Thursday, June 3, 2010

Things don't always go as planned

After placing a "Pick your cabochon and design a ring/pendant"  listing in my Etsy shop last week, I got a few new commissions.  One of the commissions was to set a gorgeous deep-blue labradorite as a ring.  I worked on it over the weekend and had it almost completed - except for the last step, setting the cab into the ring.   

When setting stones, you need to make them fit tightly and make sure the bezel is the correct shape for the stone.  I always check the fit of the stone by laying a piece of dental floss over the bezel and inserting the stone over the floss.  The floss keeps the stone from becoming stuck in the bezel and makes it easy to pop out.

I placed the stone into the setting and the fit was good and tight.  Very tight.  I had to use the floss to get it out.  Out it popped, up into the air, and then downward, toward my hard concrete floor.

I didn't see it hit the floor but I heard it.  

It took me a few seconds to find it, and I had a bad feeling in my stomach while I was looking for it.

Yes, the unthinkable happened, what I always fear: the cab was broken.

Of course it's irreplaceable.  It's a designer cabochon and not a standard size. I felt absolutely horrible and sent a message to the buyer.  Luckily she was very understanding.

In the meantime, I have a lovely ring with an empty place where a cab should be. 

I hate melting it down, so I'm checking with lapidary artists to see about cutting a stone to fit the setting.


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  1. Karen said...
    ohhh gosh that is too bad:( I am sorry that happened, but I am glad to hear the customer was understanding. It is a gorgeous stone. Things happen and we just have to go with the flow! Very cool blog!
    Kristin said...
    Oh NO!! :( I'm always afraid that kind of thing will happen.. Luckily, I have carpet floors by my work station, so the few stones I've dropped haven't broken.. But I'm sure it could still happen. :(

    Definitely don't melt down the ring -- from the picture you posted, it looks fantastic. I'm sure one of the good lapidary artists on Etsy can make one the right size for you.
    Emily said...
    Ahhhh! Oh no! I've never broken a stone that late in the process though I did manage to damage a stone to the point where it wasn't suitable for sale-that was earlier this week and a first for me. All of this meant that I got to see what happens to an amethyst when heat is applied-turns completely clear/white and cracks. Pretty dramatic.

    As mentioned, the ring looks wonderful and you should definitely try to get another stone.

    I definitely err on the side of tight settings as well. They just look so good in the end!
    jessi sawyer said...
    UGhh....been there, done that. I had a piece of turquoise crack during the setting process, somehow. I was heartbroken, but Ed from stonesinmotion offered to take on the project of cutting a new stone for the setting! My customer picked out a stone she liked from his sold section and he did a wonderful job cutting one in that material for the necklace. She ended up liking it better than the original stone she picked :)
    Spikes Stoneworks said...
    Think I help, have a Lab slab that could be it's cousin. Funny thing that is how I have it, had a custom order and the cab broke on the grinder I panicked and ordered a expensive slab then contacted the customer. I should have done that first as she was fine with smaller.

    Non standard size isn't a problem but give me a couple of days to find it (think I know where it is but just in case) If you get a better offer its fine, just trying to help.
    Jessica Dow said...
    We custom cut all of our cabs for our jewelry and have a pretty large stash of labradorite. If Spike's Stoneworks can't find his slab to help you then give us a shout(highly recommend him btw). *We are pretty swamped with custom jewelry orders right now but we could probably make time to do it next week.
    Virginia said...
    D: Oh what a bummer. Can you have that beautiful stone altered a bit and make a new custom setting for it?
    Contrariwise said...
    That's very kind of all of you. Thanks so much for your support. I appreciate it and I appreciate the lapidary artists offering to cut me a new lab.

    Right now I am contacting the original buyer to see if she would like a new lab cut for the ring. Otherwise, I will plan to keep the setting, have a different stone cut-to-order (I am now shy of labs), and try to sell the ring on my Etsy shop.
    LB said...
    Would she like a new lab cut? Yes! Is the setting beautiful? Yes!
    Did she also whimper upon hearing the news? Yes, yes, yes!
    Can't wait to see what the new labradorite looks like!
    Contrariwise said...
    Too funny. I didn't even know you read my blog.

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