One type of ring that I have been wanting to try to make is an “Eternity” ring, where a ring band’s circumference is wrapped with evenly-spaced faceted gems. I had seen a lot of online videos of professional and master smiths creating them in a variety of styles using various tools ranging from burs to gravers, so I figured that I would give it a shot with what tools I have (jeweler’s saw, burs and files).
I had purchased a packet of 2 mm round Chocolate CZ stones back in 2014 to practice gypsy-set flush mounting of faceted gems with, and still had plenty of them left, so I dug those out to use. That way, if the ring turned out to be a total failure and needed to be scrapped, I wouldn’t run the risk of damaging expensive stones when retrieving them (and at 15 cents each I wouldn’t exactly be breaking the bank, either). 😉
I also had a little bit of square wire left from an ingot I had poured and rolled out for toggles on some cuff links I made a while back, so I rolled that out a little more until it was about 2.5 mm square, trued it up with a file and made a band in size 6 3/4 for the stones to be set in.
Determining the number of stones I should use so they would be evenly spaced around the band with enough gap between them (but not too much) was a slight challenge in itself. I have no idea if there’s a standard way of figuring this part out for eternity rings or not, so it took a bit of playing around with a calculator as well as laying the stones out, table down, around the ring on the bench for a rough “guess-timate”.
I eventually settled on using 24 stones, so with caliper and dividers I marked off the band and got busy drilling holes, working with the saw, burs and a round file to make the seats, flutes and channel needed to create the necessary settings and “prongs” for the stones.
As I had never made an Eternity ring before, and am NOT a professional setter of faceted gems by any means (having only set faceted gems since I started silversmithing back up in 2014), I feel I still have a lot to learn in that area but was really pleased with the result.
It was a very fun and challenging ring to make, I got a lot of really nice practice in, and although it’s far from perfect in my eyes, just seeing the look on Kathy’s face when I handed the finished ring to her was priceless. 🙂