Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sterling, 14k, Topaz and Moostone Masonic Jewel - Ellensburg #39

This is a jewel made for a Past Master of Ellensburg #39 Masonic Lodge
 There was a time when it was common for the presiding officer for a fraternal organization to be presented with a 'jewel' or badge of office after the completion of his term.  I have a collection of these.  This is one I made for a friend and a member of my lodge, Ellensburg #39.

This custom has fallen away or has been replaced by purchasing a pin, likely stamped out of pot metal in china.  I think this is sort of a bummer.

This one was constructed from a vintage sterling spoon which bore the F&AM marks an gold from old and broken masonic lapel pins.  Sort of giving these old objects a new fraternal life.

Construction Pictures:
Damaged Spoon, moonstones and scrap gold.

Careful Plan.  Really just sharpie on the gold.  I had to drill out each opening, and then slide the saw blade through and re-attach it to the saw frame.  The funny little piece at the top left will become the bezel for the moonstone.

ELLENSBURG is now cut out.  Whew that was some careful sawing.  Choosing a good section of the now flattened Spoon for the body of the jewel. 

Trying to keep everything straight, and yet not symetrical....

Solder in the bezel for the topaz and finding the center for the moonstone bezel.

mock-up again

Posts for the catch.

Notches filed to get a good amount of contact with the compasses.

Always stop to mock-up.

Which stone?

Time to attache the gold.

This is trickier than it would seem.  I melt tiny spots of 14k solder on the backs of the little pieces, without melting the little pieces I so painstakingly cut out.  Then place them on the sterling surface.  Heat the sterling carefully and it transfers the heat to the solder and the gold.  This process is commonly called 'sweat soldering'.  I was sweating it a bit too.

Time to set the stones and start to sand and polish.


Shined up and ready to go.

This was the second of these I have made and they were both fun projects.  Fun in construction and fun to be able to share my efforts with my lodge and my friends.

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