Mark B. Mann


Articles and Videos by Mark B. Mann:

Pulse-Arc-Welder: Box Clasp Tongue Repair

This 14-karat yellow gold heavy bracelet chain has a broken tongue at its critical springy location. An ideal method for its repair is a non-torch pulse-arc welding approach so the alloy in the mechanism is not annealed or softened in the process. For this repair, the ABI Tack II and Pulse-Arc welders provide the ideal solution.

Pulse-Arc-Welder: Pearl and Diamond Pendant

This karat gold pendant design calls for several solder joints in close proximity. To facilitate the assembly, I tack and/or pulse-arc-weld the parts prior to soldering to eliminate shifting or dropping off through the soldering process. Tack-welding also facilitated my ability to easily make adjustments for alignment through the process. Here’s how.

22K Gold Granulation on Turquoise Earrings

Featured are the materials for turquoise, platinum and 22-karat gold granulation earrings. The turquoise is 10.25 millimeters round and will be bezel set. The platinum is Pt-900-Ir, a platinum and iridium alloy. Once the platinum fabrication has been completed and the center stones set, the last step is performing the 22-karat yellow gold granulation using modern fusion-welding techniques.

Repairing an Omega Earring Clip

This project shows a challenging repair and reconstruction of earrings with a broken Omega clip and heat sensitive gemstones.

Moissanite Necklace Repair with Welding Technology

This necklace contains Charles ‘ Colvard created moissanite. It has been mistakenly pulled and a few links have broken. Repairing the links using pulse-arc-welding technology removes the potential to freeze links, reduces the build-up of oxidation and decreases time required for clean-up as opposed to using a torch for the repair.

Repairing a Sterling Silver Shell Cameo Pin

Repairs and alterations of jewelry that has been in families for generations is an ongoing request at retail service departments. These pieces are not of high value, but they have sentimental value to the owner. Often these pieces were not made properly, excessively worn or broken. To keep your customers happy, repairs to these pieces are inevitable and this article covers procedures for simplifying the process, minimizing risk and maximizing profit margins for the service department.

Making a Yellow Gold and Platinum Ring

This two-part series highlights tips and techniques, tools and accessories and procedures for custom making the 18 karat yellow gold and platinum ring featured in the counter sketch for a green tourmaline and diamonds.

Installing and Repairing Hinge Rivets

Installing or repairing hinge rivets can be difficult with a torch. Flooding a hinge with solder and permanently joining a link to adjacent links are among the risks when using a torch and solder. Use of the following pulse-arc welding techniques to weld the hinge rivets will eliminate potential problems and speed up the overall procedure..

Prong Setting Round Brilliant Gemstones

For setting round brilliant gemstones in prongs, many setters and bench jeweler generalists use a 90 degree low speed bearing bur to cut a bearing in one prong at a time. This procedure is made easy by using the Foredom AllSet with the easy cut prong guide covered in this article because it offers systematic controls for cutting prongs at a higher rate of proficiency. For this example a 90 degree low speed bur will be used to bur individual prongs at a controlled height and depth of cut using a Foredom #52 Quick Change Handpiece and the Foredom AllSet #52 Quick Change Adapter Kit..

Foredom’s New Finishing Products

JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler Linda Steinke uses Foredom’s new pre-finishing wheels and polishing compound to finish fabricated and cast platinum pieces. ‘Using these new products has eliminated the multiple-step process I formerly used and I’m able to accomplish my pre-finishing and polishing in half the time’. Michael Dickey, also a certified master agrees stating ‘In my operation, time is money and we are thrilled to benefit from using these quality products to speed up our finishing procedures’.

Flush Setting Round Brilliant Diamonds in Platinum

Seated at his bench, David Howard, owner of My Jeweler, Inc. in Albuquerque , NM contemplates and prepares his work for the day. Technicians at My Jeweler perform repairs while customers wait in addition to the constant flow of design and custom order work. Their glassed-in workshop located at the entrance of the store allows customers to observe the bench jewelers at work from both the retail floor and the walkway outside. The day I was there, Howard demonstrated a flush setting technique for small round brilliant diamonds in a platinum band.

Foredom Bench Lathe Kit

Understanding and using updated materials will help you accomplish pre-finishing and finishing requirements professionally and efficiently. Here’s a brief overview of some new and established products.

Foredom Milling Assembly for Wax Components

Bill Holman uses modern technology to create his designed line of jewelry featuring Drusy gemstones. Wanting his jewelry designs to be unique but not competitive with the natural beauty of the freeform Drusy gemstones, he creates one-of-a-kind masterpieces by milling components in wax using Foredoms AllSet Model Makers Milling Assembly.

