Ring Remounts

For Your Staff:Selling Quality

Ring Remounts

Knowing how to give a gem new life with a new setting demonstrates another aspect of quality in your shop

by Mark B. Mann
Director of Professional Certification
Jewelers of America

Talk about a fun challenge! Nothing beats creating a new design with a gem from a customer's old jewelry. Going through your inventory, reviewing catalogs and sketching ideas open up an entire realm of design possibilities. The result? A new ring that matches the customer's old gemstone with his or her design preferences, taste and lifestyle. A remount is born!

Many manufacturers offer quality remounting products and services to help with this challenge. These options include everything from remount materials (mountings, heads and other findings) to marketing and promotional assistance.

Some manufacturers provide assembly and manufacturing services to meet your customer's specifications; others even set up a trunk show and perform these services in your store.

One new concept for exploring remount possibilities is a computer system by Gemvision Corp. of Bettendorf, IA. The system allows you to show customers their gems set along with new ones in various jewelry designs. It even gives you the Stuller catalog numbers for ordering the selected parts.

If you do your own bench work or want to understand how someone else does it, this installment of the Jewelers of America Quality Assurance Guide is just for you. It focuses on signs that show the proper assembly and finishing of ring remounts and offers points for inspection when taking them in to perform standard cleaning and service work.

Features of Quality Remounts

Whatever the source of the finished remount, certain common inspection points characterize quality:

  1. Proper fit and correct degree of contact between all assembled materials.
  2. Proper soldering and assembly.
  3. Consistency in the design and alignment of components.
  4. Secure stone setting (for quality features of stone setting, see Professional Jeweler; February 1999, pp. 183-184; June 1998, pp. 165-168; and August 1998, pp. 129-132).
  5. Maintenance of the article's detail and pattern.

Here's a closer look at each of these five elements.

 

Proper Fit and Contact of All Materials

For remounts, heads are often soldered onto a ring pattern. The two must be fitted together carefully; surface-to-surface contact – without excess solder – is essential to the overall appearance, security and integrity of the finished piece.

 

 

 

 

Proper Soldering and Assembly

Inspect the piece carefully to ensure the head has not been soldered too high up on the wire portion, reducing the amount of contact and making it less secure.

Consistent Design and Alignment

The prongs should have a consistent orientation. In this example, it's 8:00 and 2:00. Each of the heads – regardless of its position on the ring – has the same orientation.

Maintenance of Detail and Pattern

 

Heads soldered across a ring can all face up in a similar fashion or conform to the radius of the ring.

Secure Stone Setting

When the design is free-flowing, with a variety of heights, the heads – and ultimately the set stones – should face up in a similar fashion.

Cold Solder Joints

Solder has flown around the perimeter where the head and ring meet. But a cohesive bond doesn't form because of insufficient heat during soldering. The result? The head and stone will soon break off. You can't detect this problem with a visual test because it appears properly soldered. So apply moderately firm finger pressure directly over the stone and head. It won't break off if it's soldered correctly.


JA Quality Assurance Guide
Assembly of Ring Remounts

Proper Assembly

  1. The radius of the base of the head fits properly in the notch constructed for it, with at least 20%-30% contact around the radius of the base of the head and the ring, with no "cold" solder joints.
  2. The head has been soldered in the correct position on the wire to ensure adequate contact between the height of the head and the ring.
  3. The joint of the head and ring shows no visible excess solder and is free of pits.
  4. When viewed from top and side, the head and prong orientation is consistent in design and execution.
  5. Heads and stones have a consistent face-up orientation.
  6. All stones are secure. (See previous issues of Professional Jeweler dealing with specific stone-setting methods, such as prongs [February 1999, pp. 183-184], channels [June 1998, pp.165-168] and bezels [August 1998, pp. 129-132]). The detail and pattern of the remount and heads are maintained, free of tool marks, properly finished and polished.
  Potential or Actual Problems

Improper Fit

There is insufficient contact between the head and the ring. In this example, the contact is less than 5% instead of the required 20%-30%.

Inconsistent Orientation of Heads

From the top view, it's clear that random positioning of the heads has caused the prongs to be oriented differently. 

Face-up Angles Inconsistent

 

The finished stones are not "facing-up" consistently.

Excess Solder and/or Pitted Solder Joints

Excess solder not only indicates unfinished work, but is often a sign the head is not aligned in the ring. Pits in the solder joints weaken the bond between head and ring, threatening the security of the gemstones.

Base of Head Improperly Positioned and Soldered onto Ring

 

The head/ring contact is further minimized when the base of the head is positioned and soldered too high.

 

illustrations by Lainie Mann

© 1999 Jewelers of America
This information is required for the second level of the JA® Certified Bench Jeweler program

 

 

 

 

 



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


 

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