The client did not want a diamond, which was perfectly fine with me. I do have objectives to blood diamonds and they are hard to avoid. Another issue with diamonds is that they were not traditionally used in engagement rings. In the 1930s DeBeers paid Hollywood to make engagement scenes in movies using diamond rings. For this ring the client wanted a blue stone so I encouraged him to go with a blue topaz.
Digging the Stone Out
Digging the stone out is possibly the most important step. The stone on a ring, especially an engagement ring, is the central area of focus for most people. If this part is done carefully it can make steps further down the line easier. Never try to make the hole for a stone unless you have the stone actually with you.
The first step is to mark the center area where you want the stone to go. Take your wax tool of choice, mine is a pointed blade, and start to dig out. This is slow going and can take a fair amount of time. In general, when I do wax work I limit myself to thirty minutes a day to prevent mistakes. As you dig out the hole, drop the stone in and make sure the stone fits. Now you have to make sure the stone is deep enough into the ring or it will look like a sky scrapper jutting out the ring. Even after the stone is flush you may have to continue digging for a while removing slabs from the top of the wax mold.
After the ring is deep enough and flush be sure that the inside is smooth and looks good. This can be done by using one of the smaller grinders and sand paper. Remember that the stone needs to fit in perfectly for everything to work better later on.
With the stone deep enough and flush I was ready for the next phase, getting rid of big hunks.
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