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Discussing: Question about making jewelry

Question about making jewelry

Does anyone know how to make jewelry? Specifically, if, in Middle-earth, presuming one had the right materials, if one could solder a gemstone to a metal backing and have it ready (i.e. not falling apart) as a brooch in four or five hours? It would be a simple brooch, to be reworked in more elaborate fashion later. RAKSHA



Re: Question about making jewelry

Um, I read a book about jewelry making and enameling forty years ago -- does that count? You don't solder gemstones to jewelry, you create some sort of a bezel to hold it. This would be a very short tube or ring of metal (which could be fashioned as part of the brooch, or soldered onto it) into which you place the gemstone, then push the top together slightly to hold it in place. Or, you create prongs to hold the gemstone. I would guess that a jeweler, if the brooch was already made, could certainly solder either a bezel or prongs onto it and mount the jewel within a few hours' time. Of course, that begs the question of a) whether solder had been invented, and b) whether a hot enough and focussed enough flame could be controlled to aim at the place you want to solder -- maybe some sort of blow-pipe from a furnace? (My lungs hurt to think of it.) If the brooch had already been fashioned, it could also have been designed with a spot to add a jewel later -- say, a slightly hollowed-out spot and either prongs or decorative loops of metal which could be bent down to tighten and hold the jewel in place. That would avoid the need to figure out whether soldering was available in those days... Hope this helps! - Barbara (Edit: ) Let me know if you want to know something about soldering technique or ductility of gold & silver (sorry, the book didn't cover mithril) or, well, stuff...



Re: Question about making jewelry

Quote: Um, I read a book about jewelry making and enameling forty years ago -- does that count? You have quite a memory... ;) I did some jewelry making and enameling in college (golly, almost 30 years ago!) and your description is good. I didn’t get into the details of the soldering and all – I just used the tools. But I found a link to a History of Welding website that has some interesting info on it. It looks to me like some form of soldering or brazing would definitely have been possible in ME even in the simpler cultures. If you are talking about Elves – I think the sky’s the limit. Some of them had highly developed craftsmanship, with input from the Valar, Dwarves and in some cases Sauron. I interpret their metalworking skill and level of craftsmanship to have been above what we know today – not as high-tech in approach maybe, but some of their weapons and jewels had some pretty impressive attributes. ;) Ithildin *(



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