Wedding Season is Here!

Dinosaur bone wedding ring set with black diamonds.

Dinosaur bone wedding ring set with black diamond accents.

Wedding season is here and this is typically our busiest time of the year for making wedding rings for our customers.  If you are searching for a unique symbol of your love and commitment, our handmade inlay wedding rings are a great choice.  All of our rings are created by hand in our Arizona jewelry studio using only the finest materials and craftsmanship.  We offer a wide range of inlay stone choices including turquoise, dinosaur bone, black onyx and lab created opal and many other colorful stones with or without colorful gemstones to accent the inlay.  Take a minute to browse through our website www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com and check out our wedding ring designs and keep in mind that any of the ring designs you see on our site can be made in sterling silver, yellow or white gold, stainless steel or platinum.  Many of our customers choose our dinosaur bone bands as their wedding rings with our turquoise wedding rings being a close second.  We have a variety of dinosaur bone colors to choose from ranging from grays to reds.  What could be more unique than a dinosaur bone wedding ring!  Our wedding ring designs are made to order in your specific ring size, inlay stone choice and metal selection so we will need 4 to 6 weeks of lead time to get your rings completed in time.  All of our rings are available in his and hers, hers and hers, and his and his wedding sets.  If by chance you don’t see exactly the ring you are looking for, contact us about making the custom wedding ring of your dreams.

Lab Created Opal Ring Information

Our laCS030 lab sapphire and moissanite lab opal 1- croppedb created opal rings are becoming a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings despite many of our customers being hesitant to choose lab created opal over natural opal.   Most people have only seen the cheap mass produced lab opal jewelry at craft fairs and on the internet and don’t like the uniform look of the opal.  Our lab opal jewelry and rings are different.  Read why here!  Head over to our lab opal jewelry website and check out our jewelry.

Getting an Accurate Ring Size for Your Inlay Ring

Gray dinosaur bone ring with white sapphires in sterling silver

Ring inlaid with gray dinosaur bone by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

You’ve found that perfect ring online and now you are ready to select your ring size.  You pause as you think back to a couple of years ago when you bought your last ring.  Was I a size 7 or 7 1/2?  I have gained a couple of pounds over the holidays…let’s just go with a size 8.  Guessing and guessing wrong is not a disaster with traditional gold and gemstone rings.  In most cases, if your ring arrives and it is too big or too small, you can take it to a local jeweler and pay to have it sized to your correct ring size.  This is not the case with inlay rings.

Rings inlaid with just about any inlay material are difficult to size without damaging the inlay.  The first issue is the epoxy that secures the pieces of inlay in the ring’s inlay channel.  The epoxy is quite hard with very little flexibility and bending the ring to make it larger or smaller puts stress on the epoxy.  This stress can cause the bond between the inlay material and the ring mounting to be compromised which could lead to one or all of the inlay pieces falling out.  This same stress can also cause the inlay pieces to crack if they break before the epoxy does.  For a jeweler to avoid stressing the inlay and epoxy, all of the bending of the metal to make the ring smaller or larger needs to be done in the bottom half of the ring where there is not any inlay.

laser welder

You really need a laser welder to size inlay rings.

Even if the jeweler is successful in bending the ring to the correct size, there is still one more critical step- joining the metal back together.  Traditional rings would just be soldered back together using a torch but inlay rings cannot tolerate that kind of heat.  The heat from the torch will ruin the epoxy and most likely scorch the inlay materials.  The only good option to rejoin the metal is a laser welder.  A laser welder produces highly localized heat so the jeweler can work safely on the bottom part of the ring and not damage the inlay.  More and more jewelers are using laser welders and some will be willing to try to size your inlay ring if you are willing to risk the possible damage.  All of this sizing drama and expense can be avoided by getting your finger sized accurately before ordering your new inlay ring.

