Not Everything Ends in Success
March 26 2015
Not all attempts at making jewelry end in success. Many designs are discarded from the get-go. Some are halted in the middle (when it becomes apparent that they are no longer workable designs). Some require a modification to make them a better design. And some are completed, but the maker (that would be me) makes a mistake during the fabrication, resulting in a piece that is no longer suitable for sale. And that is how I came to own a beautiful moonstone necklace in my personal jewelry collection.
The idea for the piece was to simply to showcase the stone: a beautiful 11mm rainbow moonstone with an exceptional clarity and beautiful blue flash, or adularescence. It would be encased in an 18k yellow gold bezel on a sterling silver base. Much time was spent trying to fold the gold bezel to set the stone, but the thickness and hardness of the metal made it very difficult.
Finally, it was done and it was time to remove the tool marks, and that’s where my mistake cost me hours of work. In a rush to complete the project and share it with the world, I took a shortcut and tried to remove the scratches with sandpaper. Normally, this is a standard practice for removing marks on metal—if the metal is nowhere near a gemstone. If the metal is near a stone, you should use different tools because the sandpaper will S C R A T C H the stone. And that’s what I did. All those hours down the drain, because I thought I could be careful and expedite the process.
Lesson learned: Slow down. Don’t take short-cuts when you know any mistakes can be costly. Can the piece be repaired? Yes, the stone needs to be removed and re-polished, but I’ve decided to leave it, as is. Why? The next time I can’t wait to finish a design and show it to the world, the moonstone pendant will be there as a reminder to take a deep breath, steady my hands, and give the design the time and attention it deserves.