Wax Build-Up Procedures

The Foredom Wax Carver (WC-1) is a new wax worker recently made available to the jewelry industry by The Foredom Electric Company. To demonstrate many of its features, Michael Dickey performs a wax build-up project.

Platinum Ring Sizing and Torch Welding

Sizing and torch welding a platinum ring with diamonds channel set down the shank could be risky to the diamonds. Use of a Pulse-arc Welder for this welding job will eliminate the risk and potential damage.

Bracelet Shortening and Reassembling

This Charles and Colvard created moissanite (hereafter referred to as moissanite) and two-tone karat gold in-line bracelet requires shortening by two links. The bracelet is held together by a heavy link-wire that’s wrapped around an open portion of the adjacent link and permanently joined, giving the bracelet maximum flexibility. Below is a procedure for shortening, reassembling and permanent welding of the link using pulse-arc-welding technology..

Making Custom-Designed Earrings Using Welding Technology

This custom job of 14 karat yellow gold earrings with diamonds and pink tourmaline is made easy using tack-welding technology. Tacking the pieces prior to soldering enabled me to ensure proper alignment and soldering procedures without the need for excessive and cumbersome holding devices. The soldering steps were minimized, reducing the potential for prong failure.

Jewelers’ Gripping Tools

Euro Tool, Inc. offers a wide variety of innovative and standard holding device’s to make working at the bench easier, safer and more productive. Here’s an overview of a selection.

Foredom Micro Motor Kit

This article features Bill Holman who bezel sets a 2.55 ct. trillion diamond, 0.03 ct. round brilliant diamonds and engraves a platinum ring and matching pendant using Foredom’s Stone Setting and Engraving Micro Motor Kit..

Foredom TX Flexshaft

When manufacturing and repairing jewelry products, rotary equipment is essential to the process. Nothing is more frustrating or potentially damaging to the task than equipment that offers less than smooth, reliable and strong performance. The Foredom TX flexible shaft is capable of delivering this and more, resulting in greater efficiency, consistency and valuable time savings with the job at hand.

Wax Tools Update

Euro Tool, Inc. has developed five wax tool kits and a cordless wax pen for the overall improvement of wax working projects..

Warrior Power Tool System

New patented Warrior Power Tool System kit provides a revolutionary proficiency advantage for bench jewelers and jewelry manufacturers for split-lap abrasive pre-finishing, finishing and polishing.

Tru-Seat Setting System

Hoover ‘ Strong, Inc. in Richmond, VA provides a line of Tru-Seat settings that include solitaire earrings, pendants and solitaire rings in yellow, white and palladium white gold alloys. By using Tru-Seat mountings and the system outlined below, jewelers can reduce material costs, labor and improve quality..

3M Bur and Polish Wheels

3M XR wheels, formerly known as XK wheels are ideal for sprue removal and smooth deburring with minor surface reduction. A channel can be created in the wheel for repetitive multiple part processing. They replace stone wheels, have superior edge retention and last up to 4 times longer. The side of the wheel can be used as a lap to produce crisp edges and they generate less waste than conventional wheels..

Finishing the Inside of a Platinum Ring

Jeff Mathews has developed a process for polishing the inside of platinum rings using 3M abrasive technology. To illustrate how he performs the job, I follow his procedures using this hand fabricated flat platinum band. Tool and forming marks are easily visible. The quality and identification marking has been completed..

3M Radial Bristle Discs Proficiency Advantage

3M Radial Bristle Discs were introduced to the jewelry industry in 2000. Additional discs and end brushes have been added to the selection and over time and with the extensive selection I’ve reinvented how I semi-finish castings and perform other pre-finishing techniques. They are flexible, cool running, clean, non-loading and provide a controllable uniform finish. Here’s an overview of semi-finishing a rough casting using the discs.

Channel Setting Tools Designed For Wax

Stone-in-place casting is growing in practice with manufacturers and retail manufacturing operations taking advantage of these labor saving techniques. Stone-in-place casting requires gemstones be properly set in the wax model prior to casting. The most often utilized style of setting for this procedure is channel for round, baguette and princess cut gemstones..

Steps for Graver Preparation

Gravers are small cutting tools used for stone setting, texturing, de-burring and applying decorative embellishments and traditional hand engraving. Steps required to prepare new gravers include mounting, sizing, shaping, sharpening and proper storage. Gravers are among the most useful tools at a jeweler’s bench. Failure to properly prepare and maintain gravers not only presents a hazard, but also affects quality of work, proper technique and time efficiency. Here are some steps for preparing gravers for utilization with hand techniques.

CAD/CAM Wedding Set Finishing and Setting

Computer aided design (CAD) was used to develop three designs in multiple views to show the customer. After the design was selected, the wax was milled and the ring was cast, pre-finished, set and polished. Foredom tools, equipment and accessories were used to make the process more efficient.

