Jewelry goes from being a massive lump of rock and minerals to being something beautiful and small, but how does that work? How do jewelers turn a large gem into something dainty that can be held by a ring and worn on your finger? Well, the jewelers in Arlington don’t use modern innovations or new processes, instead they use an old favorite. One of the best ways to create jewelry is by using the lost wax method.
This method was used for thousands of years back when ancient civilizations made jewelry for themselves, and the method even brought the world into the bronze age. It works like this: A large lump of wax is molded into the form of what the finished product will look like. So, if you ordered a diamond ring, then the wax would be molded into a diamond ring. This process uses the same measurements and specifications of the original product.
The wax figure is then completed and then covered in plaster, and then the dried plaster is placed inside of a kiln. When the mold is heated up, the wax inside melts, and only the outer plaster shell remains. Hence the lost wax.
Filling the hollow hole
The plaster model is placed into a centrifuge, and then the force from the machine injects liquid gold or silver into the model. The metal fills up the plaster model, and once the metal is cooled, then the plaster is dunked in water. The cool water removes the plaster to reveal the metal shape of the jewelry. So, in the case of the wax gold ring, the plaster would reveal a gold ring once it had been broken away.
The amount of gold needed to create a certain piece of jewelry needs to be determined using math, as well as the original weight of the wax model. Using too little gold results in an uneven ring, while too much results in the gold spilling out of the cast. Keeping everything exact is necessary here.
Finally, the new ring is cooled and must be inspected for defects or irregularities, and the metal must also be polished. If a gem is to be set in the ring, then the stones must be cut and set inside the ring. Then the completed ring will be shown to whoever ordered it, and the process will be complete!
New tools, old process
Jewelry is often made by hand using the lost wax method, keeping the ancient traditions intact. While we use more modern tools such as a centrifuge and a kiln, the steps from the process are the same ones that ancient smiths used thousands of years ago. They used different materials and tools, and used this process for weapons and arrowhead as well as jewelry.
Everything from a simple ring to the most complex necklace is made using these steps, so when you place an order for jewelry, you know that ancient history is being used to create a modern marvel.