Saturday, March 28, 2009

Facebook, Twitter, blogs...OH MY!!

Just a note that you have multiple choices when it comes to staying up to date on jewlery information. You an subscibe to this blog using an RSS reader and the links to the left of this post.

You can also follow us on facebook or twitter if you'd like. We hope these sites will all accomplish one goal: To make us more able to answer any questions you might have.

All of these links will be available on our website.

If you're more comfortable, you can always call us too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Steve & Heidi's Ring

One of the purposes of this blog is to showcase some of the custom jobs that come out of our shop. This ring was made for my Brother-in-law. It is a custom made platinum ring with 1.5mm diamonds bead set with a bright cut edge. The flat surfaces were hand engraved and the edges were millgrained.

You can't get that type of detail on a mass produced piece.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Clarification on Firescale

You'll still want to coat your pieces in boric acid, but firescale can still appear.
Since silver (especially larger pieces) can take so long to heat up to soldering temps, the boric burns away.

Firescale is an oxide that forms between the copper in the Sterling alloy and oxygen. It is a bugger to remove and is actually harder than sterling silver. As you polish, the scale remains and the silver around it is removed, making the firescale more pronounced. In really bad cases it can even be tough to remove with emery sticks.

Use Mad Man Zach's Firescale Remover compound in place of tripoli/bobbing compound before your final polish. You can use your regular tripoli buffs however.

Many times cast silver jewelry will have firescale that is noticeable on close inspection (it usually becomes visible during the final polish). This compound works great in this instance as well. It is definitely a must have in our shop.

you can find it in our ONLINE STORE. The easiest way to see it is to use the search on the top left of the page for item #PS 415

Mad man Zach and his Firescale Remover

When the time came for us to decide where our son Zachary should go to jewelry school, we had much input. Some of the input came from a friend who worked at Tiffany's and his strong recommendation was FIT in New York. So off Zachary went. He came back with many bits of knowledge to add to our 3 generation bag of tricks. One of the best is firescale remover. Firescale is deposited when metal is heated while being exposed to oxygen. It is very common on silver and can even be present less frequently on gold pieces.

The firescale can be prevented by treating the surface before soldering with a boric acid based coating. The piece is treated by dipping in a concentrated solution of powedered boric acid in denatured alcohol. After dipping, the alcohol is burned off by exposing the piece to a flame. This is done after your solution bottle is removed from the area. Then soldering is done in the normal manner and the fine coating of boric acid prevents the formation of firescale on the treated area.

I can see teachers cringing at the thought of bottles of alcohol solution around open flames. So, there is another solution. Firescale remover, a polishing compound, can be used in the finishing stages. There is a very effective compound, bright yellow in color, that can take care of this issue without having to resort to the alcohol solution.

Zach found out about the compound from a silversmith back east that worked on liturgical pieces. He was amazed at the results. Then came the hunt for the compound to bring back to Utah. After a few months of searching, we finally hit on the correct formulation. We have it here at the store, very reasonably priced and we think teachers especially will love it. And the name that you ask for it by......why of course Madman Zach's Firescale Remover.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dr. Daniel Amen of brain fame says that each time we learn a new skill, out of our realm of expertise, we create new brain cells. Well, I am going to amass quite a few because blogging is brand new to me. I know jewelry, I don't know blogging.

We want this to be a conversation, similar to one you would have in our store. Post comments, let us know how we are doing. If you don't feel comfortable with the blog situation, email me at

Since this site is also for those that make jewelry, check back to learn about a polishing compound you shouldn't be without, especially if you work in silver.