The easiest and most accurate way to measure your finger size is to visit a local jewelry store and ask them to determine your ring size.  You may want to visit more than one jeweler just to confirm your size.  It is important to use a sizer that is approximately the same width as the ring you intend to purchase.  It is also important to use a sizer that is comfort fit if you are shopping for a comfort fit band.  You may wear a smaller size in a comfort fit band than a non-comfort fit band.  The only other acceptable and accurate method is to take a ring that currently fits (the finger your new ring will be worn on) to a jeweler and have them determine the size of the ring or you could ship the ring to be used for size reference to the jeweler that will be making your new inlay ring.  The jeweler can then measure the size of the ring with the same measuring tool that will be used to make your inlay ring.

Other methods for determining your ring size are not accurate enough for inlay rings.  Some of the big chain jewelers recommend the string test, the paper test or the secret test.  The string test involves wrapping a string around your finger and then measuring the length of the string and matching the measurement to a chart to determine your ring size.  This method is very inaccurate and doesn’t take into consideration the width of the ring or

ringsizer

Paper finger sizers are NOT accurate!

the size of your knuckle.  The paper test asks you to print and cut out a paper finger sizer.  You then cut a slit on one end of the paper strip and insert the other end through the slit and pull it snug around your finger.  All you have to do next is read the tiny numbers and marks on the paper to determine your ring size.  What could possibly go wrong!  The secret test is recommended if you are trying to surprise your loved one with a ring and don’t know their size.  The first challenge is going to be finding a ring that you know currently fits and fits the finger you want them to wear it on.  The next step is printing a sizing chart with circles representing different ring sizes.  Just lay the ring over the circles until you find the one that is closest to the same size.  Keep in mind that just a small error of 0.4mm could mean you are 1/2 of a size off which could mean the ring falls off or won’t even go over the knuckle.  We have experimented with these methods and found them to be highly inaccurate with errors of half a size up to a whole size.  Again, these inaccuracies are not a big deal for a traditional ring but are not acceptable for an inlay ring.

What if I do every thing right and my new inlay ring still doesn’t fit?  It’s not the end of the world.  If at all possible it is best to avoid cutting and sizing the ring to mitigate the risk of damaging any of the inlay.  If the ring is too big or spins after going over the knuckle, small sizing balls or a sizing pillow can be laser welded inside the shank (bottom) of the ring to snug it up.  This method also allows for the balls or pillow to be removed should the wearer gain weight.  If the ring is a just a little snug, it may be possible to grind some of the metal from the inside of the ring to loosen it up a little.  Getting sized by a jeweler increases the odds that any sizing error will be small and less risky to correct.  In some cases where the customer uses inaccurate methods to determine their ring size the sizing error is so far off that the ring cannot be resized and a new ring would have to be made.

About Us…

We are inlay jewelry experts. We have been creating inlay jewelry since 1974 and would love to help you with all your inlay jewelry needs.  Contact us to get started building your new inlay ring, wedding ring or engagement ring.  We specialize in dinosaur bone, turquoise, lab created opal and Australian opal inlaid in sterling silver, gold, platinum and stainless steel.

Visit www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com or www.TheHilemanCollection.com to see our creations.

Our Favorite Turquoise Wedding Ring Set

Turquoise and spiderweb turquoise rings are one of our most popular choices for wedding rings and wedding ring sets.  Our turquoise wedding ring sets are available in a variety of colors with and without the spiderweb pattern.  Our most popular spiderweb turquoise wedding ring sets are inlaid with spiderweb turquoise from Kingman, Arizona.  This turquoise has a very tight spiderweb pattern and the color of the blue ranges from light blue to a darker blue and lighter blue mix.  The colors and pattern of the turquoise varies from stone to stone and sometimes changes with every saw blade slice through the stone so you can expect some variation in this natural material.  These variations make your turquoise wedding ring set unique and virtually one of a kind.  Here is an example of our favorite turquoise ring set inlaid with plain blue turquoise and Kingman spiderweb turquoise in Continuum sterling silver.  The man’s wedding ring is 6mm wide and the woman’s ring is 4.5mm wide.  Both rings taper slightly toward the bottom of the ring and are stamped .925 sterling silver and hand signed “MMH” on the inside.

