HOW TO DISTINGUISH QUALITY JEWELLERY FROM THE REST
All jewellery looks good when it’s new, under nice lights and when you see it at arm’s length. But what are the main differences between quality jewellery and the rest, and how can you tell?
It is difficult to tell a quality handmade ring from a cast ring when you are looking in a showcase, but there are some marked differences to the feel. A handmade ring will feel solid and will have more weight to it. This is due to the manufacturing process. Metal which is hammered and rolled into shape gets harder. This is referred to as being work-hardened. The gold particles become compacted and denser, making them stronger. There are no air bubbles or casting lines where weakness can occur. The handmade ring will be heavier and feel more substantial. For a ring that is to be worn every day, it needs to be as strong and durable as possible. If this is important to you, purchasing a handmade ring is the only way to go.
Cast jewellery is a way of making jewellery where there is very little time involved, other than cleaning and polishing. The gold is simply poured into a mold. The mold is then broken open and you have gold in the shape of a ring. The jeweller only needs to then clean and polish the surface.
When molten gold is poured into a mold, it is liquid. It then cools rapidly and hardens. A good analogy is volcanic lava that pours from a volcano, cools rapidly and when cold is solid, but very light weight, with thousands of tiny bubbles.
These days, this process is not even done in the jeweller’s workshop. The design is given to a large, metal-casting house, where it is molded, poured and even polished for the jeweller. Some jewellery shops actually do no jewellery making themselves. The stones are set by the casting house as well.
Handmade, work-hardened gold is like marble and granite, it is put under the earth’s pressure and cools slowly to form extremely hard rocks that, when cut and polished, hold an excellent shine and lustre.
Repairing cast jewellery is often impossible and usually the piece needs to be made again. The claws holding the stones can be weak and any force can snap them off. Often the difficulty repairing these products is not worth the risk as, applying heat could distort the whole ring. The gold used in cast jewellery has additives, such as silicon to allow it to flow more easily. Therefore, the gold cannot be reused later as cracking will occur during the manufacturing process.
Handmade diamond engagement rings are the highest quality rings, but there are variations here too. You need to make sure the jeweller is using brand new high-quality gold, or gold that has been newly refined, rather than second hand gold which has just been melted down. Only new gold or refined gold can be guaranteed to be free of impurities. There is also a huge distinction in terms of craftsmanship when it comes to hand making jewellery. DDS Diamond Design Studios and its parent company, Moser, have been in the jewellery manufacturing industry for over 40 years, and have hand-picked the most highly trained and skilled jewellers in Adelaide.
The team at DDS Diamond Design Studios takes the greatest care with jewellery and customers alike and you will be able to distinguish DDS hand manufactured jewellery from the rest when you visit the Studios.