This is a part of the jewellery process that many people don't know about or think about, but it's such an interesting part that we're excited to share. Here are the general steps we take when creating a prong ring!
Step 1: Create the band by soldering the ring together into a solid circle
Step 2: Coat the metal in flux to protect the metal from oxidation and allow the solder to flow cleanly.
Step 3: Place a tiny piece of 14k yellow gold solder over the joint where the two ends of the ring meet
Step 4: Heat the ring with the torch just to the point of the solder melting; quickly remove heat
Step 5: Quench ring in water to reduce temperature and clean ring
Now we have a fused band!
Step 6: Clean any oxides or dirt off the ring that formed while we fired the band.
Step 7: Drop ring in hot "pickle". Yes - pickle! We use a mild citric acid and water solution that is heated. When metal containing copper is heated, the copper rises to the surface and oxidizes. The acid will dissolve the surface copper and remove dirt, leaving a shiny surface. Heat accelerates this process so the pieces only have to sit for a few minutes to be "pickled"
Step 8: Shape the band
Step 9: Slide the fused band onto a ring mandrel and hammer into a perfect circle
Step 10: Smooth out any bends in the band by hammering flat against a steel block
Step 11: Solder the prongs to the band we have just made
Step 12: Coat both the ring and the prongs in flux
Step 13: Sandwich a piece of 14k gold solder between the prongs and band at the centre of the prong X
Step 14: Heat the ring and prongs with the torch just to the point of the solder melting and fusing the two together; quickly remove heat
Step 15: Quench ring in water to reduce temperature and clean ring
Step 16: Drop ring into pickle to clean
Step 17: Set the stone in the ring
Step 18: Position the stone on prongs - we position to ensure a strong fit and bring out the best parts of each stone, so each setting is unique
Step 19: Bend prongs around stone - we use a few sets of pliers to ensure a smooth fit and reduce metal marring; tighten as needed
Step 20: Cut prongs to size
Step 21: Smooth prong edges and complete a final tightening using a burnisher tool