Professional Jeweler Archive: Rebuilding a Karat Gold Ring Using Laser Technology

May 2003

Professional Bench/Defining Quality


Rebuilding a Karat Gold Ring Using Laser Technology

Knowing how to perform this task demonstrates another aspect of quality in your shop


This ring, sold several years ago at Troy Vinson Jewelers, Forth Worth, TX, had a single diamond set in the diagonal pattern along with side diamonds. After a significant life accomplishment, the customer wanted to add two more diamonds of equal size in the diagonal section. Here’s how Vinson’s shop manager, Gerald Ledbetter, reconstructed the ring to add the diamonds.
The instructions on the job envelope calls for three diamonds to be set centered in the diagonal bar pattern. Ledbetter removes the one that was originally set in the ring and will fill the hole using laser technology. As the illustration above shows, he has already used a slim reamer bur to true the hole where he removed the diamond.
Next he fits a heavy gauge karat gold wire into the slightly tapered hole. He hammers the wire in place to achieve a tight fit. The hole is plugged and ready for laser welding.
NOTE: The wire plug extends beyond the top and inside surfaces of the ring. Ledbetter sets the laser welder to 235 volts, 3 milliseconds with a focus of 12. He welds the plug at the bottom, inside the ring, and then welds the top of the plug outside of the ring.
He changes the focus setting on the laser welder to 20 and uses 30-gauge 14k gold wire to rebuild the ridge shapes around the top of the plug.
Next Ledbetter uses a smoothing technique with the laser welder and evens out the joint of the plug and ring inside the shank.
Using abrasive wheels and files, Ledbetter recuts and reshapes the grooves in the top and prefinishes the inside of the ring.
The ring has been rebuilt and refinished and is ready for
setting.

Procedure Summary

Rebuilding the man’s ring and setting three diamonds required 45 minutes from start to finish. For questions on this process, contact Mark B. Mann at markbmann@aol.com.

– by Mark B. Mann

Technical contributions by JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler Gerald Ledbetter
Troy Vinson Jewelers, Fort Worth, TX

Illustrations by Lainie Mann

©2003 Visual Communications


Rebuilding a Ring Using Laser Technology

A. There are no visible seams from the rebuilding process inside or on the top of the ring.

B. There are no visible tool marks.

C. The surface inside the ring on the bottom portion is even and smooth.

– by Mark B. Mann

Illustrations by Lainie Mann

©2003 Visual Communications
markbmann@aol.com

This series is sponsored in part by Jewelers of America, (800) 223-0673

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications