Have you ever wondered how a beautiful gold ring is formed? A lot goes into a single piece of fine jewelry, from casting to gem setting to hand finishing. Market Square Jewelers is proud to announce the opening of our casting studio, allowing us to produce custom work and our vintage reproduction line, Elizabeth Henry, completely in house. Keep reading to learn about the lost-wax casting method, and see how we craft a ring from start to finish.
The casting process begins with a rubber mold created around a master model. Rubber is added layer by layer around the model, then heated to form a precise mold of the piece.
The mold is injected with wax to create the ring form. After the wax hardens, it can be removed and inspected for quality, and will reveal any flaws in the rubber mold.
Multiple wax models can be attached to form what is called a tree, or left as single models, and placed in a cylinder mold. Creating a tree allows the jeweler to cast multiple rings at once. The wax models are attached to a sprue, which will eventually form a channel for the molten metal to enter the mold.
The cylinder is filled with investment to completely cover the wax. Investment is a very high grade plaster specially designed for casting.
A vacuum removes all air from the cylinder to create a perfect mold. Any air bubbles will compromise the quality of the casting.
After drying, the cylinder is kiln fired to harden the investment and melt the wax out. This process takes several hours, but will result in a completed mold.
The mold now has a ring shaped cavity that is ready for casting. The hardened mold is placed inside the casting machine and filled with molten metal.
After the metal is poured and set, the cylinder is removed from the machine…
… and quenched in water while it is still hot.
The investment is washed out, leaving behind the freshly cast ring attached to the sprue.
All that’s left is to remove the sprue, polish the ring, and set it with the perfect gem.
The finished product! This is a custom piece we designed with a customer. Click to learn about all the jewelry services we offer at Market Square Jewelers, and be sure to stop into one of our locations to customize the perfect piece!