will reuse gold, but it can be done. Sometimes there are porosity issues with it though, so maybe a plain band could be made out of that.

I recently found that white gold (nickel and copper) and chlorine are an unhappy combo, so if you do training in pools you might want to avoid white gold.

You can set your antique stone with colored stones in so many different ways if you want them both in your e-ring.

Enjoy your process!!
 

surfgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
4,438
Antique cuts are wonderful and such a glittery quality to them! You can do alot with such a stone. How many carats is it and do you know what grading it is in color and clarity? If it's quite warm/yellow in tone, you'll likely need to bury it in a yellow gold setting to make it look more white. But if its a good color (colorless) and nearly white in appearance, you can certainly re set it in plat. or white gold. I took my grandmothers old cut ering stone (1.15 cts) and set it in a basic plat 4-prong setting with two sapphire side stones. It's quite nice and I almost used it for my ering but I think I'd like something a little bit bigger on my large finger...but it does look lovely as a 3-stone with sapphires and would look equally nice with emeralds or rubies, though sapphires have a timeless look to them, IMO. There is a popular vintage style that has a diamond center stone, surrounded by a halo of french square-cut colored stones - usually sapphire and occasionally emeralds. It's a nice look and will make your stone pop more, and look a bit larger on the finger if its a smaller stone.

As for the yellow gold in the old setting...some goldsmiths will tell you that some old rings are rather porous, and as such they dont seem to like to melt them down and re use that gold...That's what I've heard...Why not just re set the stone, if you really like it, and keep the original band intact for someone else in the family to use, if they want to. For example, although I took my grandmother's stone out of its setting, the ring was a classic plat. cathedral setting with a baggette on each side, and the bags are still intact so I'm keeping the ring and will probably offer it to my cousin if she ever gets married since it will have sentimental value to her as well. Why not just pass the setting on? That way you get to use the stone, and keep the ring in the family, guiltfree!

Just found this photo, scroll down the page and you will see the diamond with sapphire halo...
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/question-and-looking-for-pics-about-diamond-sizes-for-larger-fingers.60228/
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
without reading the other responses this is what i would do:

i would make two rings.

1. using the family yellow gold i would make plain matching bands for the two of you. they can dilute in some white metal to make white gold if you wish. white gold is really a buttery yellow. i would use these rings for the adrenaline active you. edited to add: something "hammered" since it will get beat up anyway.

2. second ring i would make up in platinum/diamond pave with the family stone as the center stone. this would get left at home should you choose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Making Yellow gold become white gold.

YES. It can be done. However the process will be very costly.

First the old item needs to be melted down and then refined to pure gold. The pure gold can then be alloyed with white gold alloy, and then recast. Another benefit of doing this is that you specify what karat fineness you want ( 10,14,18 karat). By refining the gold, you remove solder and any previous alloys, thus bringing it back to new before it is recast.

If this is a lightweight ring now, you need to estimate how much gold you need to make the design you now want. Your current ring may not have enough metal to do this, so you need to possibly add some new gold to the "mix" if the new design mandates more metal.

The problem is that having just a small amount of gold refined would be costly, but if it is important to you to use the old metal and change the color without the onus of recasting old gold or plating, you could inquire at the jeweler to see what the costs would be.

Some jewelers DO have the ability to refine small amounts of gold, but most do not.

Rockdoc
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,183
Date: 4/8/2007 12:37:18 PM
Author: RockDoc
Making Yellow gold become white gold.

YES. It can be done. However the process will be very costly.

First the old item needs to be melted down and then refined to pure gold. The pure gold can then be alloyed with white gold alloy, and then recast. Another benefit of doing this is that you specify what karat fineness you want ( 10,14,18 karat). By refining the gold, you remove solder and any previous alloys, thus bringing it back to new before it is recast.

If this is a lightweight ring now, you need to estimate how much gold you need to make the design you now want. Your current ring may not have enough metal to do this, so you need to possibly add some new gold to the ''mix'' if the new design mandates more metal.

The problem is that having just a small amount of gold refined would be costly, but if it is important to you to use the old metal and change the color without the onus of recasting old gold or plating, you could inquire at the jeweler to see what the costs would be.

Some jewelers DO have the ability to refine small amounts of gold, but most do not.

Rockdoc
Even if you did this additional gold would need to be added - imagine making a dress with exactly the correct amount of fabric - there is no room for off cuts - so there needs to be many more joins = bad structural strength - if not impossible to make.

You can not cast a small amount - generally you need 20 to 50 times more sprue and tree trunk to force the ring into the mold.
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
i did not know about gold refining and just looked it up. can get out silver and other precipitates with chloride ion. can get other metals by nitrate ion. interesting chemistry. in my ignorance i thought you could just melt it and hammer into a ring.

i would just not worry about it.
 

soleil

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
2
Wow - so much information! Thank you all very much!


I didn''t know about melting down gold, taking things out, adding things in....it all seems very complicated. Maybe you''re right, I should not try to do that.

As for the stone - here is what I know.

Approximately 87 or 88 years ago, my BF''s great grandad purchased the stone for his soon-to-be-fiance from her uncle, who was a jeweler in New York. I honestly don''t have any specs - the exact cut, size, color, inclusions....nothing. It is round and appears to be somewhere in the vicinity of a carat. But again, that''s just my uneducated guess. It''s set in yellow gold now, and looks very pretty and sparkly. I guess I would need to get it appraised to find out the details, buy an insurance policy on it, and determine if it would look good in a white-material (gold, platinum, titanium) setting.

I like the idea of two rings, one for everyday and one for "dress-up." I also like the link to the ring with the colored halo (thank you).

Maybe I can just keep the gold band, have the diamond set into something antique-looking, and have a separate band for swimming in oceans and jumping out of airplanes.

Thank you so much for all of your help! I really do appreciate it!
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
As mentioned, YG can be melted down to eventually make WG, but it''s really not worth it since it will cost the same or less just to have a new ring made. As far as delicate pave designs...they are not maintenance free. For your sort of lifestyle if you want an everyday ring I''d suggest a bezel...or take your delicate rings off when you jump out of planes, lift weights, etc. Stones fall out of pave settings occassionally and this is one of the disadvantages of pave, they are certainly beautiful.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top