A family stone

A family stone
August 9, 2016 Lou Pike Pyman

How many people can say they wear a gemstone that was hand cut by a family member? This month we’re showing you how Nicholas and Matthew designed and hand made a beautiful pendant that features a Smokey Quartz that was hand cut by a treasured member of our customer’s family. The brief was to design a pendant for the large stone, as well as remodelling some gemstones that she was no longer wearing, including a brilliant-cut Champagne diamond.

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Matthew started by making the setting for the large, uniquely cut Smokey Quartz.

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The setting had to be made from separate pieces of yellow gold, so that every part precisely fit the unique shape of the smokey quartz, and each join had to be carefully soldered together.

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Then Matthew made a block-style setting for the Champagne diamond that was drawn above the smokey quartz in the design, in contrasting white gold.

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The block setting was carefully soldered on to the main setting,

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and then time for the bail – the top section of a pendant that a chain runs through – and that in this design featured some small diamonds. Nicholas designed the bail to be made in yellow gold to match the setting of the Smokey Quartz, and contrast the white gold block setting. Matthew carefully hand bent a rectangular piece of gold into shape,

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soldered the open end closed,

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and then filed it into a V-shape.

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Matthew then carefully soldered it on to the top of the pendant, being careful not to melt the solder of the first two joins!

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Every surface of the pendant was carefully finished with fine emery paper (a very fine type of sandpaper) to make sure that the whole pendant was free of blemishes and marks, and then a final hand polish before the stones were set.

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Stones were set, and the pendant was nearly finished!

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Now for the rhodium plating, always one of the final steps. The yellow gold sections of the pendant were masked carefully with nail polish to stop the rhodium plating from attaching to them,

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into the rhodium plating solution,

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and here is the beautiful finished pendant.

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We always feel humbled and privileged to be commissioned to make jewellery, and this commission was even more special knowing that the Smokey Quartz had been lovingly hand cut by someone beloved by our customer.

If you have any beautiful gemstones and would like to see some possibilities of what Nicholas and Matthew can do with them, call them on 8338 3019, or email Heidi at hello@pike.com.au. We’d love to help.

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