Turquoise wedding ring set in sterling silver by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

Spiderweb turquoise and turquoise wedding ring set in sterling silver by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

We also have several turquoise engagement ring options that would look great with our turquoise wedding rings if you are looking to create a bridal set.  Center stone options include white sapphire, white topaz, Moissanite, blue topaz and diamond.  We also offer metal upgrades to 14 karat gold in both white and yellow as well as platinum. If you don’t see exactly the stone combination you are looking for, contact us for a quote on customization.  Check out all of our turquoise engagement rings and wedding sets at HilemanSilverJewelry.com and ShopTurquoiseRings.com.

Turquoise wedding ring and engagement ring set in sterling silver.

Turquoise wedding ring set shown with white sapphire and turquoise engagement ring in Continuum sterling silver.

 

 

John Hileman

HilemanSilverJewelry.com

 

New Lab Created Opal Wedding Ring Set

This new lab created opal wedding ring set is stunning.  We inlaid the wedding set with some of the new lab opal we just received.  This new lab opal has bright green flashes of color on a dark blue base color.  The colors and flash of the lab opal mimic those of the best Lightning Ridge Australian opal at a much more affordable price.  Both rings in the set are a comfortable thickness and width.  The man’s band is 6.5mm wide at the top and the woman’s band is slightly narrower at 5.5mm wide.  Both the man’s wedding ring and the woman’s are available for purchase separately if you don’t need a set.  You can also purchase the set in hers and hers or his and his combinations.  The green lab opal in these rings is very flashy and bold.  We also have several other lab opal color options that are variations of blue-green and some options that are multicolor.

M200 W100 lab created opal ring set 2 cropped

Green lab created opal wedding ring set in sterling silver by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

The high quality lab created opal we use in our rings has the same chemical composition as natural opal with the exception of water content. Natural Australian opal contains about 4% water and lab created opal contains no water. Instead, the water is replaced with resin

in lab created opal. The resin gives the synthetic opal more durability and helps to resist cracking. Laboratory grown opal gives you all the fire and colors of top grade natural opal at a much more affordable price with increased durability.

M200 W100 lab created opal ring set 1 cropped

His and hers lab created opal wedding ring set.

This set is available for purchase in our Hileman Etsy shop or our new Lab Opal Jewelry website.  Please allow us 4 to 6 weeks to make your rings in your exact sizes.  See more lab opal colors on our Hileman Flickr page or on our lab opal Pinterest board.  If you are interested in natural Australian opal take a look at our Australian opal jewelry website featuring only the finest Australian opal inlaid in our bold 14 karat gold designs.

New Lab Created Opal Ring with Purple Amethyst

CS030 amethyst lab opal 2 cropped CS030 amethyst lab opal 3 cropped CS030 amethyst lab opal 4 cropped CS030 amethyst lab opal ring 1 cropped

We are excited to offer some great new lab created opal in beautiful colors and patterns.  This is the first ring completed with the new multicolor laboratory grown opal.  This opal fires in red, orange and yellow with a purple base color and hints of blue and green.  We took special care to cut the lab opal to mimic the random pattern and colors of natural Australian opal.  The colors in the lab opal look great with the purple amethyst set in the center.  This ring would make a fun statement ring to complete your ensemble for a night out or it could be the unique wedding ring you have been searching for.  The ring is shown in sterling silver but is also available in gold or platinum for an additional charge.

The stunning lab created opal in this woman’s amethyst ring is a top quality synthetic opal grown under laboratory conditions. The manmade opal’s chemical composition is the same as natural opal with the exception of water content. Australian opal contains about 4% water and lab created opal contains no water. Instead, the water is replaced with resin. The resin gives the synthetic opal more durability and helps to resist cracking. Laboratory grown opal gives you all the fire and colors of top grade natural opal at a much more affordable price with increased durability.

Stop by our new Lab Opal Jewelry website or our Etsy shop to read more about it and see our other jewelry items available.  Keep checking back to our blog and our Facebook page to see updates on the latest jewelry created with the new lab created opal colors.

Thanks for reading!

John Hileman

HilemanSilverJewelry.com