Each jewel is first drafted with a pencil or designed with a computer using a 3D design software.
The design is sent to a model maker who carves the setting into a block of wax. Today It is possible to carve the setting in wax thanks to a computer software.
A rubber mould is made by pressing the wax model between two rubber plates. A groove is digged into the rubber with a special tool. The groove will enable to pour the wax into the closed mould in order to make other wax settings.
Opposite is the wax model for our “Sunflower” ring.
This technical is sufficiently accurate to create an imprint for the locations where the diamonds will be set.
The wax models are then stuck on to the ‘wax tree’
Very fine special plaster is poured over the wax tree, which is placed in a heat-resistant container. The whole is placed in a heat-resistant mould in order to melt the wax, which is runing out. This is why this technique is called the ‘lost-wax’ technical. The plaster then contains the hollow shapes of the wax tree.
The alloy is prepared by melting the gold and the other different metals in correct proportions. The molten metal is poured into the plaster mould and, after it has been cooled, the result is a ‘metal tree’ holding the rings, settings and other parts of all the pieces on order.
Now each stem of the metal tree holding a setting has just to be removed. The stem will be cut at the base of the setting and each part will then be polished before moving on to the next stage..
The settings that have been cut off the metal tree arrive in the mounting workshop.
Checking that the size of the ring matches the order
Abrading any flaws caused during the casting
Rubbing down the setting
Positioning the setting/p>
Welding the setting onto the ring
Filing down the welding defects
In order to work safely and accurately, the setting is placed in a mandrel which is clamped into a vice.
The diamond is placed in the setting.
The claws are bent onto the diamond using an awl.
The claws are polished until the surface is completely smooth.
The mandrel and the set diamond are removed from the vice to be examined from every angle.
The diamond is set using binoculars.
The setting is put in a vice and the diamond is placed into it.
The claws are bent onto the diamond using an awl, regularly spaced around the stone.
The ring is then polished using a felt disc with a coating that has varying degrees of abrasiveness.
The ring is passed under a jet of water steam to remove any trace of grease before rhodium plating.
White gold jewels can be rhodium plated by covering them by electrolysis with a fine layer of rhodium of 0.2 to 0.3 micron thickness.