Setting a Three Stone Ring with Foredom Tools

This three stone ring designed by Barney Jette has two flush set trillion sapphire side stones with a total weight of 0.81 carats and a 1.05 carat round brilliant diamond center stone. Jette prepared the wax using build-up techniques and cast it in 14-karat yellow gold. Rod Smith, Jette’s shop manager completed and.

Award Winning Cufflinks by Bill Holman

These cufflinks designed by Bill Holman were award winners in the AGTA 2004 Spectrum design competition. They are 18-karat yellow gold and feature Drusy agates with a 24-karat deposition layer over the exposed crystal formation. The small gemstones are 1.50 millimeter diamond-cut round sapphires. In this article, Holman shares the details of his approach for making these award-winning cufflinks and how.

Making a Platinum Wire Setting

These materials are for a platinum pendant and they include wire made of a platinum iridium alloy. This article covers a manufacturing method using tack-welding technology for making the wire setting for a pendant with a movable bail.

Pulse-Arc-Welder: Ring Prong Replacement

This 14-karat yellow gold, emerald and diamond ring has a broken prong requiring prong replacement. Steece Hermanson will replace the prong and reset the displaced emerald without un-mounting any of the gemstones. For this, he uses the ABI Tack II and Pulse-Arc Welders.

Making Custom-Designed Diamond and Tourmaline Earrings

The customer has selected the pair of earrings shown the rough sketch. The top portion is cast, the bottom piece is hand fabricated and the two units are joined by wire links. Materials used in the custom designed earrings include: 14-karat yellow gold with 14-karat white gold settings, Diamonds and tourmaline cabochons.

How to Make a Three Stone Dangle Pendant

The assembly of this three stone pendant pendant appears simple but when using traditional methods to position and join the tiny parts it can be tricky and time consuming. Each of the bezel units will be connected by jump rings and will dangle when finished. Tack- and pulse-arc welding technology makes the soldering and assembly process easier and more proficient.

Making a Double Domed Pendant

This article covers techniques for making an 18-karat double domed yellow gold pendant. The front side will have a bezel set round brilliant tsavorite garnet. The back side is open and pierced. Tack- and pulse-arc welding technology were used to make the finished piece.

Pulse-Arc-Welder: Sterling Silver Bracelet

To demonstrate how pulse-arc welding performs on sterling silver, this bracelet was cast, finished and assembled without the use of a torch. The six links immediately adjacent to the clasp on the bracelet are made with a common sterling silver alloy and the other five are made using the new sterling silver alloy developed by Marc Robinson of ABI Precious Metals that contains platinum. This article highlights pulse-arc-welding techniques used for making this sterling silver bracelet.

Welding Technology Tool Modifications Part 1

Proper holding and firm contact between parts during tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc-welding is essential. Aside from pieces not meeting properly, most destructive discharges result from poor holding and/or insufficient contact. A destructive discharge causes damage to the parts being assembled. The tools supplied with the Tack II and Pulse-Arc Welders provide good holding devices for the majority of jobs you will encounter. With minor modifications and skillful use of these tools and the development of tools you may design and fabricate, you will minimize destructive discharges. Here are some examples of tool modifications you may find useful.

Remount Preparation Using Tack Welding

Tacking settings in location on remounts using tack-welding technology offers the bench jeweler many advantages over traditional assembly methods… Tack-welding provides a temporary working weld of the setting between it and the ring. This process is quickly accomplished and with this advantage, sales personnel can easily show customers placement of the settings on a remount prior to soldering, final setting and finishing.

Phillip Voetsch’s Jewelry Design Process

Phillip Voetsch is an accomplished designer and master level bench jeweler, he began using 3D CAD/CAM technology 3 1/2 years ago. With each project, he begins by reviewing the information recorded during the interview, including key information such as size, color, cut of gemstones, type, color and finish of metal, setting style and budget. His goal is to provide customers with three options based on their input.

Making a White Gold and Turquoise Cameo Pendant

This article covers techniques for making this custom designed 14-karat white and 22-karat yellow gold granulated pendant for a customers turquoise cameo purchased while traveling overseas. The cameo will be set in a wire loop bezel and the 22-karat yellow gold granulation will be completed after the pendant is finished. Along with traditional techniques, tack- and fusion-welding technology was used to expedite the work.

