Rings are easily the most symbolic piece of jewelry you can wear- just look at wedding and engagement rings! But they’re also very easy to lose or damage, or the color of the metal just doesn’t fit your style anymore even though you like the design. What to do?
Ring replication can take care of all of those issues.
What Is Ring Replication?
Ring replication is a custom jewelry creation process that uses the original design of the ring to create a new ring. These are the most common situations for ring replication:
- The original piece was stolen or lost.
- The original piece was damaged.
- The customer wants the exact same design in a different colored metal.
- The customer wants to take the existing design and modify it.
- The customer wants to upgrade the ring from costume jewelry to fine jewelry.
When the ring replication process starts, we assess the item and determine what needs to be done. Each situation is different depending on the customer needs, but here’s a real example of a replication we recently did for a client.
This customer sent in a 4-pronged engagement band in 14k yellow gold, along with a loose .8 carat moissanite stone. He wanted us to set the stone into the original ring, but the moment we received it, we could tell it would not fit. We couldn’t replace the head, or the part of the ring that holds the stone, with a new one large enough for the moissanite. This particular ring had a design that was not modifiable.
We called the customer and explained why we couldn’t set the stone into his original ring. After some discussion, he decided to replicate the design of his original ring with a modified head that would be large enough to set the moissanite.
2. Computer Aided Design (CAD) Creation:
In order to create the customer’s ring, the first step is to make a Computer Aided Design (CAD). The CAD is a 3D file that is sent to a 3D printer, which prints a replica of the item in wax. After the CAD is finished, we send it to the customer for approval before proceeding to make the ring.
This part of the process is the last stage where the customer can make modifications, such as ring size, metal type, and other alterations. Once they give us their final approval, the CAD is moved to casting.
The CAD is sent to the 3D printer, which prints out an exact-to-scale wax replica of the design. That wax replica is then encased in investment, a plaster that is used for making molds. When the wax is completely covered, it’s subject to heat which melts the wax out, leaving behind a hollow in the plaster that’s perfectly shaped like the ring. The molten metal of choice is then used to cast the item.
After the solid metal components are complete, they’re moved to finishing. Finishing includes polishing, stone setting, and plating.
- Polishing: Casting doesn’t result in smooth metal. A polisher will carefully buff the piece to a high shine. If the original ring had a different look, like a satin or hammered finish, the jewelers will replicate that finish on the new ring.
- Stone setting: All stones are securely set and tightened to make sure the finished piece has no loose stones.
- Plating: This option is for people who want gold-plated rings, or white gold rings. For white gold rings, it’s standard procedure to plate them in rhodium to ensure a bright silvery finish and enhance durability.
The Cost of Ring Replication
The cost depends on several factors, stated below. The minimum budget for any custom creation piece is $200.
- 3D Design: The CAD file is always $150, and is necessary for production. You can revise the CAD up to three times; after that, there will be additional charges for making more revisions.
- The Metal Type: The heavier and more precious the metal, the higher the price. For example, a 14k yellow gold ring that weighs 4 grams is cheaper than an 18k version of the same design.
- The Stones: The more stones and the higher the quality, the more expensive the piece. If you want genuine diamonds, but high-quality ones exceed your budget, opt for lower grade gems such as I1 or I2 quality.
- The Labor: Additional labor, such as enameling or plating, adds to the overall cost of the ring replication.
Ring replication is a great option if you’re looking to change up your beloved jewelry, or restore a missing piece to your collection. If you’re interested, get in touch with a custom creation specialist here.