What is it like being a diamond jeweller?
A faceted gemstone requires the attention and patience of a skilful diamond jeweller
There’s nothing more fascinating than the journey of a diamond from mine to finger. Not only will a rough diamond undergo multiple steps before it reaches the hands of a skilled jeweller, but a diamond will continue a remarkable process after it arrives in a jewellery workshop. After being cut and polished into a beautiful faceted gemstone a diamond will require the attention and patience of a skilful diamond jeweller before it reaches the consumer. But what exactly does it take to be a master jewellery maker in the diamond industry?
STEP 1 – PLANNING
A diamond jeweller will follow a set of instructions and an illustration from a job bag
Before starting the day, a diamond jeweller will receive a variety of job bags from the production coordinator or production planner. Each of these job bags will supply the jewellery maker with a clear set of instructions and an illustration or drawing of what the final jewellery item will look like; a task could be anything from creating a customised diamond engagement ring to a bespoke jewellery item. This could take the diamond jeweller anything from one to three days. After receiving the instructions a diamond jeweller will gather a variety of tools for the necessary project. Here’s a list of a few essential tools a diamond jeweller might need:
A VARIETY OF PLIERS
Flat nose pliers hold objects, wires and metals in place
Flat Nose Pliers – The piece of equipment is used to hold objects, wires and metals in place. The flat nose plier can also be used to bend or straighten a wire.
Round nose pliers make jump rings and connect rings
Round Nose Pliers – A diamond jeweller will require a round nose plier to make jump rings and connect rings and other jewellery items together.
Nylon Jaw Pliers help the diamond jeweller to not leave any marks on the metal
Nylon Jaw Pliers – When working with semi-precious metals a diamond jeweller will use a nylon jaw pliers. This tool will ensure that the diamond jeweller doesn’t leave any marks on the metal while straightening the wire or denting out of the metal.
Bent chain nosed pliers are used to solder items
Chain Nosed Pliers – The chain nosed tool is similar to the flat nose pliers, but has more control and more length, should a diamond jeweller need it.
Bent Chain Nosed Pliers – If a diamond jeweller is planning to solder an item they will use the bent chain nosed pliers. This will help them to work on the side of the pliers while bending the tips.
Step jaw pliers will assist the diamond jeweller to make loops
Step Jaw Pliers – The tool is used to curve an object and allow the diamond jeweller to make loops.
A micro torch is used to melt the metals
A fire torch or micro torch is essential for a diamond jeweller to solder jewellery pieces or fuse metals together. This piece of equipment is also used to melt the metals before it’s skilfully crafted into rings or other jewellery items.
A diamond jeweller needs to wear eye and face protection when working
Safety goggles – It’s very important for a diamond jeweller to wear eye and face protection when they’re using any of the tools. Especially when they’re melting platinum and titanium – looking directly at melting metal has the same effect on your eyes as looking directly into the sun.
A diamond jeweller will need a flat surface to shape or hammer a jewellery item
A solid surface to work on – An anvil, Meta block, wood stump or a wood block is essential for a diamond jeweller when they need to shape or hammer a jewellery item. A diamond jeweller will also make use of a metal roller to ensure that the jewellery pieces are perfectly rounded off before the quality check.
Files and buffs are used to polish the jewellery items
Files and buffs – Files and buffs are a great piece of equipment to use if a diamond jeweller would like to polish a metal item and get rid of burrs from the wire. A diamond jeweller would usually have a few different sizes or sets of files and buffs for different jewellery pieces.
Additional tools – The following additional tools will assist the diamond jeweller in the making of the jewellery items: tweezers, wire brush, clamp, charcoal brick, a steel ruler, sandpaper and rubber gloves.
STEP 2 – THE MAKING OF THE JEWELLERY
A diamond jeweller will create a customised diamond engagement ring to a bespoke jewellery item
The diamond jeweller will receive different projects from around the world; this usually entails instructions from various clients and jewellery manufacturers. The project will either entail a custom-made jewellery piece for a client or the rework of a previous jewellery item. A typical job for a diamond jeweller is the personal creation of a diamond engagement ring.
The diamond jeweller will start by creating the ring using the Lost Wax Investment process. This specific process has five steps:
• Create a ring using melting materials such as wax or certain plastics.
• Replace the version of the ring with a heat-resistant cementing material by using a sprue channel.
• Heat up the cemented mould in order for the molten area to melt away through the sprue channel.
• Use the sprue channel to force the melted metal into molten metal.
• Clean the ring using a steamer or an ultrasonic machine.
The diamond jeweller will create a ring using the Lost Wax Investment process
Once the ring is completed, the diamond jeweller will follow a style guide with certain specifications. This will determine how the ring will look and feel with the right alignment. The next step would be for the diamond setter to place the diamond in the ring. The diamond jeweller will then clean the entire ring from top to bottom with a steamer and ultrasonic machine to ensure all the filings are removed. The jewellery item would then be sent for multiple quality checks.
STEP 3 – QUALITY CHECK
The diamond jeweller will send the ring or jewellery item for a series of quality checks
After the process is completed the diamond jeweller will send the ring or jewellery item for a series of quality checks before it is returned to the client or the jewellery store. If the piece of jewellery is not up to standard, the diamond jeweller will correct the concerns before handing it over.
For a diamond to reach its full potential the stone needs to be cut and polished to perfection. But, we often forget that it takes more than just a beautiful gemstone to complete a magnificent piece of jewellery. To create the entire piece of jewellery you need the input of a diamond jeweller, who is patient, has a technical mind and can pay extreme attention to detail. Not only will this make a jewellery item a cut above the rest, but it will truly be a gift a person or loved one can treasure forever.