How David Ashton makes a ring
Here you will discover the process involved in making a diamond set platinum ring.
Every ring is handmade by David using skills he has finely tuned over decades, using tools he has made especially.
This ring is platinum & diamond, many of the processes are the same for gold, and other stones.
First making the band, here are the rollings mills, rolling is a metal forming process in which metal is passed through one or more pairs of rolls to reduce the thickness and to make the thickness uniform.
Draw plates, The plate is held securely in a vice or other fixture. Annealed wire is filed at one end to give it an initial taped. The tapered end is inserted into a hole with a final diameter just smaller than it’s current diameter. Special pliers called draw tongs hold the tip of the wire & pull it through, with the aid of wax as a lubricant.
Before and after milling & drawing. A piece of Platinum 6mm square rod, which has been drawn, then milled to produce a piece of 3.3 x 1.9 mm D profile wire, to be made into the shank of a ring, shown here hallmarked.
Next David needs to shape the straight piece of metal into a ring, here using half round pliers and strong hands. Once the ring is round, David welds the ends together with oxyacetylene, the melting temperature of Platinum is 3,224 degrees Fahrenheit. Now a complete ring, David makes the ring round, and the correct size using a steel mandrill & hide mallet
The ring is to have a bulb setting with rub-over and grain set diamonds. A platinum setting shown here in the lathe. David makes the setting perfectly round, and ensures the diamond fits exactly in the setting. Still in the lathe, but turned round, the setting is polished, a post created to locate the setting in the band. The setting is then soldered to the band, using oxyacetylene, the metal is at red heat.
Next David needs to work out then mark the diamond spacing on the ring using dividers. The ring is coated in a special ink to make the marks easier to see. The ring has 79 perfect brilliant cut diamond set in it, the setting 24. The spacing is worked out and marked in the same way, all to a tolerance of 0.01mm. The holes are then drilled ready for the diamonds. David is careful not to drill all the way the metal, to ensure strength, durability and to keep the diamonds clean.
The main diamond is rub-over set. David has made his own tool especially for the task. David sorts fine brilliant cut diamonds into 0.01mm increments, in lines. The small diamonds in the setting have been placed & set, the middle line in the band are in the process of being set. Small grains of metal hold the diamonds in place.
The finished ring, the main stone is a natural fancy colour diamond, with white diamonds in the setting and band which are made from Platinum.