Making a Crown Using Welding Technology

David and Diana Howard, owners of My Jeweler, Inc. in Albuquerque , NM recently worked with a local church to design and manufacture a crown to be placed on a popular church icon painting. The churchs parishioners donated jewelry to the cause. Howard sent the old gold out for refining and received over 4 ounces of fine gold in return. He alloyed the gold to 14-karat yellow, poured ingots and rolled wire for the crown. The crown has over 600 contact joints so Howard decided to use tack- and pulse-arc-welding technology. Here is an overview of the procedures he used…

Welding Technology Tool Modifications Part 2

Custom jewelry projects for tack-, fusion-, and pulse-arc-welding sometimes call for special welding tool lead attachments. Bench jewelers often make the required leads using standard bench tools to better hold parts for pre-assembly and welding. Here are a few tack-, fusion-, and pulse-arc-welding tool making basics you may find helpful.Use your imagination to create and make new tool leads that will accommodate your repair and custom order work. The electrical supplies for these projects are all standard and were purchased at electrical supply and/or hardware stores.

Fixturing Using Welding Technology

Fixturing is a technique of using tack- and/or pulse-arc welding technology to temporarily position parts prior to soldering, pulse-arc or laser-welding. Repair, reconstruction, assembly, custom manufacturing and mass production all become more proficient using it. The following examples show applications of fixturing, how it was accomplished, the settings used and how it makes your work more proficient.

Jewelry Design and Manufacturing Process

At GLJW it iss not unusual to see the sales staff wearing jewelers aprons and optivisors at one of the 25 computers showing customers Matrix CAD layouts of a proposed design. Neither is it odd to see customers watching the mill shape their jewelry or a future bride e-mailing CAD renderings of her wedding ring to a fiancé who lives in another state. Owner Jim Tuttle, a 19-year bench jeweler with an industrial engineering background, says the percentage the store makes with CAD/CAM has gone from 0% to 90% in three years.

Jewelry Repairs with ABI Mini Pulse Arc III

This article covers routine repair and assembly projects accomplished using Mini Pulse Arc III. Tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc equipment settings will differ and are based upon the volume, amount of contact and alloy of the material you are working with. Practicing using like materials will give you a parameter for the settings required for your application. Keep a record of settings and tasks for future reference.

Pearl Earring Repair Using Mini Pulse III

14-karat yellow gold cultured freshwater pearl and diamond earrings will be repaired as a demonstration of the new Mini Pulse III. The connecting post and dangle jump rings were not soldered when originally made. One of the dangles has become unattached to the post.

Making a Pearl and Diamond Ring

This illustration is of a 14-karat white gold ring for three cultured freshwater pearls and two small accent diamonds. After preparing the wax, casting and pre-finishing, the ring was prepared for tack welding. There are 5 parts to be tacked – 2 small white gold settings and 3 white gold pearl posts. At each location for tacking the wire posts, a ball bur was used to create a small indentation slightly larger than the diameter of the wire.

Foredom AllSet Preparation for Prong Bearings

The Foredom AllSet Master Stone-Setting Kit includes prong, pave, channel-cutting guides and a fixture that attaches it to a Foredom No. 30 handpiece. The kit is capable of quickly being set-up in a multitude of ways to complete a variety of stone setting tasks. This article covers setting-up Foredoms AllSet Master Stone Setting Kit to cut consistent bearings for an in-line bracelet.

950 Palladium: Making a 3-Stone Ring

When heated to high heat soldering temperatures, some 950 palladium alloys will develop a bluish-purple surface discoloration. It is easily removed by briefly and mildly heating the piece with a neutral flame. When palladium is heated to gold soldering temperatures, no surface discoloration occurs.

950 Palladium: White Metal Alloys

Of late, an increasing number of white precious metal alloys have been introduced into the jewelry marketplace in answer to industry cries for a true white counterpart to the ever popular yellow gold. The search has been on for a workable white alloy that stays white, is hypoallergenic and priced more agreeably than the often prohibitive platinum. Alloys emerging include mixtures of 50/50 platinum and palladium, 585 platinum with cobalt and copper and several alloy combinations in between. Surveys indicate consumers appreciate the purity of 900 to 950 platinum, and would prefer the purity of a 950 palladium alloy if considering an alternative.

Pulse-Arc-Welder: Creating Jewelry

For this project, the No. 1 tip was used with the ABI Pulse Arc Welder. Five tips come with the unit giving the user multiple choices for the wide variety of welding applications commonly encountered by bench jeweler generalists. Periodically, the electrode and ceramic collar need reshaping.

How To Avoid Destructive Tack-Welds

As a technical adviser to bench jewelers I often troubleshoot tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc-welding applications. One of the more frequently asked questions is related to what causes destructive tack-welds. Destructive tack-welds fail at temporarily welding the parts and often result in damage such as arcing, surface splatter, part deformation, excessive soot and permanent weld joints.

10 Key Ingredient of Retail Success

After 30 years in the jewelry industry working as a bench jeweler, sales professional, manager and owner, Michael Gerwig had a very clear image of how he wanted to establish and build his new store in Fayetteville, AR. He envisioned Michael-Seigler Jewelry ‘ Design as a unique jewelry design and custom manufacturing salon built exclusively on the foundation of CAD/CAM technology.

