Amber Ring

amber-ringSterling silver (12 g). 24K gold. Baltic amber.

I found this bit of amber for sale loose in a shop in Gdansk, Poland, and decided to make a ring for it from a block of sterling silver that I worked down into sheet and wire by hand. This ring took a bit more work and re-work than I anticipated and the result includes a defect at the side of the ring opposite the amber, though this is noticeable mostly from the inside of the ring and much less from the outside.

I went through several iterations on the design of the setting. I first considered a standard bezel cup (a flat silver plate with a ridge around it), but wanted a more-open design that would allow more light in. I also considered flat plate with tabs around it that would fold up around the amber (essentially, a bezel cup with only multiple short sections of the ridge, instead of the entire ridge).

Eventually, I settled on the design above. The setting is made from two square wires joined to the ring at their mid-points. The amber is placed atop the wires and the four ends of the wires bent up and over the amber to hold it securely. The ends of the wires are filed and shaped a bit so that they are rounded, instead of being sharp. Overall, I am happy with how the setting turned out and would use this style again if I ever have a similar stone to work with.

I put a small piece of 24K gold leaf on the ring itself, under the setting that holds the amber, to make the underside of the setting yellow in color. (This is similar to how I added gilding to the center of the head of the fasola pin). This piece is very small though and I do not think it really does anything to affect the piece. So, next time I would leave that out.

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