moms wedding ring was originally a channel band with small pearls set all around the finger. the problem with it was the seed pearls kept falling out and it was uncomfortable to wear. so mom tucked the ring away…
many years later she gifted the ring to her daughter who loves that she has the original wedding band. same problems, though – lost pearls and discomfort in wearing. so daughter tucked the ring away…
this is where i entered the picture.
the daughter was a repair referral for a different ring. in chatting after she picked up that repair (very pleased, by the way), she mentioned she couldn’t wear her mother’s wedding ring because it was uncomfortable and the pearls were not secure.
my jeweler’s brain began to whirl!
the ring was uncomfortable because the milgrain or tiny beaded edge above and below the channel was bulky between the fingers, and the beaded edge cut into the adjacent fingers. my original thought was to fix it, to “roll” the edges into the channel leaving enough room for the eight remaining pearls. however, that did not work because of the age of the metal; the gauge of the metal made it too brittle and too thin to withstand the heating or annealing required to shape it. my solution was to add wire to fill the channel and create a solid shank but leaving enough room to reset the remaining pearls. thus and so, instead of “fix” we decided to “reconstruct.”
we customized the ring by fabricating a new one
we filled the channel with white gold wire, welded the channel edges to the wire and removed the milgrain edging. next, we created a channel for the remaining pearls but kept the original milgrain edging.
the end result is a newly fabricated ring with the look of mom’s original wedding band, but now comfortable to wear and without the worry of losing the small seed pearls. although the original pearls were not of superior quality, they were good pearls and they were mom’s; so we used those for sentimental reasons.
- 14k white gold channel wedding band with full round 2.50 mm cultured Akoya seed pearls from mom’s original ring
- Location: West Hartford, CT