950 Palladium: Fabricating Custom Earrings

This article examines manufacturing procedures used to hand fabricate 950 palladium earrings. These custom earrings designed by Lainie Mann feature cultured mabe pearls and pink sapphires set into hand formed and fabricated 950 palladium. The materials used in this project include.

Manufacturing a Free-Form Pendant

This article features the manufacturing steps for a one-of-a-kind free-form pendant designed and created by Barney Jette. The center stone is a one-of-a-kind chrysoprase carving by Steve Walters, Ramona, CA and is highlighted by a cultured pearl.

Creating a 950 Palladium and Diamond Ring

This ring design provides an excellent example for gemstone setting and working characteristics of 950 palladium. The superior white color of the alloy, its malleability and overall strength provide a sound and secure setting for the treasured gemstone and the diamonds that will last for generations.

The Jewelry of Barney Jette

Barney Jette and wife Nancy Ball have built a retail success story,
solely focused on jewelry featuring Jettes design. The brand they
have built is recognized throughout the nation and their reputation
is one that theyve earned, piece by piece.

950 Palladium: 22K Granulation Wedding Band

This band was designed and rendered using Gemvision Matrix jewelry
design software. The 22-karat granulation beads measure
approxiametely 1.0 millimeter and have a small space between them.
The 22-karat granulation beads will be permanently applied by
fusion-welding using the ABI Tack II and the vacuum pump and ring
clamp attachments.

CAD/CAM: Passion and Innovation

Greg Stopka and his wife Lee began JewelSmiths 18 years ago with a belief they could succeed by providing jewelry repair and restoration directly to consumers – with no inventory. Dean Stopka (right), Gregs brother joined the couple 12 years ago to manage a second location in San Ramon , CA. This dynamic team and their staff have been very successful in selling virtual jewelry (computer-generated images of jewelry designs). Their total sales between the two locations compare with or exceed the dollar volume of comparable stores which maintain large inventories. Heres their plan for success.

Customized Stock Earrings

This project features a stock pair of earrings that are customized for cultured pearls. The request was to design earrings that would be unique, modern and functional – within a tight budget. To prepare them for the addition of 22-karat yellow gold granulation and the cultured pearls, a groove was created using a diamond wheel. A separating disc would have also worked. This groove will allow the beads to be positioned a bit lower on the earrings. Pearl posts were made and soldered.

Pulse-Arc-Welder: Closing Chains

This sterling silver chocker chain is handmade from 16 gauge round wire. It has multiple interlocking links. The customer leads a very active lifestyle and has small children so she prefers the links be permanently closed.

Fixing Magnetic Finisher with MF610

After several years of use, the small stainless-steel pins in my magnetic finisher had became dark, were stuck together and yielding poor results when tumbling precious metal mountings. Seeking advice for improvement, I turned to Andy Kroungold, Stullers tool specialist.

CAD/CAM Design and Model Making Services

Retailers seeking designers and model makers for fulfilling custom orders or for developing new designs exclusive to their inventories have a growing variety of options available to them. Companies providing these services through Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) are referred to as service bureaus…

Custom Designed Wax Carving

This article features the wax carving steps for this custom made pendant designed and created by Bill Holman. The center stone is a one-of-a-kind black drusy quartz carving, is highlighted by red accent gemstones and pave diamonds set in the central area. The metal is 18-karat white gold.

Reconstructing Earrings Using Welding Technology

These fashion drop earrings contain oval diamonds weighing 1.78 carats. The customer is concerned about loss because of the open design of the ear wires. She would also like the earrings to freely dangle and move when worn. To accommodate this request.

Custom Antique Coin Pendant

This article features manufacturing steps for a custom designed 14-karat yellow gold and diamond coin pendant. The coin pendant featured in this article was designed and rendered by Lainie Mann using Matrix. It will be cast in two pieces because the bail will be movable.

Paul Klecka Joins the Digital Revolution

Without a doubt, jewelry designer Paul Klecka has joined the digital jewelry design revolution. Evolving from a traditional business model wherein his company took orders for his designs, manufactured the product and then shipped to some of the worlds top retailers, Klecka has reinvented his operation to achieve greater success in todays market.

Foredom Redesigned Series SR Flexible Shaft

Foredom has redesigned the popular Series SR Flexible Shaft motor. It has more power/torque and is rated at 1/6 HP versus 1/8 HP of the former series SR and S. It also has 33% more power over the variable speed range from start up to full speed.

New Efficient Bench Applications

Pre-finishing, finishing, polishing and re-finishing have all been tasks usually done with a flexible shaft at the bench and/or a motor away from the bench. This article features methods and procedures used for a variety of these projects – all done at the bench with bench top equipment and flexible shafts with newly developed accessories and innovative applications.

