To wear or not to wear, that is the question.
23rd March 2018
When two pieces of metal rub together they eventually wear each other down. Lets look at what happened to this design where one ring spins around the top of another that I made 7 years ago
The totem is a Cowtail stingray and the gemstone is a champagne diamond. We had a ripple sand effect on the white gold and a rocky finish to the rose gold. The white gold was left it`s raw grey colour with no rhodium plating.
This ring was designed so that the white gold section could spin around the rose gold base. As if the stingray was swimming in shallow water along a shore edge.
We always knew that there would be friction/wear and therefore the need for maintenance in the future. The owner of this ring likes to spin it quite often so that speeded up the wear.
7 years later
Both rings had worn at each other and also the locking edge on the rose gold ring that kept the white gold ring from slipping off had worn away.
When this ring was first made it weighed 16 grams. When it came to me for repair it weighed 13.5 grams. That means that 2.5 grams of gold had been rubbed of the ring over 7 years.
I made a sleeve that would be pinned into the rose gold base ring to replace that lost gold and fit the rings snuggly together again.
With the sleeve pinned in place I next needed to create a new locking edge to stop the white gold ring from slipping off sideways.
You can see in the next photo that the liner inside the white gold ring in the middle does not go all the way across. That vacant section is for the locking edge to sit into.
The inside of the white gold section in the middle had a rose gold liner placed in it when I originally made the ring. This is so that we have the same precious metal wearing against each other.
Almost as good as new
The wave pattern on the white gold section has worn away a bit. That pattern was initially created by hammering. A process that also enlarged the size of the ring diameter. When I originally made the ring I started with a smaller diameter than required to compensate for this.
If I tried to re apply that hammer finish now I would enlarge the diameter and it would no longer fit the base. We would have to leave it as is or totally remake it. We left it as is.
Wear is inevitable with a ring like this or when you wear rings side by side but there are ways to minimise that wear.
Only wear your rings when you need to. Do your rings really need to be on all the time, especially when you are at home? This is particularly important for women with rhodium plated white gold rings. Less wear means the longer your rhodium will last keeping your rings bright white.
Think of it as that nice going out dress. If you wore it every day how long before it started to look not so impressive?
Some activities just do not suit rings. Here are a few that some of my longest customers have exposed rings I have made to with a negative result:
weight barbells, great way to scratch up your ring
body weights on concrete
the beach, sand is like sandpaper
removing bricks from a work site
There are many others but a bit of awareness should tell you when you should not be wearing your precious rings.
I never take my rings off, deal with it David!
If that is the case, and I have many customers that feel that way, then I will let you know that comes with a consequence and you have made the choice to accept it.
Even metal parts in your car that are a lot harder than precious metals wear out over time.
As jewellery design becomes more and more intricate the number of designs that do not suit a range of activities also increases.
You can decide to wear your rings all the time and every now and then have them repaired or totally restored. The customer in the above photo has opted to do this but she now knows the cost.
Reduce the time worn, decrease the wear and increase the life of your jewellery. Your jewellery, your choice :)