If you are considering buying a tungsten ring either as a wedding, engagement, Promise or just as an accessory then you might be interested to learn exactly how these beautiful rings are created.
The innovative process using one of the hardest metals ever used to craft rings comprises cutting edge techniques and equipment. By understanding the craftsmanship behind these amazing masterpieces, you can not only appreciate its complexity, but better decide which design of Tungsten ring best suits you.
Mixing and Creating the Blank Tungsten Ring
First we grind pure tungsten metal and carbon to a fine powder, this powder is then poured into a mould containing the shape of the ring that is being crafted. The ground powder mixture is then compressed in the mould and then the mould is heated to 1400 degree Celsius inside a vacuum furnace. This causes the tungsten to bind with the carbon to form the tungsten carbide structure, and this patented process is usually referred to as sintering.
Polishing the Tungsten Ring
Upon completion of stage 1, we have the blank ring which is a black and rough piece of alloy. The ring is then put through a process of about 30 different steps of polishing to achieve a glossy shine. The majority the polishing is done using a regular polishing machine typically used for polishing gold and silver jewellery, but due to the extreme hardness of tungsten carbide we also use a diamond polishing paste replacing traditional polishing wax.
Diamond polishing paste is the same compound used for polishing diamonds. The micron (grit) of the paste used starts from 80 microns and after each polish the microns are reduced each time down to a 0.5 micron paste to achieve the mirror like high polish finish.
Creating the Satin or Matt Finish
If the tungsten ring is going to have either a satin, brushed or matt finish, the ring will then go through another finishing process.
In this next process we use a diamond coated wheel or disc which have a 9.5 hardness on the Mohs scale. This is used as only diamond coated tools can be used to scuff the surface to create the brush finish feature.
Once the hole is cut, the precious stone is then placed into the tungsten ring and a stainless steel setting is placed on top to secure the stone in position.
Some jewellers might tell you that tungsten carbide is indestructible, but the actually tungsten rings can fracture, especially once the tungsten ring is cut to create the precious stone settings. The openings become “weak points” as the ring is much thinner due to the cutting. These are the areas that could fracture upon impact.
Setting Precious Stones
To set a precious stone into a tungsten ring we use a high powered laser machine to cut holes into the tungsten ring were the gemstones will be set. This requires an extremely high powered laser with pin point accuracy. As tungsten carbide is non-malleable, the dimensions of the hole which when created has to be the exact size of the precious stone which is being set, otherwise, it will likely either not fit in the housing or it will simply just fall out.