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Thread: sizing 9 carat rings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    Default sizing 9 carat rings

    Connie Jensen

    I have just got back to the bench after many years of working with beads and threading. I've renewed my hall mark at the London Assay Office and finding most of my skills easy enough to bring up to scratch. I used to work mainly in silver, with occasional 9 carat and 18carat gold. Now I am struggling with sizing rings in three colours of 9 carat.

    My first commission is to make a ring with three different colours of 9 carat gold. Three rings which will be soldered together to make a wide band. I used a chart to calculate the length needed for size Q, (64 mm) but found it really awkward to cut off the tiny wedge shaped bits produced by cutting with shears, without eating into the length. The rings ended up as P and although I managed to stretch the white one, the red and yellow rings remain stubbornly at P and a half. I may well have to reorder and start again. Should I order an extra 4 or 5 millimetres (and add a millimetre to get to the actual size I want)? Any suggestions gratefully received! I thought I read on Betts website that they sawed gold wire exactly to size, but can't find it now- does anyone know if that service is offered by any dealers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    Default

    I think what you are lacking Connie, is a ring stretcher. Then you can easily stretch your three rings to match.
    As for cutting, there is no place for shears. A saw should be used. Welcome to the forum, Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2020
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    Thank you Dennis! I am very happy to join such a knowledgeable and helpful group. I have the small manual ring stretcher, which you hammer, but it doesn't work very well. Perhaps I need a bigger hammer! I didn't cut the wire with shears, it came that way from Cookson, and by the time I'd sawed through, at least one was fractionally under the 64 mm I'd ordered. I will try again with the stretcher. I am also worried about under/over heating to anneal. Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Yes, those ring stretchers are not very sensitive, so you are just as likely to over do it. If you look at this page, there are several upright ones with a lever, at moderate prices.
    https://www.google.com/search?client...etcher+reducer

    Because of the separate leaves, that expand outwards, you rotate the ring at each gentle pull, to keep the ring round, and check. with your ring stick.

    You are entitled to work with wire lengths you re comfortable with and charge them plus mark up to your client.
    However, with this kind of ring stretcher, you can end up with one size, or a half size too small, and then stretch to size.

    In fact if you are making the rings separately and the joining them, the extra width is likely to cause the final size to be too small.
    Here is a calculator, to show how width and size are related.
    http://www.sleepingdragon.co.uk/uplo...1-3mm_a-z6.pdf, courtesy of sleeping dragon. Dennis.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    Thanks again. I have persevered with my mallet and mandrel, and have achieved size R from P and a half. I have learnt a lot, and next time will buy perhaps an extra 3 mm - I can always melt it down to make gold beads. I was originally aiming for Q - 64 mm, with the aim of sizing up a half size or so because of the eventual 10 mm width. If I were going to do a similar job again, I think I would size up at least a size to start with. I think I will also invest in a better ring stretcher, as you suggest. Many thanks for your time!
    Connie

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