Have you ever looked at a piece of your jewelry and wondered just how the jeweler made it? How do they create the fine detail in a piece of jewelry and what about the smooth swirling shapes. The fact of the matter, is that every piece of fine jewelry starts out being made from wax. Its called the ‘lost wax‘ casting method and it is amazing to see from start top finish.
The first step is to create the piece out of sculpting wax, which is the same wax that dentists use to make crowns for peoples teeth with, because dentists use the lost wax method for casting gold crowns. Then the wax piece is then encased in a can that is filled with wet plaster and allowed to cure and dry. After the can of plaster with the wax piece in has dried it is then placed in a hot kiln so the wax ‘piece’ in it can melt and burnout of it.
What is then removed from the kiln is a hunk of plaster with the hollow shape of the wax piece left in the middle of it. The jeweler will then place the hunk of plaster in a device that spins around and uses centrifugal force to push molten metal down into the hollow shape inside of the hunk of plaster. It will then be allowed to cool and then the plaster will be chipped away revealing the piece of jewelry where the wax piece once was.
It will be cleaned up and then any details will be carved into it or welded onto it using a jewelers delicate tools and a jewelers torch. If any stones or gems are to be added to it, that will be the last step that is taken. It is then given a final polish and it is done. This method of making jewelry has not changed in thousands of years.