Jewelry casting is one of the oldest methods of making jewelry. Archaeologists have found ancient items made of precious metals, which date back to the last centuries before our era. Moreover, the complexity of work amazes modern jewelers, because in those days there was no professional equipment, and the quality of the resulting jewelry was entirely dependent on the skill of the manufacturer.
And to this day, casting remains one of the main ways to make jewelry, and all because it has a very diverse set of features (some are not even fully explored yet). The cost of cast jewelry is becoming more and more affordable for the wide range of customers, and the assortment of online stores is constantly being updated with new items.
What are the features of the casting method?
The production of jewelry by casting passes through several stages, and it is impossible to skip any of them, as the quality of the jewelry obtained will not suffer.
The first stage is making a sketch model.
- This stage involves the use of special equipment, and one-off designer models require completely hand-made work. In the beginning, they were made of clay or stone, but today the material for sketches is silver. Why choose silver? It does not change its characteristics during processing, and it does not interact with the rubber of the mold.
- Production of the mold.
Rubber is vulcanized during mold making. Molds are made from vulcanized rubber which allows the jewelry to be mass-produced.
- Creation of a wax model.
The mold is filled with wax. High pressure is used in the creation process.
- Creating a common block.
All the wax parts are combined into a common block that looks like a herringbone. And all because the next stage requires fixing the parts at a certain angle.
- Making molds for subsequent casting.
The wax block is completely covered with a molding compound (refractory) and placed in a furnace, where it is calcined at high temperatures.
- Filling the mold with gold.
The finished mold is freed from the wax and filled with gold alloy.
- The final steps.
The general block is disassembled into components. Each piece is bleached and dried. The places where the pieces are separated from the mold are ground and polished.
How are the gems attached to the cast jewelry?
The jewelry industry aims at lowering the cost of each piece of jewelry without worsening the quality of the work. This is possible only in case of reduction of hand work at each technological stage. Some jewelry factories are still using the services of specialists who manually insert precious and semi-precious inserts into cast jewelry pieces. But there is already the latest technology that allows you to automate this stage and move away from manual labor.
The stone is set at the stage of wax model making, which greatly reduces the time and effort required to produce cast jewelry pieces.
There is only one thing to take into consideration: not every stone is suitable for this treatment. The most suitable stones for casting are cubic zirconia, as they are not afraid of thermal treatment. Also, garnets, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds prove their worth.
The emergence of such high-tech equipment as 3D printers and stereolithographic machines makes it possible to improve the quality of jewelry, and the modernization process does not stop for a minute.