Laser Technology in the Jewelry Industry


LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) technology is not new. By now just about everyone has heard of Laser Surgery or some other use of this precise and coherently focused light source. The correct way to write the word LASER is in all capitals since it is an acronym, but common usage has converted this word to Laser.
In the jewelry industry the use of Lasers is less than 10 years old. Its use is still not widespread as these machines are very expensive, and only a few companies in the world manufacture them. Their use in a Custom Jewelry Studio is not unheard of, but definitely unusual.
Normal joining of precious metals usually involves soldering pieces together. The temperatures used are really brazing temperatures, but in the jewelry industry, the common term used is soldering. Nevertheless, the temperatures are high enough to destroy all but the most robust corundums (ruby & sapphire) and diamonds, and even these stones can suffer the heartbreaking "fire coating" on diamonds which could require expensive re-polishing or strong chemical removal "solutions".
Enter the laser welder. The extremely narrow (around 0.2mm) extremely accurate and well focused beam literally melts the two metals, fusing them together, in the area of the join without hurting or heating any thing close by. Need to repair metal with a temper like necklace wire or spring clips? Not a problem. Need to re-tip a prong on a ring with a delicate stone like opal? Not a problem. In the usual process, using a torch, would require removal of the stone, with the added expense of resetting it, and the unfortunate possibility of hurting the "one of a kind" gemstone. With the Laser Welder you touch the tip of the prong with some gold wire, hit the joint with a laser beam, and voila - a newly tipped prong! (it's not quite that simple, it requires training and hours of practice, and a mastery of the instrument, like anything we do - but you get the general idea).
The repair possibilities are virtually endless:

  • Final polishing a cast piece and discover a porosity hole? Send it to us we can fill it without hurting set stones
  • Need a ring resized with a complex setting and delicate stones? Send it to us we can size it without removing the stones.
  • Have a difficult design in titanium you want to try out? Send it to us we'll help you with it.
  • What can you think of that we haven't? Call us...

 

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