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Thread: Gold wedding ring commission - questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    2

    Default Gold wedding ring commission - questions

    Hi Everyone,

    I've lurked for a while now and picked up some great tips and advice, just wonder if anyone can help me out with my first wedding ring commission I am making for a friend of a friend. I work in silver usually so I'm a bit out of my comfort zone.

    The order is for 2 relatively straightforward hammered gold bands, with a domed/curved profile. 1 as thin as possible for the bride. She has described what she wants as being really lightweight and insubstantial. Definitely less than 3mm width across the finger and probably well under 1.4mm thickness before hammering. The groom wants the same style band with hammered finish but more robust, hardwearing, thick etc at least a 6mm-8mm band width and thicker mm depth of gold. Their budget is 500 for both rings. I have been looking at different Yellow gold D shaped wires available and I think it will be a push to get these made up in 18ct for their budget? (Cost of the grooms ring, mainly) Would you agree? They are ok with going for 9ct - so I'm just wondering how thin I dare go with the D shape wire for the bride if I am going to be hammering a texture on it? Would 2mmx.125mm be too risky if I'm going to be heavily texturing it? She is a size O and I've practised with some silver D shape wire I had to hand, which was 4mm x 1.4mm. It stretched up pretty easily from the size M that I made it , into the size O required and became a lot thinner, obviously. So wondered how much thinner than 1.4mm depth I should buy in gold?
    I'm also wondering with the grooms (size T) whether I would need to make it a full 2 sizes smaller, or if I'm using a much thicker gold wire than the brides, will it stretch less and so I should make it just 1 size smaller (Size S) before hammering texture? I have a ring stretcher so could always make us of that if required.

    So, my main questions really are:

    -What dimensions of D shaped wire would you recommend I go for with for each? There are a lot of choices and it's hard to know without having used these particular dimensions
    of wire before. Don't want to go too thick/thin bearing in mind the hammered finish.

    -would you say 500 for both rules out 18ct? (I get a trade discount on ring blanks but not on the gold wire).

    -which leads me onto, ring blanks- I have had two different jewellers advise me to make it easy for myself and just buy ring blanks and texture them up. I would feel a bit of a cheat doing it this way though, especially as it's my first wedding band commission. The upside to this is they are already hallmarked- the date of the wedding is 15th March so I am unsure if I could get the rings I am due to be making hallmarked in time for the wedding if I made them up in wire. That would have to happen afterwards, which the bride and groom are fine with, but then would the hallmarking effect the hammered finish slightly?- Would it have to be the lasered hallmarking after the wedding which is obviously more expensive?

    Sorry for the massive amount of text for what must seem like a really straightforward commission to everyone on here, but I just don't want to screw it up! I want to be clear on exactly the right type of wire I need before ordering and on those other factors I have to consider in the process.

    Any tips/advice very gratefully received!
    Thank you!

    Deborah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester UK
    Posts
    671

    Default

    I think 500 for both hallmarked would only just cover metal and postage. 18k works out around 30 a gram. I worked out the weight for an 8mm wide ring thats 1.7mm in height and it almost 12 grams in 18k and almost 9 in 9K. Then hallmarks around 40 if your just doing those rings. I also wouldnt go to thin on the wedding ring it will come back to haunt you when it bends etc. I try to stay around the 1.7mm mark for wedding rings but will go down to 1.5mm if the customer requests it


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    First on a rather sour note, friends of friends tend to choose you because they are hoping for a cheap bargain. It is flattering to get a commission, but some times wiser to decline as politely as possible.

    If you proceed. I earnestly suggest that you make the rings up in silver first. This will give you their approval as to size and fit. Also point out that having a ring as thin as possible, will automatically shorten its useful life .

    It looks as if you might have to opt for a lower carat. Please note that if you go the made up ring route, hammering to texture will enlarge them.

    Dennis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    2

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    Thank you both for your advice. Much appreciated. Yes, I have made 2 rings up already in different dimensions of silver D shaped wire that I had to hand, to test and see how much they stretched with hammering a texture etc. I have done several costings and yes, it will be the 9ct gold wire route. So, I just have to decide on the thickness of Gold D shaped wire that I opt for and so it's good to hear both your thoughts on not going too thin here.

    As regards hall marking, will it be a problem doing this after the wedding do you think? (time constraints of getting made up and hallmarked before the date) Will it effect the textured pattern by hammering a mark after? in which case the laser marking (more expensive route) would have to be used?

    Yes Dennis, friends of friends tend to probably think that- but I do think that they wanted to keep it local and avoid anything un-necessarily fancy. I just think it's a lack of understanding about the cost of materials and labour, and as you can see, I still have to learn a lot myself, especially working in gold as I am only really used to working with and doing costings in silver so far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Central London
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    You can hallmark worn items. They don't have to be new.
    Another thought is whether they will want them engraved, because you will need to do that first and leave room for the hallmark, in both cases avoiding the seam.

    As for D-shaped wire, there are two main profiles:
    In true D-shape the height is half the width, so it is half of a round wire.
    There is also a lower one.

    To add to the confusion, you can use oval wire, which has a smoother profile.

    As for working with 9ct gold, just treat it like silver and you will be surprised to find that it's easier, because the heat does not escape as fast. Dennis

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