Handmade vs Cast Jewellery

Handmade vs Cast Jewellery


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There are few Adelaide jewellers that manufacture high quality handmade rings. Many companies claim to make one-off, custom made rings, when actually they are using the casting method.

Major jewellery stores in Adelaide mainly sell mass-produced cast products, mostly from India and China. Cast production includes:

1. Carving an original one-of ring in wax, getting it cast (often in multiples) and polishing. It is obviously not handmade.
2. Buying cast components and soldering them together. This also is not making by hand.
3. Designing a ring using CAD (Computer Aided Design program), printing a wax ring from that design, and casting it; again is not handmade.

Casts are mostly seen in jewellery stores in shopping centres. A model is made in wax, a mould is then made and molten gold is poured into the mould. Upon cooling, the mould is broken open and you have gold in the shape of a ring. It is then sanded back and polished. However, since it is all in one finished piece, areas that are indented prove difficult to reach, leading to a poor quality final polish in those parts. Cast pieces lack the crispness of handmade items.

The issues with casting include that the gold is softer and lighter because it has been heated to a liquid state, cooled quickly and not hammered. Also it may have bubbles – tiny holes in the surface or just under the surface – known as porosity. This softer gold does not hold a good polish and scratches far more easily than a quality handmade product. With time, cast rings start to lose their crisp shape and wear badly, thinning on the underside of the ring.

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In stark contrast, the best quality jewellery is solid 18ct gold or platinum made by jewellers using rolling mills, hammers, files and heat – all traditional craftsman’s techniques. The rolling and hammering causes the gold to become denser, stronger and therefore more durable. It holds a better polish, lasts longer and resists bending or losing shape.
There are no short cuts when pursuing quality, everything must be right, ensuring that this quality product is something you can hand down to your children and next generations with pride.
When creating simple solitaire rings with diamonds, the setting that holds the diamond is created by making a cone shape in gold and (depending on the design) cutting out the desired design for claws.
At DDS Diamond Design Studios, when making a diamond ring with a halo around the centre diamond, we start by rolling out a sheet of gold around 3mm thick, cut out the shape of the halo and drill holes where the diamonds shall be set. The band is once again rolled to the desired thickness and bent into shape. Once the general shape of the ring is achieved, we use files to shape the gold and piercing saws to cut out any fine detail that may be required.

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The last stage of creating handmade jewellery is the final polishing. Though all pieces of the ring are given a perfect finish and are highly polished before being soldered together, the complete ring gets a final high quality polish once all pieces of the ring are together.

If you desire the highest quality ring, a handmade, high quality Palladium-rich, nickel-free gold ring is the only way to go. Palladium rich 18ct white gold is purer, whiter and causes no allergic reactions. Nickel is often included in cast items and may cause skin irritations.
The rings made at DDS Diamond Design Studios last for generations, becoming the customer’s unique memory to treasure.

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