Seashell, Silver and Ruby

I made this little piece of jewelry as a gift for Karen on our 35 years wedding anniversary.

The seashell is cut out of a 1 mm silver plate, and afterwards pressed into shape in a large vice. As a counterpart for the pressing job I used a solid 3D-printed PLA seashell, and on the opposite site a piece of soft wood. I finished the silverwork with some extra grinding and polishing, and of cause soldering the little eyelet for the chain into the right place. While at it, I also printed a little box:

The ruby is one that I bought in Vietnam in a certified store (I even found the certificate the other day). It was not very cheap, but also not expensive considering the size. I have been suspicious that it was maybe fake or of a low quality, but it seems OK. It is really hard, cuts glass, and has a nice deep red color, slightly purple and with no inclusions but a little haze. I think that maybe the way I used it is not optimal, since light is not coming in from the back of the ruby, and the color does not show very well. Also gold fits ruby better, I think; but usually Karen does not wear gold. Maybe my next design will be better, or maybe I will change the stone. I think blue (or maybe green) sapphire would be better a better choice to go with silver.

Fixing the stone into the shell was a bit difficult. I cut the hole before the pressing, including the three tiny “fingers”. Afterwards I would bend the fingers upwards and shape them a bit. I then honed the hole with a slightly conical reamer so it would fit the conical backside of the stone perfectly. Finally I put the stone in place and bent the fingers inwards over the edges of the stone.