The need for trial and error
July 14th 2011
For the last couple of months this bangle has been a work in progress. The design of the bangle originated from a bracelet that a customer had seen. Converting that design to a bangle presented quite a few challenges that took a fair bit of trial and error to overcome.
The first of the challenges I faced was how the customer wanted the bangle to sit on her wrist. Using a thin silver draft of the bangle, I was able bend it around the customers wrist to determine the size and shape required. From this draft we determined that the bangle needed to be oval, however the size that sat best on the arm was no longer large enough to slide over the wrist. A custom catch and hinge would need to be made.
Finally, the bangle had to be strong enough to enable 150 holes to be drilled into it for the setting of the same number of diamonds. In total 1.95 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds were set into the bangle.
Which precious metal to use?
The hardness of the precious metal to be used was also a factor due to the narrower sections of the design. An alloy that provided enough strength to retain the bangles shape would be required. After some research I was able to source a custom white gold alloy that provided the strength I was after without having to make the bangle too heavy and bulky.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, the design was based around a bracelet. When you have many small pieces that are free moving, such as you do in a bracelet, strength is not so much of a concern. If you bump a bracelet into another object it rotates at the link joints (to a degree) to absorb the impact. Not so with a bangle.
Using a double rail design for the main frame of the bangle allowed me to achieve a lighter look whilst still providing the strength needed.
This bangle took quite some time to make. It was made for one of my regular customers and I would like to thank her for her patience. I was very please to hear her tell me it was worth the wait.