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Jurgen J. Maerz
Articles and Videos by Jurgen J. Maerz:
Jurgen J Maerz of the Platinum Guild International USA outlines factors to consider when adding platinum to your line of manufactured jewelry. Technical education is the key successfully manufacturing platinum jewelry. Platinum is often regarded as a difficult metal to…
This article offers instructions on how to resize platinum rings whether for a size smaller or bigger, as well as, repair bench tips and tricks. Rings are among the platinum items that jewelers most frequently receive for repair. To make…
Platinum is a very durable metal, so prongs will last a long time. However, it is sometimes necessary to re-tip prongs even on a Platinum ring. By definition, re-tipping platinum prongs imply that the stone remains in the setting during…
This project is dedicated to bench tricks that make working with platinum-or working at the bench in general-easier. This is the first installment of a periodic Platinum Bench series.
Platinum casting is different from gold or silver casting, and insufficient preparation and understanding of the process can still lead to many hours of frustration. Success depends on having good, functional equipment and process control, and learning all you can about the process before you cast your first flask.
The principle of bi-metal casting is really very simple: A wax model is invested, cast and finished. A secondary wax is created, which is going to become part of this piece. The wax is attached to the first casting, re-invested and the metal is cast on, thus creating a piece that is made with two metals. It is recommended that mechanical fastening devices, such as plugs, tracks etc. be worked into the design. The piece is then finished as usual.
There is a major difference between durability and scratch resistance. Platinum is very durable. When scratched, the scratch actually displaces the metal, leaving ridges on the edges of the scratch. This is where durability comes in. Whereas other precious metals, if scratched, lose metal, and thus wear down, Platinum does so at a much slower rate.
What does it take to be successful at repairing, customizing, and servicing platinum jewelry? First, an understanding of properties unique to platinum. When platinum is mined, it is usually found with one or more of its five sister metals, called the platinum group metals: palladium, osmium, rhodium, ruthenium, and iridium.
Today, platinum is enjoying its renaissance. In the U.S., platinum consumption has risen by more than 700% since 1990. More jewelers are carrying platinum jewelry, and consumers are becoming more aware of the most noble of all metals. Many jewelers are still confused as to the platinum alloys available, their application and purpose, this paper will attempt to clear up some of these issues.
This project will teach welding, soldering and forging techniques. The ring is a handsome, plain design and can be applied to many applications. To make this ring, you will need.
Platinum takes more effort to polish, for the simple reason that it does not wear as other precious metals do – Platinum, has a liquid surface. Other metals lose mass over time, these deteriorations take a lot longer with platinum.
In this presentation I attempted to provide you with information on platinum alloys to help you make an informed decision as to which alloy to employ for your manufacturing venture. There are several alloys I did not mention, mainly because they are experimental and have not found their way into the main stream. An alloy is chosen for its capability, ease of recycling and many other criteria. It must be user friendly, scratch and bend resistant and hold your stones securely. It is further of importance that it can be finished with few or no problems and hold a shine. These alloys that can do all this are here. They are on the market and can do just what you are looking for. It is sometimes just a matter of breaking old habits to see a major improvement in your product.
BW Simon in Spartanburg, South Carolina, made this handy tool for finishing jewelry. I would like to thank him for allowing me to share this bench trick with you.
It is becoming common practice to do more and more platinum fabrication with a laser welder. For this project, you need about a foot of 0.25 mm hard platinum wire. You can purchase hard wire from a metal supplier, or draw it down from a larger size without annealing to achieve the hardness required. You also need a wooden bead (the diameter of which is up to you), superglue, and a laser welder.
Many tools sold in model/hobby stores can be used for jewelry making. During a recent visit to a hobby shop, I found these tube bending coils, which model makers use to build models that require bent tubing. Jewelry makers will find these coils handy when bending tubing for projects.
In this project, I will demonstrate a clever method of making equally sized beads. These beads can be used for granulation or decoration, or they can be soldered inside rings to keep the rings from turning while worn.