Jewelry has always been used as a sign of power, prestige, wealth or class. They were difficult to obtain and expensive. Today they are worn by both women and men. The creation of jewelry is carried out in series using machines, not necessarily from expensive decorative materials. The main difference between artificial and noble products lies in the materials from which they are made and in the price, which is many times lower.
What is jewelry made from?
Jewelry is made from metals such as:
Gold is a soft and elastic metal of a bright yellow color that does not corrode when exposed to moisture. To make gold hard and strong enough, but at the same time have the desired color, silver, copper, zinc, nickel and palladium are added to it. The most popular is an alloy of gold with palladium, nickel, silver, which is called «white gold»;
pure silver is not suitable for jewelry. It is too soft, so products made from it will be short-lived. To increase the hardness of silver, it is alloyed with other metals such as copper. An interesting option is to cover with a thin layer of rhodium, thanks to which it does not darken, becomes strong and durable;
Platinum is a soft metal, so it is easy to process, but not durable. A small addition of other metals is enough to greatly improve its strength. Platinum alloys with gold, palladium, iridium, silver and copper are popular. Palladium makes it much brighter. The addition of silver and copper improves its mechanical properties;
brass and bronze are characteristic metal alloys, extremely fusible. They take on very interesting colors that make the jewelry look older, more expensive and nobler.
What gemstones are jewelry made from?
Making jewelry to order makes it unique.
Products of this type serve for many years and can be passed down from generation to generation or remain an investment for the future.
Imitation jewelry is most often made in large quantities from base metals. After coating with another material, they imitate the appearance of their expensive counterparts.
Equivalents of precious materials from which the creation of jewelry is carried out:
gold — alloys based on base metals, gilding or brass;
silver — alloys based on base metals, silvering or white bronze plating, steel;
bronze — copper, blackened brass;
old gold — patinated brass or its coating;
old silver — coated with patinated silver, white bronze or pewter;
diamonds — acrylic or glass rhinestones, Swarovski crystals;
emeralds, rubies, sapphires — colored glass;
pearls — acrylic or Czech glass pearls of various shades and colors;
coral, turquoise, amber — colored wax, colored plastic, resins.
How is jewelry made?
Even the most modern machines and computer programs cannot replace the talent of an experienced craftsman. In the beginning there is a vision and an idea. The artist creates a preliminary sketch of the decoration on paper. He draws with a pencil the picture that his imagination suggests, displaying on paper the general appearance, forms and motifs.
During the design phase, the artist’s vision takes concrete forms. Planned:
the number, type, size and shape of the stones deposited,
types of fasteners, other functionality.
The modeling process takes place using the latest technology — computer-aided design, which is called CAD.
The accessory design concept is ready, it is scanned and transferred to a computer screen, and then printed on a 3D printer. The result is the first model — a prototype, which is the basis for making a wax model.
Next, the prototype is placed in a special plaster or silicone mass. When the form freezes, the product, which perfectly reproduces the future decoration, is removed by the technologist from the inside.
The wax model is then hand-mounted on a tool that the jewelers call the «Christmas Tree». This is a plaster matrix containing from several to several dozen pieces of jewelry. It is placed in a special metal sleeve, where a gypsum molding mass is poured.
During the firing process, wax is removed and a casting mold is obtained, into which gold or silver is poured. After the mold has cooled, the gypsum is broken and the casting is washed. It turns out a gray and matte Christmas tree. Jewelry is separated from the infusion system and sent to a mechanical polishing machine, and then into the hands of a jeweler who sets the stones.
Despite the fact that the quality of how gold jewelry is made is checked at every stage of production, nothing can replace the eye of an expert technologist. He confirms that the jewelry meets all standards so that it can be sold and the buyer is satisfied with the purchase.
How are rings made using traditional and modern technologies?
The oldest method of creating rings is to roll them off a tape using profiled rollers and then solder them. The resulting workpiece is processed and polished. Then stones are placed and a protective decorative coating is applied.
However, the rings made in this way had a weak point in the form of soldering around the perimeter, which reduced their durability and led to breakage when adjusting the size. When using this method, it was not possible to achieve the ideal shape.
The best way to produce rings, especially wedding rings, is seamless technology. In this method, the starting material is a gold pipe, from which a ring is cut out, which is necessary for further machining on CNC machines. At the last stage, the stones are framed in a ring and protective and decorative coatings are applied to them.
The main advantage of such rings is that they do not have a perimeter connection. This ensures greater strength and a perfectly round shape. Such a product is much easier to increase or decrease in the future without the risk of breakage if it does not fit the size of the finger.
Few companies produce rings by vacuum casting due to the high labor intensity, a large share of manual work, the need to make molds for any size of individual models. This is also a traditional technology used in the production of gold and silver jewelry. It allows you to use various stone fixtures, make seals, which is impossible with other methods. Once cast, the ring is machined into its final shape.
The advantage of this method is that there are no design restrictions. Modern casting machines provide excellent quality casting of fine-grained gold alloys and thermal hardening of cast wedding rings. A high proportion of handwork gives these rings a special character.
Now you know almost everything about jewelry and buying them for yourself or for a gift will make the right choice.