Humans have always adorned themselves. At first they used bones, shells, and other materials from the natural world, but later technological advancements like metal melting and reshaping techniques allowed for the creation of jewelry from metal and gems. Known as jewelry casting, the ancient art of pouring metal into assorted molds is still how most accessories are made. Whether you’re thinking of designing your own jewelry or are just curious about this fascinating process, the information below will serve as an introduction.
A Guide to Jewelry Casting
How the Molding Process Works
After a jewelry designer works with a client to sketch custom jewelry, they make a wax pattern of the desired pendant, earring, or brooch. That pattern will create the “investment molds,” or the molds the jewelry makers use to produce the pieces, out of plaster (vulcanized rubber, silicone, or metal may also be used). The jewelry maker places the molds in special steel flasks before moving them to an oven to cure the plaster and allow wax to melt out of each flask. Known as lost-wax casting, this method results in wax-free molds perfect for pouring liquid metal.
How the Casting Process Works
Once the mold is ready, the jewelry maker is ready to cast. Jewelry casting falls into three main categories: centrifugal, precious metal, and vacuum. Centrifugal jewelry casting relies on centrifugal force to thrust metal into the mold, usually with a spring-driven arm that supports both the mold and the crucible for melting gold or silver.
The process of vacuum jewelry casting method differs from the centrifugal process, but the same basic principles of physics apply. Precious metal castings are exclusively for gold, silver, and platinum and use special machinery. Once cast, the metals are cooled and cleaned with a solution, revealing the finished piece.
Frank Billanti Jewelry Casting is the one-stop Manhattan, NY shop for jewelry casting, assembling, polishing, and packaging. Specializing in environmentally friendly techniques and working with gold, silver, bronze, brass, and platinum, you’ll enjoy an array of design options at competitive prices. Delivery services come with every order. Call (212) 221-0440 today for your free quote or visit the center online to learn more. Follow their Instagram for helpful jewelry tips and images of their work.