December 1Spent the morning in my shop working on that moonstone ring. I had completed one but, while burnishing the bezel onto the stone, I knocked off one of the tiny silver balls. Blast! No way to re-solder it without removing the stone (a very dicey proposition at that stage). I opted to pull off the other ball (took a bit of effort). I will re-work that into another of my design ideas soon.
I finally got the replacement ring set up. Silver balls soldered on? Check. Bezel setting secured? Check. Ring blank ends joined? Check. Ready to round it up? Check.
Making It RoundTo round up a ring, you position it on a tapered metal mandrel and hammer it with a rawhide mallet (which will not damage your silver). When you are making a simple band, this is pretty easy. You can just whack at it! Can be very theraputic!
In this case, because I had soldered the bezel and silver balls on first, I had to whack at it with considerable care. It would be pretty easy for a sloppy blow to flatten that bezel and send me back to square one.
As you can see, the rounding happens before the polishing. In the photo above, the ring still has the chalky look left by the final pickle bath.
Rounded!Here it is a bit later, rounded up to a size 6 1/2.
One Moonstone Ring Done
I find I really like the soft look of a moonstone in a silver setting. All nice and glowy -- sort of like moonlight on a frozen lake.