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How to inlay petrified dinosaur bone in a ring

The first time I saw petrified dinosaur bone was nearly 19 years ago. It was a red agatized dinosaur bone also known as gembone. Gembone is made when agate fills in all the nooks and crannies of the bone leaving you with a very interesting pattern.

Here is a great picture of the patterning in gembone.

One of my favorite things to do with gembone is to inlay it into a ring. It makes a great ring for both men and women. It so happens that I was making one for a client and had the camera running.

I thought I would walk you through the some of the basics.

 

Step #1 I start with a sterling silver or a gold cast ring. The ring has a cavity in it for the gembone to be set into. This cavity could be any shape. For this example I am using a rectangle shape.

 

Step #2 The second thing I do is select my rough dinosaur gembone and cut a piece with a trim saw. This particular piece was a sweet find.

You will notice that its coloring is red with touches of green, yellows and blues Continue reading How to inlay petrified dinosaur bone in a ring

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Save yourself some time and your sweet money!

Save yourself some time and your sweet money!

Here are a few essential things to have while you are setting up your silversmithing or goldsmithing shop.

Knowing what tools to buy can save you big money and frustration from buying the wrong stuff.

Take it from me, I had to find out the hard way more than a few times.

Provided below are a few FREE TOOL lists to help you find the right tools.

Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE STUFF!

  1. Free torch tool list. This is great if you have ever wanted to set up a soldering station in your shop.
  2. Free bezel setting tool list. Start adding a little color in to your designs with gemstones.
  3. Free stone cutting – lapidary diagrams, stone hardness chart and a step by step diagram on how to cut a cabochon shaped gemstone.

I hope this will help to get your shop up and running smoothly.

All the best,

Michael Seiler

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How to make a shadow band for a diamond ring.

Have you ever wanted to make a shadow band that fits right next to your diamond or gemstone ring? Well, here is a short video on how to use wax and a few tools to create a model ring that can be cast in gold or silver.

I will be using a green wax which melts at around 230 degrees and is one of the harder wax materials for model making. The modeling wax is made by a company called Matt. They make a number of waxes ranging in melting temperature and malleability.

There are three main types of modeling wax that I use to make a model.

The blue wax is soft and melts at a low temperature. (200 degrees)

The purple wax is slightly harder and with a slightly higher melting temperature then the blue. (225 degrees)

The green wax is the hardest of the three and melts at around 230 degrees.

I prefer the green for any work that needs exact detail and a shadow band needs to be exactly the same contour as the ring it is shadowing.

Here are Continue reading How to make a shadow band for a diamond ring.

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How to anneal white gold, The answer may surprise you.

How to anneal white gold. The answer may surprise you.

What is the difference between annealing white gold and yellow gold?

The answer may surprise you because the difference is as simple as what type of alloy is used.

I will break this down into its simplest form for this example. Back in the day 14k and 18k yellow gold were alloyed with copper to make a wearable and workable metal.

14k yellow gold was 58.5 parts 24k gold mixed with 41.5 parts copper. 

18k yellow gold was 75.5 parts 24k gold mixed with 24.5 parts copper.

I am using copper as an example. These days there are Continue reading How to anneal white gold, The answer may surprise you.

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How to bezel set gemstones like a pro!

How to bezel set like a pro

Welcome! Learn the basic steps of setting a gemstone in a bezel mounting. This video takes you step by step and does a little trouble shooting along the way. Learn what tools you need to set gemstones as well as how to use them.
If you have ever struggled to set stones or just wanted to know how to add a little color to your jewelry this is a great place to start.

Thanks for watching.
I have a link below to the tool list. You can also find it under Supplies in the menu. Enjoy!

Continue reading How to bezel set gemstones like a pro!

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How to anneal sterling silver – 7 BASIC STEPS

How to anneal sterling silver - 7 BASIC STEPS

Annealing is the term for softening metal so that it is malleable. The process involves heating the metal and then cooling it. Cooling the metal can be achieved through air cooling, quenching and sometimes both.

Sterling silver is heated to a dull red(900F). Let it lose its redness and then quench in cool water. (Presto you have soft metal). There are a few steps before you can heat the baby up.

The metal should be coated in a protective substance called a “Barrier Flux”. It is made up of boric acid and 91% isopropyl alcohol.

Many people use denatured alcohol. I discovered it’s toxic and the human body does not metabolize denatured alcohol. This means it doesn’t leave your body very easily once you have absorbed it. Kind of scary. That is why I recommend 91% isopropyl alcohol because it’s less dangerous.

The 91% isopropyl alcohol burns off nearly as well as denatured alcohol. I do not recommend the 70% isopropyl alcohol.

You can mix the boric and isopropyl solution 50/50 for a thicker solution. This will provide a nice thick coating for your metal. This is good for annealing. If you are soldering you can use 25% boric and 75% isopropyl alcohol.

Use a glass jar with a lid. I use an old pickle jar or you could use

Continue reading How to anneal sterling silver – 7 BASIC STEPS

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North House Folk Schools – Free PDF – Agate Cutting Class – On The Rocks!

Free 'How To' lapidary basics PDF

I spent the last week up north in Grand Marais, Minnesota teaching two stone cutting classes back to back at the North House Folk School. What a great couple of groups! I have offered this class a few times and it continues to develop and get better and better. The classes both cut jaspers, agates and petrified dinosaur bone. Here are a few photos of the cabochons they made. I can’t wait to do it again!

 

If you are interested in cutting stones or would like a FREE PDF of the “how to” steps of cutting a stone, stone hardness scales and more, click the link and DOWNLOAD the file. It’s free! Continue reading North House Folk Schools – Free PDF – Agate Cutting Class – On The Rocks!

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JEWELRY WAX CARVING- 12 STEPS TO SUCCESS!

Wax carving -Lost wax casting

This is the most important part of your jewelry wax carving. I will say it again. This is the most important part of your carving. Do not miss these steps!

Step #1

The most important part of the wax carving process is making sure every thing is square. By square I mean all of our angles are at 90 degree angles. Yup, everything! It doesn’t matter if your design only has curves in it or if you are carving a miniature 2 x 4 piece of lumber. Everything on our wax must be square to start. I will also say this is the most boring of all the steps but necessary.

Step #2

When picking a piece of wax to carve it should be big enough to hold your design. Make sure if you were to cut out your design that it would fit on the block of wax. If you are lucky enough to

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Welcome to Gotcha Rocks!

Gotcha Rocks

Welcome to Gotcha Rocks! Nice to meet you. This site is currently under construction. That being said, Gotcha Rocks will show you many how-to videos and blog posts.

Yup, that will be it.

If you have ever wondered how to make jewelry or how to polish a stone or just wanted to know where a certain stone comes from, I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

I have over 21 years of lapidary, jewelry making, silversmithing and goldsmithing experience. I also have extensive web and brick and mortar sales experience.

In short this site is designed to help you succeed.

Hope you’ll return to the site soon.  It will be worth it!

 
 

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