Laura's Blog

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Genuine Handmade from Scratch

When you purchase a ring from us, you can be assured that you are buying a ring that is truly handmade: not put together from pre-formed stock; not punched out on a press; and not machined on a computerized lathe. We make our rings from scratch from the raw material, hand mill our own ring stock, and forge and finish our rings in methods used by metalsmiths of days gone by -– methods most likely used to create your great-grandparents’ wedding rings. Some intricate designs are fabricated by means of lost wax casting, but the majority of our bands are hand forged.

If you’d like to see Dan forging a wedding band from start to finish, please check out this great video made by our friend Tucker Glasow…

Forging from the raw material is rarely practiced these days and is quickly becoming a lost art. Rings that are “cold worked” are stronger and denser than rings that are cast. And because we hand mill our own stock, unlike many other artisans who must rely upon pre-formed stock, we are not constrained by standardized dimensions.

Every handmade ring is completely unique – no two are ever alike. We make our rings to order and yours will be made especially for you.

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Size Matters

Determining ring size is a bit tricky, as numerous factors impact how a ring fits. In fact, your ring size can change up to a ¼ size throughout the course of a single day! Your fingers are more likely to be swollen in the morning than at night, and they will be plumper in the summertime than in cool weather. Eating salty foods will cause your fingers to swell. Pregnancy can turn them into little sausages. Illness, exercise, and hormonal changes all can affect your ring size. Knuckles can be problematic, as well.

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Karats of Gold

What’s in a karat?

Back in the day, when Constantine was emperor, there was a solid gold Roman coin called the “solidus.” The weight of the solidus equaled 24 karats. A “karat” was at that time measured by the weighing of carob beans, which were thought to be of uniform weight and therefore helped to standardize the trade of gold and currency. (The word “karat” is derived from the Greek word “keration,” which in turn is derived from the Arabic “qirat,” meaning carob seed or pod.)

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Comfort Fit

What is a comfort fit wedding band? Comfort fit is a style of band where the inside of the band rolls or “tapers” outward to the edge. This makes the band easier to get on and off, and makes it more comfortable in respect to movement of the fingers. A thicker band is necessary to create the roll of a comfort fit profile, however. Consequently, the drawback to comfort fit is that it’s more expensive. A non-comfort fit band has more of a square edge on the inside, though Dan does round the edges to the extent that he can on our non-comfort fit bands.

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Meet the Makers (PDX Monthly)

From a very young age, Dan Palmer displayed an interest in metalwork, melting down lead fishing weights to repurpose. At 13, he made his first ring, which featured two garnets against a backdrop of triangle of quartz, the bold design only hinting at what Palmer would later create. After graduating high school, he moved from Wyoming to Portland, to became a jeweler’s apprentice. With 25 years in the business under his belt, he struck out on his own, starting Ravens’ Refuge, specializing in custom-made, one-of-a-kind, his-and-hers wedding bands. Skilled craftsmanship, high quality, and customer service (provided by wife, Laura who handles the business-end) have made Ravens’ Refuge a hit with Etsy shoppers, with over 850 sales on the books.

Read more on PDX Monthly!

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Carats of Diamonds

What’s in a carat?

“Carat” is one of the Four C’s that impact a diamond’s worth, along with cut, color, and clarity. The words “carat” and “karat” are likely derived from the same root (meaning carob pod – see karats of gold); however, in the US, the two different spellings have become indicators of stone mass (carat) and purity of gold (karat).

The word “carat” is now used to measure the weight of stones, especially diamonds. Though many people believe “carat” to be synonymous with “size,” this is not technically correct. Two diamonds could be the same carat weight, but cut in different proportions that render stones of different dimensions.

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Finishes

Jewelry can be finished in a number of different ways, from polished & shiny to rough & scratchy. Hammered finish is also an option, and hammered jewelry additionally can have a polished or brushed effect.

Dan finishes most of our jewelry with either a polished or a satin finish. (We use the terms “satin,” “matte,” and “brushed” interchangeably.) Occasionally, Dan gives our pieces a sandblasted finish, a “raw” finish, or a “rough” finish.

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