11/14/2018 / In Jewelry
Have you ever been looking for something so specific that it seems elusive regardless of how hard you search? Do you find it difficult to locate something in stores that speaks to your one-of-a-kind personality? Maybe you just want to find the perfect gift and nothing available will do.
Whether you are looking for a pair of earrings, a necklace, bracelet, or a ring, the creation of a custom jewelry piece might be the solution you seek. Custom designs are treasured by recipients and passed down for generations. Let’s look at the process of planning, designing, and creating a custom piece of jewelry.
Collaboration is the cornerstone of the custom jewelry experience. Together with your jeweler, you are creating a unique piece where your opinion and style matter greatly. Having a sketch drawn out that you can show the designer and having pictures of designs, features, and stones that you want as part of your piece will help to kickstart the design process. When designing a custom jewelry piece always be sure to express any specific concerns or desires up front.
You may want to include specific stones or have the piece constructed of a certain type of metal. Being explicit in your requests allows the designer to capture the sentiment you are trying to achieve and ensures the sentiment you are creating is received. Personal involvement in the design process is one of the most exciting features of creating custom jewelry. Remember that the process takes longer than simply buying something already completed, so be sure to include extra time if you are giving your piece on a specific date.
After the design process comes the manufacturing process. Let’s take a behind the scenes look at how our master jeweler created a beautiful custom sapphire ring using a process called lost wax casting. Lost Wax jewelry casting, also known as investment casting, is a process of metal casting in which molten metal is poured into a predetermined wax mold, melting the wax and replacing it with metal.
The process is usually referred to as lost-wax because the casting mold is created using a wax model that is melted away to leave a hollow chamber in the middle of the mold, losing the wax and leaving a hollow space to fill with metal in its place. Jewelry has been made this way for thousands of years, and our jeweler has the knowledge and skill required to create beautiful custom pieces using the lost wax casting process.
Lost wax casting is a wonderful technique for making original and interesting components for jewelry, and is used by jewelers to create their own unique designs. First employed in ancient Egypt but also independently discovered and used by tribal artists in South American to cast pre-Columbian gold, the lost wax process is tried and true. Casting new jewelry using the lost wax method allows for pieces to be made of gold or other precious metals. The wax cast is made of purple wax which tends to be flexible and springy. Carved by hand, many years of experience by a professional jeweler is required in the wax working process where a wax blank is added or subtracted from to construct the shape of the ring by hand.
With the wax molds complete, the jeweler pre-fits all the stones to make sure they will set into the custom piece perfectly. If stones are too small, they will fall into the settings and not be held in place. If the stones are too large for the cast they wont fit into the settings, or will cause the prongs to spread. With the completion of a perfect cast, the wax mold is sent to be reproduced by a caster. The caster molds, casts, and polishes your custom creation.
Encasing the wax mold in a plaster-like substance called ‘investment’, the caster then pours molten metal into the hardened investment. This molten metal burns out the wax and replaces it with the metal you chose for your custom creation. When the metal cools, the investment is carefully broken away to reveal the cast metal piece, which is then polished and finished to your desire.
Returning the new cast metal piece to the jeweler, each individual stone is then handset into the custom piece of jewelry. The finished ring is cleaned, finished, and ready to be admired as an entirely unique creation.
Are you celebrating a wedding anniversary, looking for the perfect proposal ring, or have another special occasion coming up soon where a custom piece is what you are looking for? We would love to help you design a custom creation that will be cherished for generations to come.