[Cody] Takes us From Rock To Ring

[Cody Reeder] had a problem. He wanted to make a ring for his girlfriend [Canyon], but didn’t have enough gold. [Cody and Canyon] spent some time panning for the shiny stuff last summer. Their haul was only about 1/3 gram though. Way too small to make any kind of jewelry. What to do? If you’re [Cody], you head up to your silver mine, and pick up some ore. [Cody] has several mines on his ranch in Utah. While he didn’t go down into the 75 foot deep pit this time, he did pick up some ore his family had brought out a few years back. Getting from ore to silver is a long process though.

splattersFirst, [Cody] crushed the rock down to marble size using his homemade rock crusher. Then he roasted the rock in a tire rim furnace. The ore was so rich in lead and silver that the some of the metal just dropped right out, forming splatters on the ground beneath the furnace. [Cody] then ball milled the remaining rock to a fine powder and panned out the rest of the lead. At this point the lead and silver were mixed together. [Cody] employed Parks process to extract the silver. Zinc was added to the molten lead mixture. The silver is attracted to the zinc, which is insoluble in lead. The result is a layer of zinc and silver floating above the molten lead. Extracting pure silver is just a matter of removing the zinc, which [Cody] did with a bit of acid.

Cody decided to make a silver ring for [Canyon] with their gold as the stone. He used the lost wax method to create his ring. This involves making the ring from wax, then casting that wax in a mold. The mold is then heated, which burns out the wax. The result is an empty mold, ready for molten metal.

The cast ring took a lot of cleanup before it was perfect, but the results definitely look like they were worth all the work.

26 thoughts on “[Cody] Takes us From Rock To Ring

  1. that ring needs a lot more work, a lot of buffing on a buffing wheel and he really needs to do some light hammering on a ring form.

    Unless he is going to for the rough unfinished look. That is what seems to be a new trend in jewelry lately.

  2. If I was his girlfriend I’d be much more impressed with this ring, than just buying one from a shop. Shows much more commitment, much more of the person. Great idea! Of course it relies on owning a silver mine, but still… maybe a friend would let you borrow theirs, or maybe you could rent time in one. Same way as the company who let him pan the gold, presumably. There’s more money in charging tourists to pan their own, than there is in panning it yourself. There’s some place in Utah I heard of, I think, where you find diamonds lying on the ground.

    Anyway, lovely idea! But is silver like iron, where cast iron is brittle, wrought iron is strong and flexible? So it’d need hammering and stretching a good few times to make it durable. It’d suck terribly to have the ring crack. Although I suppose he could always get a bit more silver and re-cast it if necessary.

    Really nice idea, one of the advantages you only get from going out with a geek!

      1. But there is very little chance he got his silver 99% pure. He did two purification steps after the roasting (parkers and acid), I’d be very surprised if it was even close to 75% pure.
        Which is totally fine for what it is, I sure never processed my own ore nor did I cast a ring. I get the impression he likes it just as much to make these kind of video’s than he liked making this for his GF.

    1. For those who lack the silver mine and caustic chemicals, you could always buy an ounce bar of silver (which is about $15 right now). I do believe that you’d want some alloy for added strength, however. Pure silver seems to be difficult to harden. Apparently standard jewelry sterling silver air hardens.

      … but pure silver makes great dry EMG/EOG electrodes when an active amplifier is added.

      1. Or just buy sterling silver or electrum stock and save yourself the hassle of alloying. I mean if you’re already skipping the smelting process why not skip alloying too. There’s still work to be done.

    2. the gold wasn’t panned from a company lease… in some california rivers the rec areas charge $5 – $10 for a day use and that’s just to park, walk in it’s free. some areas are free to park. panning for gold however in a public use area is not going to net the results he got in the video. have panned in a very productive spot and not found a single nugget after 40 trips out. speaking with others it takes years to find a decent sized nugget, the small pebble nugget he got i still haven’t found anything that large after several trips. and i’ve even been to the spot he was at in the video and nothing but a few flakes

    3. “If I was his girlfriend I’d be much more impressed with this ring, than just buying one from a shop. Shows much more commitment, much more of the person. Great idea!”

      You’re thinking too much like a man. The thing a woman wants the most, is a high place in society. And she won’t get a high place in society by wearing jewellery made by her husband. Unless your husband’s last name is Bulgari, Piaget, Tiffany, Graf, Van Cleef, Bucellati, Mikimoto, Cartier, or Winston. :)

      What she wants is jewellery that will make her friends jealous, and the origin of the jewel is a huge contribution to their jealousy. Do you think that you have as much capacity of making your wife’s friends jealous as e.g. Bulgari has? Sorry, but I don’t think so. :)

      1. And you’re thinking too much like 1950’s stereotype. I really doubt anyone can say with authority what a “woman wants most” or a “man wants most”. I think Greenaum has it right, what anyone ought to want is a token of commitment not superficiality.

      2. As a woman myself, I completely agree with Robert. What a stupid and superficial way of thinking. Has it ever crossed your mind, Peter, that there ARE women out there that don’t give a damn where the rings from their love/fiancee/husband/partner came from so long as it was from the true deepness and sincerity of their heart?

        I would be humbled to no end that the man I love loves me to the point that he wants to make something for me that NO ONE else on this planet has. Something he made special and unique for me and he chose ME to give that special and unique ring to. I feel sorry for the shallow world you’re apparently living in because whatever women you’re surrounded by, are stuck up and don’t even deserve to have something that amazing. There’re women out there that don’t need a damn ring so large they need a wheelbarrow to lug it around and show it off because the size means it’s “how much they’m loved”. Besides, the ring is supposed to mean something between the people who share it, not between the ones who share it and the rest of the world. As if any enormous rock of a ring automatically grants a woman access to the Hamptons. Your comment could not have made me roll my eyes any harder.

  3. Great to see Cody’s Lab on HAD, This guy has some amazing video’s, He’s a real talent. I have watched loads of his video’s including: Gold electrolysis, implanting a magnet in his finger, gunpowder from piss & some nuclear stuff. While he doesnt do a lot of electronics all his video’s are really interesting.

  4. Designing and/or making your own ring(s) is one of the best ways to start something good. I did that with my (now) wife in cooperation with our local goldsmith using 3d printing to make something unique. Putting in some of your own passion makes it even better. This guy combines the search and extraction and of metals.
    This ring might not be design and finishing award winning piece of jewelry but it is still the best for this couple, I am absolutely sure of it!

    1. Beautiful! It’s always amazing and such a great feeling for a woman when something, especially something as serious and official as an engagement ring, is made from the mind and heart of the one she loves. What a unique set of colors as well. I adore Rose Gold, that’s as far Gold as I’ll go too haha. I find Gold to normally be really… tacky to my eyes. So the majority of my jewelry is Sterling Silver, White Gold and Rose Gold. If there’s any true Gold in there, it’s from being handed down in my family to me. Anyways, good on you!

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