[Part two of a three-part series on manufacturing seamless tubing and design and production methods for palladium wedding bands made from it.]
Novell Design Studio is a jewelry manufacturing company in Roselle, N.J., specializing in bridal products and individual customization. Their collections primarily are made using extruded ring tubing in a wide variety of precious metals including 950 palladium. This article highlights palladium bands that are machined and hand fabricated.
These seamless 950 palladium wedding bands designed and produced by Novell Design Studio started with extruded tubing (see JCK, January 2008, p. 132). Once the tubing is extruded and then cut into predetermined widths at specific ring sizes, Novell continues the manufacturing process providing design flourishes and trimmings. The embellishments are done using a variety of machine- and hand-manufacturing methods.
This manufacturing overview was made possible by Novell’s chief executive officer, Bruce Pucciarello, who has been manufacturing jewelry for more than 30 years and palladium bridal pieces for more than five years. Along with business partner Victor Novogrodzky, Pucciarello built the American manufacturing company, which is capable of producing machined and hand-fabricated products.
These palladium wedding bands feature heavy bead-set diamonds, colored gold embellishments, and rounded inner shanks sometimes referred to as comfort fit. Every detail of these bands is precise, smooth, and even. The manufacturing process for these pieces required both machining and handwork. Novell produces over 800 palladium pieces per week, and 20 percent contain diamonds.
For cutting a precise comfort-fit contoured shape inside the machined band, a heavy-duty lathe equipped with a carbide steel cutter is used. The band is securely held by an expandable rotating mandrel, and the comfort fit is created by the stationary carbide cutter on the right. After cutting one side, the ring is removed from the mandrel and the opposing side is cut.
With the precise width of the band cut and the comfort fit created on the inside, the next step involves exterior surface embellishment, which is done by machine and/or hand fabrication. Here one of Novell’s specialists uses a Swiss cutting machine to create a precise and highly polished groove around a 950 palladium rounded square band.
In the close-up, the action of the Swiss cutting machine cutting the highly polished groove is observed. The machine operates at high speed, and the cutting tool is diamond. The specialist mounted the ring on an expandable holding mandrel and controls and monitors the cutting through high-powered magnification.
Holes for design embellishment or stone setting are systematically drilled using this machine. It is indexed and calibrated by the specialist, and then it drills the holes around the band with a minimum amount of operator attention.
Here the diamond setting is done by hand. The diamond setter is preparing a 950 palladium band using graver tools for princess-cut diamonds.
Polishing and finishing of the jewelry is also completed by hand. Here a polishing expert uses a short bristle brush charged with rouge to brighten the intricate detail.
For the last step in the Novell manufacturing process, the pieces are carefully scrutinized by a team of quality control professionals. This team uses long-established in-house quality control guidelines, close-up magnification, and careful observation as their guide for release of the finished products to customers. Through the manufacturing process, each piece is bar coded and records are kept regarding tolerances, weight, manufacturing facts, stone-setting details, and quality control details.
Bands can be adorned through a variety of Novell’s design motifs as specified by customers. This 950 palladium band features hand-braided round rose gold wire and flush-set princess-cut diamonds. When ring size adjustments are required, another band is produced to the exacting specifications at the correct size.