Posted on 04 November 2016
Tips & Techniques
Let it shine!!
The equipment and techniques the designers use for making jewelry have changed significantly since such times.. Jewelry making procedures have advanced more throughout the past three decades than any other time in history.
However, old-fashion techniques, come back, in order to give texture and a unique look and feel.
Gold as a Material
Gold’s unique physical properties, its radiance and malleability, its purity and untarnishable nature, have proved an irresistible combination for jewellery designers all over the world. Over the centuries, goldsmiths and highly skilled artisans have infused gold with their own unique talents, creativity and passion. The result has been the extraordinary variety of gold jewelry that exists today. A fusion of local artistry and urban chic, symbolism and expressiveness, and finely honed techniques culminates in extraordinary pieces.
Today innovation is not confined to any one market; the most beautifully crafted piece is as likely to emerge from Amritsar as it is from Arezzo. The intrinsic value of gold today has encouraged elite designers to both reinvent the classics and take gold design in starkly new directions, elevating its preciousness.
Throughout history, gold has been treasured for its natural beauty and radiance. For this reason, many cultures have imagined gold to represent the sun.
When most people think about gold jewelry, the first thing that comes to mind is yellow gold. However, craftsmen have been creating other colors of gold for centuries. You'll find new and vintage gold jewelry in white gold, rose gold, and even green gold.
Some styles, mix several shades of gold within a single piece.
The process of alloying—mixing other metals with pure 24 carat gold—gives malleable gold more durability, but can also be used to change its colour.
White gold is created through alloying pure gold with white metals such as palladium or silver. In addition it is usually plated with rhodium to create a harder surface with a brighter shine.
The inclusion of copper results in the soft pink complexion of rose gold while the more unusual colours such as blue and purple can be obtained from the addition of patinas or oxides on the alloy surface. Black gold for example derives its colour from cobalt oxide.
The weight of gold is measured in troy ounces (1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams), however its purity is measured in ‘carats’.
‘Caratage’ is the measurement of purity of gold alloyed with other metals. 24 carat is pure gold with no other metals. Lower caratages contain less gold; 18 carat gold contains 75 per cent gold and 25 per cent other metals, often copper or silver.
The minimum caratage for an item to be called gold varies by country. In the US, 10 carat is the legal minimum accepted standard of gold caratage, 14 carat being the most popular. In France, the UK, Austria, Portugal and Ireland, 9 carat is the lowest caratage permitted to be called gold. In Denmark and Greece, 8 carat is the legal minimum standard.
During casting, resin models are encapsulated in plaster and then incinerated through a burnout process. Today, hand-heldtorchesm aren't used any more for melting gold and platinum. Induction and high frequency melting, are the techniques can control both temperature and atmosphere in casting chambers.
Once the flasks are filled it is necessary to remove the precious metal castings. The hollow impression in plaster, filled with glowing red platinum or gold castings, is lifted from the casting equipment with tongs. Depending on color, carat, or metal used, they are quenched in water or left to cool. When the flasks are cooled, the investment form is destroyed while the remaining plaster is chipped away, leaving behind a tree containing models as branches. The models are then cut free from the sprue and forwarded to jewelers who will execute jewelry polishing, jewelry fabrication, and stone setting to transform the casting into fine jewelry.
After casting the models, they are cut loose and worked over with battery of abrasive compounds. Once a job that was done with handheld files and emery paper, they are now de-burred with finishing tools driven by hand-held flexible shafts and upright polishing machines.
After the preparation is complete, the designers, fabricate or assemble any additional settings, parts or pieces needed. Although the jeweler’s torch is still the dominant tool for soldering and welding, lasers play a big role in modern jewelry making. Using lasers, they can do precision welding on areas of jewelry where heat needs to be controlled. The concentrated focus of lasers enable our designers to weld precious metal without destroying or melting the surrounding work.
When all metal work is complete, the stones to be highlighted are added to the piece. Specialized jewelers skilled at the art of stone setting, use precision, hand-held tools to secure gemstones and diamonds in gold and platinum. The stone setters cut slots into precious metal, allowing them to sit level before they are tightened. The skilled hands of the setters apply just the right amount of pressure to finesse prongs, beads, and walls over delicate stones to ensure that they remain snug in their settings.
With metal work completed, the last step in gold jewelry making is polishing and finishing. Jewelry polishing is a multistage process whereby metal is buffed with soft rotary tools made from bristles, felt, or muslin. Applied in descending stages, from coarse to fine, wheels are charged with various polishing compounds to achieve the desired luster.
Here are some precious translation of the prime ones:
Is the method of decorating metals in which parts of the design are raised in relief from the back or the inside of the article by means of hammers and punches; definition and detail can then be added from the front by chasing or engraving. The name repoussé is derived from the French pousser, “to push forward.” This ancient technique, which has been used extensively throughout the history of metalworking, achieved widespread popularity in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
If you would like to see the effect repoussé-chasing technique on gold, have a look at the Greek Allure collection. The individual completely unique organic texture and shape of the pieces has been created by using ball punches and chasing tools to stretch and work the metal on the reverse side to create a high dome bold style. A very smooth surface or deep relief texture is up to the individual taste.
Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold plated jewelry is jewelry made of a base metal (e.g. copper) or silver that has a very thin layer of gold applied to the top. The layer is usually very thin, however, some plated jewelry has a “thicker” layer of gold than other plated jewelry, but the difference is insignificant on the grand scale of things.
Example of a gold plated jewelry can be found on our Solbuer collection.
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