LONDON (Reuters) – In a small workshop behind Londons bustling Oxford Circus, a team of goldsmiths file, solder and polish the metal castings that in a few hours will become dazzling diamond rings.
The process can vary with the design and metal, but once completed and checked for quality control, the band is given to diamond setters who carefully add the sparkling stones.
Belonging to jeweler 77 Diamonds, the workshop is an unusual sight behind one of Londons busiest shopping streets, where many stores usually sell necklaces, rings and earrings often made in China or India.
“For a standard ring… wed receive it as rough castings and it will be in components… that will go to our goldsmiths. Thats when the initial stages start of forming the metal, making sure its smooth, making sure its polished and assembled together,” Tarun Taylor, head of production, told Reuters.
“Theyll use various techniques… with files, emery papers, soldering the components together.”
Some 60 items pass through the workshop each day, Taylor said. Engagement rings are 77 Diamonds biggest seller.
“Diamonds arent always uniform, theyre not exactly the shape that you want them to be,” Taylor said.
“A Princess cut or a Marquise which has got a point, thats something which takes a lot more care and attention to make sure not only the diamond is secure… Diamonds arent indestructible.”
Beside hammers and chisels long used by the craftsmen, there is also more modern equipment – lasers and a microscope, which helps putting tiny diamonds on bands.
“Its made everything more precise, more accurate and what it allows for is us to showcase the diamond more,” Taylor said.
77 Diamonds produces its own collections and bespoke pieces, born through computer-aided design.
Bespoke pieces, where clients pick the diamonds and design, take more than a month to make. Sometimes clients are inspired by celebrities jewelery.
A popular 1 carat solitaire engagement ring can cost around 5,000 pounds ($6,350), while a 3.5 carat sells for 55,000 pounds.
The company, which has a showroom nearby and sells jewelery online, prides itself on its pieces being mRead More