Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

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Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby gailcox » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:28 am

I have a vintage ring that I am pretty sure is at least 75 years old. It was given to me by a cherished Great Aunt, who passed away many years ago. It is unique in that it has very delicate filigree work on the band and the diamonds are set in a Bead and Bright method, meaning the diamonds are not set on top of prongs but are set by the jeweler into gold, using a special tool. (I'm not even sure I understand this) Anyway, all 3 of my daughters want this ring but I can't choose any one daughter to receive my ring when I pass away. I am exploring having 3 reproduction rings made so each girl can have her own. I have received an estimate from one jeweler. I'm going to have at least 2 more estimates. Those of you that know about these things (hoping we have a jeweler on this forum that can advise me) what questions can you think of that I need to ask? What type of jeweler do I need to look for (google?) that specializes in Bead and Bright settings?
Thanks. gail
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby Mrs.Feeley » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:47 am

What a wonderful thought thing to do for your daughters! :D Here's an idea which you can feel free to dismiss if it seems to you just too dumb. I recently inherited a vintage ring of about 50-60 years old, an elaborate confection of 15 diamonds in bead-and-bright settings and in two colors of gold, designed to make mouths drop at the yacht club cocktail party. On a whim I entered a few descriptive terms into ebay and, lo and behold, someone was selling an antique ring identical to mine and at a fraction of its appraised value. If I had two daughters who wanted my ring I would have jumped at it. I believe that anything one wants will eventually show up on ebay, often multiple times. Assuming your ring was a mass-produced style and not custom-made, if you keep a watch on ebay who knows but that you might find two more copies if you give it a little time and patience. Just an idea to spare you the hassle and expense of trying to get three reproductions made.
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby gailcox » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:08 am

That is a great idea, Mrs. Feeley. I will go check it out. You never know.....
If that doesn't pan out...I will continue to search for the perfect jeweler that can reproduce this ring. I know they will make a CAD of the original and then a wax mock up. What i'm wanting to know is if anyone on this forum has ever done this and at what success. Did the reproduction really look like the original. I mean REALLY look like. Not kind of or sort of, but exactly. And was the original harmed or altered in any way during the process.
Off to ebay I go!
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby CABob » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:17 pm

Gail,
Have you decided which daughter will get the "real" old ring and which will get the reproductions? Or if all will get reproductions what will happen to the original?
Just thought I would remind you of some possible consequences if you might end up with :annoyed :annoyed :D
Bob
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby IndigoE » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:55 pm

If you have a good "high end" out-door art exhibit in your area, that is probably the best place to find a really competent jeweler. Most of them know each other and if you ask one who does the kind of work you are looking for, you will be directed to one... Another term for Bead and Bright... depending on how close together the diamonds are placed is, "pave" (accent over the "e")... the word is french as with so many jewelry terms.

Having it molded and cast will not produce the same technique. Be sure to specify what Karat you want. Its worth asking around. Don't settle on the first one who says they can do it!

I am a painter who used to be a jeweler...(goldsmith) and I am constantly impressed with the quality of fine jewelry at the shows...Makes most jewelry stores look cheep and tacky.

Good Luck.
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby gailcox » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:37 am

CABob, None of my 3 daughters will get the original. I wouldn't be able to decide. I do have a niece that could have it. However, the jeweler told me that the center diamond is just about to fall out and it he won't be able to repair it using the bead and bright method or it would change the look of the ring. And for that reason, I shouldn't even wear it or I could risk losing that diamond. Drats.

IndigoE, that is a great idea to check the high end art shows. We have a great one in Fort Worth in the Spring. I can wait until then. By 'mold and cast', so you mean the CAD that was described to me? From what I understand a CAD is a method where a machine measures everything about the ring so the wax mold can be made very accurately. And then from there, there the real ring is cast using the wax mold. I was told that this method would produce virtually a copy of the ring as it was when it was brand new. I was told the gold was worn down somewhat so the original would not look exactly like the 'new' ring. That made me nervous. This one jeweler told me that he knows of a top notch jeweler in Dallas who does all his vintage ring reproductions free-handed---he doesn't use the CAD. But the cost is very expensive. I think it may be worth it for me to at least seek out this top notch jeweler to see what he says. 2 years ago I went to the Dallas Market Center where there is a whole floor devoted to jewelers. The only jeweler I spoke with told me he could do the work and the price he quoted me was less than half what the guy told me last week. But I didn't feel confident that I would get an exact replica. I also think it could do me some good to go back and re-visit with him. The more knowledgable I can become about this ring and what it would entail to reproduce it, the better. By specifying what karat I want. If I want the exact same ring, would any jeweler be able to tell me what size diamonds are in my ring now? (surely so) Thanks and please let me know if you have any other ideas or questions I should be asking.
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby gatorman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:55 am

Gail- Just a few thoughts. Once the jeweler generates the cad file, you should have a prototype made on a 3-D printer so you can ensure that you will be getting what you expect. Also, if you have the cad file, it shouldn't be too difficult to adjust the ring size to produce rings perfectly sized for each daughter if an adjustment is needed. Good luck, I'm sure your daughters will appreciate your thoughtfullness and will be thrilled with your present.
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby gailcox » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:44 am

gatorman,

Where do I find a 3-D printer? Will the person that makes the CAD have access to one? The filligree on the band is very detailed. Not having the detail on the band would completely change the ring. Thanks for your suggestion. gail
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby mlipps » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:58 am

My fiance got my engagement ring from Leigh Jay Nacht in NYC. Their website is antiqueengagementrings.com. They sell many vintage rings and many more reproductions. My own ring is a reproduction and it's positively gorgeous. They have lots of great reviews you can read on Yelp (along with some bad of course) and it's definitely a place I would trust to buy from again.

Alternatively, check Yelp for jewelers in your local area. We had my wedding band custom made here in Chicago by a fantastic jeweler and I'm also really happy with how it turned out.
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby mlipps » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:01 am

gailcox wrote:gatorman,

Where do I find a 3-D printer? Will the person that makes the CAD have access to one? The filligree on the band is very detailed. Not having the detail on the band would completely change the ring. Thanks for your suggestion. gail


Gail, that's the 21st century way of making a ring. Mine was made by making a cast, then a wax mold. The engraving is hand done and it matches the engagement ring beautifully.
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby gatorman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:13 pm

gailcox wrote:gatorman,

Where do I find a 3-D printer? Will the person that makes the CAD have access to one? The filligree on the band is very detailed. Not having the detail on the band would completely change the ring. Thanks for your suggestion. gail


Gail- Here is a place in the DFW area that does it:
http://www.partsnap.com/about-partsnap/ ... dfw-texas/
http://rapidproductdevelopment.biz/2011 ... nnovators/
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Re: Finding a jeweler to reproduce a vintage ring

Postby fireweed » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:39 pm

You might want to check out the forums at www.pricescope.com. Lots of jewelry experts there who can steer you in the direction of someone skilled and reputable.
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