950 Palladium: Selling Points

Designers and manufacturers have embraced 950 palladium alloys for a variety of jewelry manufacturing products. At the recent JA Jewelry Show in New York, most prominent among the new 950 palladium products were bridal lines featuring a wide selection of engagement rings and wedding bands. Even though palladium is a platinum group metal, consumers are largely unfamiliar with the metal. Here are some selling points that will help introduce this lustrous white, bright and light metal during sales presentations.

950 Palladium: Superior White Color

Striking differences between elements such as color, tone, texture, reflection, refraction, pattern and shape create contrast. Contrast not only enhances the qualities of each juxtaposed element, but can also create a pleasing balance in a design. Jewelry designs featuring the richness of yellow and the brightness of white metals offer consumers another direction in expanding their jewelry wardrobe. For the jeweler however, creating the intended contrast between yellow and white gold usually involves a matte finish and rhodium plating on the white, with the additional concern for allergic reaction due to the nickel in the alloy. With yellow gold and platinum there is contrast, along with a price tag that is prohibitive to many customers. The clear alternatives are palladium alloys which offer a true white contrast to yellow gold at comparable pricing. Belonging to the platinum group metals, palladium shares the same hypoallergenic characteristics, purity of color and lack of memory (a perfect stone-setting medium) as platinum, though it is lighter in weight and more easily gives way to a bright lustrous finish.

950 Palladium: Setting Fabrication

This simple pendant design will be made with 950 palladium wire. Tack-welding technology will be used to temporarily hold the prong wires prior to soldering to the lower bezel gallery wire. The trillion shaped Danburite weighs 6.4 carats and measures 13.35mm. No commercial settings were available to accommodate this gemstone.

CAD/CAM and Expertise of David Nytch

David Nytch, proprietor of West ‘ Co. an independently owned jewelry store in Webster, NY is changing the way customers see his business. Nytch had observed that independently owned stores are often regarded by consumers as service centers and sources for education, purchasing their jewelry from a bigger, more familiar name. Adding Gemvision CAD/CAM technology to his armamentarium has enabled him to build his own brand of quality, original jewelry, positioning his business as a destination for custom design as well as a source for expert craftsmanship and consumer education.

950 Palladium Bridal Jewelry Manufacturing

Retailers have been converting bridal inventories from white gold to palladium as manufacturers expand the selection of new palladium jewelry designs. In addition to stocking palladium pieces, they have been custom making bridal jewelry with new palladium alloys. There are several factors responsible for this favorable (re)turn to palladium including.

Making a 950 Palladium Signet Ring

The natural beauty of this white, bright and light palladium ring is enhanced with hand engraving of initials done in relief. 950 palladium manufacturing methods and techniques covered in this project are:

a) Injection wax preparation for 950 palladium casting.

b) Filing, sanding and polishing a 950 palladium ring casting with flat surfaces and crisp edges.

c) Relief hand-engraving initials with a stipple finish in the recessed portion.

Granulation Using Fusion Welding

This ring is manufactured using Hoover and Strongs 14-karat white gold alloyed with palladium. It was cast using standard casting methods and materials for gold and silver. The pearl post were fabricated and soldered after casting and pre-finishing. The cultured pearl measures 10.5mm and is too large to mount prior to the fusion welding. Fusion welding of the beads would not cause damage to a cultured pearl or weaken the bond between the glue and the pearl.

Installing New Tapered Bezels

This ring is in for repair and reconstruction. When it was originally made, 6-prong settings were used to mount the customers diamonds. All prong tops are severely worn and one prong has broken. The customer has requested bezel settings, so the prong settings were removed from the ring. The ring was re-sized according to the customers request and then pre-finished. For tacking the tapered 14-karat yellow gold bezels, the brass tweezers lead was modified to firmly hold a bezel. A ball bur was used to remove metal from inside each end of the tweezers.

Setting and Shank Assemblies

Setting and shank assemblies are routine work in many retail manufacturing jewelry shops. Heres a method for expediting this process using ABI tack-welding technology.

Hart Jewelers Drive for Growth

Hart Jewelers in Grants Pass, OR has been a family owned store for over 50 years. Owner Tom Hart proclaims, “Our customer is the most important person in our store” and thats clearly apparent in the way the staff interacts with clients, sells and services jewelry throughout the day. “By keeping up with new technology, I have been able to service a wider range of customers. Having the capability to design, manufacture and deliver new and exciting products has allowed us to grow by 30% per year for each of the last 3 years. This technology, while not easy to learn has kept the business strong and interesting for us all”.

