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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Old Mine Cut Diamonds

I had the opportunity to help repair and reconstruct a 1930's pearl and diamond bracelet. The diamonds are old mine diamonds or European cut. I asked what the difference was compared to a precision cut stone. Old mind Diamonds were cut by hand in the mine. This was done to maintain control over the cutting and possession of the stones. You can read more about the history of diamonds here. To an experienced beader you might look at this bracelet and think what is so hard about that? It looks like netting. The bracelet had been repaired several times. Holding it in your hand you could tell it was loved and worn often. It is a family heirloom. On the last repair the pearls were sewn to the clasp with thread. On the other end of the clasp the thread was broken and some of the pearls were missing. Art of beading verses The Fine Art of Fine Jewelry Making I understood the thread path and Tammye knew how the attach the five hole Diamond clasp. We had to find a way to make the two techniques work together. Tammye used a size #1 silk beading cord and french coil to protect the silk cord against the metal on the clasp. Armed with her optivisor and fine tweezer Tammye was able to repair the bracelet. Tammye was New Orlean's expert on Jewelry repair. During her career in New Orleans Tammye assisted in repair and purchasing of fine jewerly. One of several changes after Hurricane Katrina, Tammye now resides in Indiana along with her husband and two cats Romeo and Frank. This last week my friends who owned Planc Coffee & Tea sold the shop and now reside in Plano Texas. So many changes are still taking place 19 months after the storm. I really miss my friends who have relocated.

7 comments:

Medieval Needle said...

OMG - that bracelet it beautiful! What an honor to work on something that means so much to someone. I find that repairs are the hardest thing for me to do because it makes me responsible for something that belongs to someone else and should they not like what I do then they will be mad. So I put off or refuse repairs.

No Easy Beads said...

Mel, that was the hardest part of repairing the bracelet. I couldn't cut the pearls from the clasp. Tammye had to do it!
It was good hearing from you.

The Lone Beader said...

I love that bracelet! And, I know that repairs are difficult to do, not matter what type of beadwork it is...

Felicia said...

What a great repair job. It looks beautiful

Anna said...

I came over here via Lone Beader and the title of this post really caught my eye. My "Nana" (no relation) had a mine cut diamond ring set it platinum. It was beautiful and she literally wore away the band until it finally broke. My brother has the diamond, but it was recut *sigh*.

Beautiful bracelet!

Anonymous said...

Bevvie, that bracelet is gorgeous!!! I want it!! I've repaired jewelry for friends, but nothing of that magnitude. I think I would have been shaking in my boots working on that one!
Libby

TeAntae said...

What a gorgeous bracelet and what craftsmanship went into the repair job. Nice work!