Last month, a couple that I have known for years asked me to show their daughter class rings as she will be graduating in 2019. We looked at all of the traditional rings which are offered by Gold Lance. She almost had one picked out when her mother mentioned the possibility of a custom class ring. The idea being that once you are out of high school many people stop wearing their traditional class ring. She thought that if the ring could be made to be both a class ring and a fashion ring at the same time, her daughter would wear it for life.
So, her daughter and I began talking about what she would like her class ring to be. Her birthday is in December. I had been to a gem show recently, and I had found a lovely elongated cushion cut London blue topaz, her birthstone. I showed her the gemstone, and she immediately knew that she wanted it as the center piece. She also decided that she wanted the band of the ring to be rose gold and the prongs which hold the center topaz to be white gold. This blends perfectly with the color of the topaz.
Next, I showed her a few samples of other pieces of jewelry that I had made which had text either cut into it or built upon it. She decided to make a cut out on each side. She wanted her name on one side and her school with graduation year on the other side. The letters would be raised in the cut outs but would not stick above the band of the ring, thus making it feel nice and smooth. She also decided how wide she wanted the band of the ring to be.
With all of this information, I began designing her class ring. The ring is two pieces, a white gold basket setting and a rose gold band. The band has a ledge built that fits into a cut out in the basket setting, thus keeping the basket and the band aligned. As for the casting, I chose my caster in New York that has a vacuum casting machine. He also had taught computer aided design classes at GIA in New York, and he worked for a well known designer in New York before joining my caster on 48th Street. I used my 3D printer to make a wax model to show her what the ring would look like, but I used my caster’s higher resolution 3D printer to print the parts to use for the casting. This gave me the best resolution for the letters. With their vacuum casting machine and Roberto’s years of casting, we got a really crisp cast with letters that turned out nearly perfect. The photographs with this article show first my 3D printed wax model of the ring. The next one shows the parts pre-polished with the topaz nearby. The next two show the finished ring from each side and how easy the letters are to read.
If you are interesed in making a loved one something different for graduation, or any other special occasion, feel free to contact me. You can call me at 276-676-3110 or email me at email@example.com.