How to Build Up a Thin Shank

This cultured pearl and diamond 14K yellow gold ring is in for sizing. When the take-in person inspected the ring, they noticed that the top portion of the ring shank had worn thin. The shank has become thin and sharp at the top portion. It will be rounded out and built up using an ABI Pulse-Arc-Welder and 14-karat yellow gold 30 gauge round wire. It is not necessary to remove the pearl to do the build up.

Manufacturing Mokume Gane Jewelry

Mokume gane translated from Japanese means “wood eye metal”. This rare metal lamination process was developed and used by Japanese craftsmen in the 17th century for the adornment of samurai swords. Today, mokume gane jewelry is growing in popularity and this article covers the details related to the manufacturing process, ring liners and rails, settings, servicing and quality issues.

950 Palladium and Tahitian Pearl Earrings

These 950 Palladium earrings were designed by Tom McLaughlin of Lennons Jewelers, Syracuse, NY. The top portion of the design is bead set with small round brilliant diamonds on one side. When worn, the bottom portion swivels and is bead set with small round brilliant diamonds on both sides. The two sides of the bottom portion are separated by 18-karat yellow gold spacers. The diamonds on each side of the bottom portion accent the round Tahitian cultured pearls as they swivel when worn.

Cultured Baroque Pearl Necklace

This story details manufacturing and assembly steps for a cultured baroque pearl necklace with yellow gold design elements. pearl necklace. The featured necklace combines cultured white baroque pearls with cultured naturally colored freshwater baroque pearls and 14-karat yellow gold links. White pearls threaded on gold wire bridge the colored-pearl-accented gold center and side pieces. Pearls alternating with gold roundels are strung on silk using traditional methods to complete the necklace pattern.

950 Palladium: Casting Procedures

With the jewelry industrys acceptance and increased use of new 950 palladium alloys for jewelry design and manufacturing, its fundamental to have a general understanding of related casting procedures. In this installment of the 950 palladium jewelry manufacturing series of articles, Teresa Frye, president of TechForm Advanced Casting Technology shares an overview of her companys 950 palladium casting procedures and gives insight into the scientific approach they have undertaken to improve results.

950 Palladium: Manufacturing Tips and Techniques

The “other white metal” is making its presence known and it wont be long before light, bright and white 950 palladium products find their way to your workbench, either as merchandise from your store or customers jewelry taken in for service or alteration. Notable designers and manufacturers like Frederick Goldman, Scott Kay, and Lieberfarb have incorporated 950 palladium products in their bridal lines for over a year. This installment features information, tips and techniques for working with palladium through a manufacturing sequence required to produce this necklace and earrings.

950 Palladium: Fabrication and Assembly

This article covers methods and techniques for hand fabrication, soldering and assembly for a custom designed 950 palladium and cultured pearl ring.

950 Palladium: Laser Welding Techniques

According to Frank McAllister, the quantity of individual pieces of jewelry made from 950 palladium has surpassed the same for platinum products in the recent months. McAllister, CEO of the Stillwater Mining Co. calculated this based upon the number of ounces used globally for each alloy. It wont be long before light, bright and white 950 palladium products find their way into your store, either as merchandise from your customers jewelry taken in for service or alteration or work required to customize 950 palladium jewelry from your own inventory.

950 Palladium: Finishing Procedures

Practicing specific procedures for pre-finishing and polishing of 950 palladium will make a stunning difference in the final presentation of this fine jewelry product.
finishing palladium This 950 Pd wedding band design was made using CAD/CAM design and model making technology and features high millgrained edges, textured diagonal grooves and a high polished flat surface. The ring was finished from a rough casting using a progressive abrasive system and limited standard polishing techniques. The pre-finishing and polishing system featured in this article can also be used after sizing any 950 Pd ring.

950 Palladium Bench Guide

The palladium bench guide reviews the working characteristics of palladium for the jewelry bench staff and provides an overview of the unique advantages and benefits of palladium jewelry for managers, sales professionals and consumers. It is intended to serve as a source for information on the most commonly encountered palladium jewelry scenarios and the related materials available in the industry today.

950 Palladium: Successful Design Considerations

Well designed 950 palladium jewelry plays to the strengths of this unique metal — the aesthetics of its light, bright, white color, weight and ‘#39;feel’#39;. It’#39;s a joy to create a beautiful piece of jewelry which delights the wearer, and promises to remain trouble free for years to come. So here’#39;s a tip: Emphasize the positive qualities of this unique metal in your designs. Whether palladium plays a supporting role to diamonds or fancy gemstones, or takes the spotlight in visual form or tactile comfort, employing its best characteristics in your creations will serve you well in saleable jewelry, customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

950 Palladium: Unique Manufacturing Process

This Unique Settings ring is an excellent design for palladium with heavy, low-profile prongs for the 1.50 carat center diamond, ample wall thickness for setting the baguettes and supporting the overall structure and sufficient room for bead setting the small round diamonds and bright cutting along the sides. This ring mounting is an ideal example for an overview of step-by-step palladium manufacturing techniques.

950 Palladium: Gemstone Setting

Setting gemstones in 950 palladium alloys is a bench jeweler’#39;s dream. Stone setters will agree that the combination of palladium’#39;s malleability, superior strength and the near absence of memory (spring-back) when it is bent or formed all set the foundation for success, regardless of the setting style. But without proper design (structural support, sufficient metal, accurate fit, etc.), planning and execution of workmanship, the unique and positive characteristics of palladium cannot be used to the best advantage. More importantly, ignoring the working characteristics of the metal could lead to problems for the jewelry through normal wear, such as mountings becoming misshapen resulting in loss of gemstones. The following review of gemstone setting specifically in palladium alloys presents some jewelry examples for consideration.

950 Palladium: Manufacturing Methods

Palladium, long used as a luxurious jewelry metal, has recently experienced renewed interest largely due to its purity, natural white color and affordable pricing. Modern 950 palladium alloys containing various trace elements are superior to the palladium ruthenium alloys previously available for use in jewelry. The new 950 palladium alloys are:…

950 Palladium: Stock Mountings and Findings

The reintroduction of white, bright and light palladium for use in the jewelry industry has quickly introduced an expanding assortment of palladium stock items offered in a variety of palladium alloys. It is very important to know about the 950 palladium alloy that you are working with and to become familiar with their compatible features. Because the ingredients of 950 palladium alloys vary, so may factors such as color and working characteristics. For the best results when sizing, servicing or building jewelry pieces at the bench, use like materials.

950 Palladium: Custom Made Components

When making custom jewelry with any alloy, certain components within the piece are often hand made to enhance the final product. In the two 950 palladium pieces featured in this article, a handmade chain and a bracelet catch are custom made to compliment the design and finished pieces.

Combining Yellow Gold and Palladium

Jewelry designers are discovering that the bright, white color of palladium creates a beautifully distinct contrast to the warm rich hues of yellow gold. Its affordability and light weight can also provide an ample canvas for accents of colored gold without being uncomfortable to wear. More importantly, consumers are delighting in the unique bi- and multi-colored gold and palladium pieces they are offered in increasing number. Possessing the purity and brightness of platinum but with a heft more like gold, palladium is being lauded as ‘#39;the other white metal’#39;.

Production Methods for Palladium Chain Making

As proudly proclaimed in its name, Balestra 1882 has manufactured high quality gold and platinum chain in Italy since 1882. Now a global organization, its operations have extended far beyond the city of its birth. Last fall, they started researching palladium alloys for jewelry and have begun manufacturing palladium chain. Currently, they offer over 25 different styles of palladium chain in a variety of weights, and sizes. Their factory is capable of processing precious metals from bullion to finished product. Presented here is an overview of their chain manufacturing processes at their facility in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy.

Modified Split Mandrel to Bezel-Set Round Stones

This jewelry bench tip is a follow-up to “Modified Split Mandrel for Finishing Round Bezels,” which showed you how to modify a standard split mandrel to make an effective holding device to finish several fabricated bezels of the same dimensions. The same split mandrel can also be adapted into an efficient tool for setting multiple round faceted stones into those bezels.

How to Sharpen Drill Bits

Small, fine drill bits used for jewelry making will become dull with normal use. Worn cutting edges make tasks more difficult and time-consuming and can cause costly accidents, including damage to jewelry and gemstones or even injury. Maintaining the cutting surfaces on your tools will ensure clean, consistent work at the bench. This installment will teach you how to sharpen the cutting edges of a fine drill bit. There are different styles of bit tips, but this example features a chisel tip. Let’s begin with a look at its anatomy.

Quality Assurance Benchmarks for Jewelers

Fine jewelry represents much more than its trade value in diamonds, gemstones and precious metals. It is a personal representation of the owner’s lifestyle, status, emotion, recognition, commitment and more. That significance only amplifies how devastating the loss of a gemstone is for the owner. Even one missing accent stone renders the jewelry unwearable. Loss of a significant gemstone will also impact the retailer who sold the piece and the manufacturer who engineered and produced it.
The loosening, damage or loss of gemstones in jewelry can be attributed to two factors: poor workmanship or the absence of benchmarking standards for setting. Benchmarks are specific parameters used to compare and evaluate the acceptability of a finished product for market.

Stone loss can be avoided. Inspecting each piece and comparing it against established benchmarks for signs of vulnerability in normal wear gives the jeweler/manufacturer an opportunity to address potential problems before jewelry is offered for sale. Adopting consistent task-specific benchmarks encourages sound design and good workmanship, assuring the quality of jewelry for the consumer.