Manufacturing processes

We offer the most unique and interesting collection of antique, Victorian, Art Deco & Art Nouveau jewelry lines in the market today by several manufacturer's. The designs are not mass merchandised nor can they be found by the hundreds of thousands being hawked on QVC or HSN. Our most popular line's are made right here in the United States by craftsmen who have preserved 100 to 150 year old hand engraved dies or reproduced original antique jewelry. Many of our reproductions are 'made to order' and are not pre-stocked. We do this to offer the widest range of selections which sell at the lowest prices. Another added benefit to our 'made to order' items when you pick your metal and stone preferences, is that your purchase is not considered a non returnable custom order as many sellers do when you request an item manufactured to your preferences which is not in stock. Our 'made to order' jewelry is returnable according to our standard refund policy guidelines (except where noted as a non returnable or special order in the item listing).

By manufacturing to order we are able to sell the same items carried as some of our competitors for as much as 50% less for the same product, many of which are made by the same manufacturer. To accurately compare products and not confuse the quality Made in America antique & vintage designs you see here with the mass marketed versions copied overseas in China or India, inquire what the makers mark is. These identifying marks are in all manufactured jewelry and may just be a symbol, letters or a maker's name. Shoppers are encouraged to look around ours and other sites then ask for maker's marks, compare prices, metal weights and stone qualities of any product to assure you are making an informed purchase.

Our jewelry is manufactured by a number of processes which will be explained below:

Die striking process

This is the method which results in much higher density and durability than cast manufactured jewelry made in low pressure molds. After alloying, the parts are formed by using metal dies applying 50 tons of pressure repeatedly to the ingot as it is formed into an item that will have a high luster and high density. Jewelry manufactured in this method is durable, has no porosity and holds a higher luster which is desirable for engagement rings. However die struck jewelry comes with a price tag and can cost 2 to 3 times higher than a casting. Most of our die struck jewelry can be found in these sections: Semi mount rings & sets, Engagement rings & sets, Anniversary bands, Earrings & Pendants and necklaces. If it's important to you to purchase a die struck item such as engagement ring, please ask before purchasing and we will inform you of the method of manufacture.

Lost wax casting

This is the most cost effective but a very complex process. All cast jewelry settings are now sold finished which means they are filed, tumble polished and hand polishing of the exterior. The final finish work of trimming and finishing the prongs will need to be completed by the stone setter if you are ordering a blank setting or semi mounting. Mold lines or seams may be noticeable upon close inspection to the unaided eye or under magnification and porosity, minute pits in the metal, may also be found under magnification. These are not considered defects but are a result of the lost wax casting process. We do inspect for porosity and reject items with eye visible pitting or areas of porosity that will affect the safety & structure of your ring.

Also the symmetry of the filigree designs and embossed patterns may not be perfectly even or symmetrical along the filigree work and impressions on shank sides. This is the intended charm of this line, they are not meant to be perfect, pristine and brand new looking. Many of our items are a copy of an authentic antique item that had signs of wear, which have been transferred onto the reproduction. They may have also been reproduced from the original works of 100 to 150 year old hand carved steel dies and roller wheels which may have dings, tool markings and variations in the engraved art work. The point of these pieces is to capture them for the works of art that they are with their original details as rendered by the artist, to appreciate and preserve a part of history. If you will be bothered by small detail inconsistencies, slightly off symmetry or are looking for perfection in all detailing with crisp sharp details we suggest you purchase either CAD generated or die struck manufactured items. The CAD designs or die stuck items will have the precision, symmetry and perfection expected from the machine generated products of modern times.

The Lost Wax Casting Process: The model can be made out of many different materials such as an item that has already been produced in metal, a wax carving, a plastic carving, or just about anything that will not react to the mold rubber negatively. Molds are used to produce wax replicas of your model. Waxes are injected into the molds to produce wax replicas of the model being produced. Then the wax replica is attached by a sprue and arranged on a wax tree. Wax trees can contain as many as one hundred or more items or as few as one. When finished they are placed in a metal flask which is filled with a plaster investment that covers the wax tree. The plaster Investment dries and is then ready for the 12 to 16 hour burn out cycle in the casting ovens. This is where the Lost Wax Casting name comes from. All wax is slowly burned out to leave a plaster Investment mold that will be used to pour the casting metal into. Casting is done by placing the flasks in a centrifuge or a vacuum casting machines and then heating the metal and pouring the metal into the flasks. The result of the casting is a metal (gold, silver, platinum) tree of your items. When the metal trees come out of casting they must be cleaned, each cast item must be cut from the tree and de-sprued and tumble finished.

 

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The finish of your rings and bands

When ordering wedding sets, ring guards or stacking rings that are not sold specifically as a set, it is recommended the ring setting and band(s) be ordered at the same time. This is so we can guaranty the metal tones will match as our jewelry comes from various manufacturer's and the tone of sterling silver or any of the other precious metals may vary depending on the finishing processes used, alloy mixtures and casting techniques. If you receive your band and it does not match the color tone of your engagement ring there are a number of solutions to help achieve a closer or exact match. Each metal has it's own set of solutions in which you may discuss your particular purchase with us and we can make suggestions what steps can be taken to help the metal tones match. This might be resolved by simply having the existing ring professionally buffed to remove surface oxidation and scratches to restore the metal to new again, to the final solution if all else fails of plating silver and white gold items with rhodium or plating yellow gold items with yellow gold.

Gold settings:

If the white gold of your existing ring does not match your newly purchased band, try having your ring professionally buffed and polished first. If the metals still are not matching any better rhodium plating both rings at the same time will produce a matching finish for your wedding set.

Yellow gold alloys will vary in color tone as gold does oxidize and darken over time. To help your existing yellow gold ring match closer to your newly purchased yellow gold band by taking it to your local jeweler to be professionally polished or buffed. The buffing compound strips the outer surface off to remove oxidation, scratches and all signs of wear restoring the metal to it's newly manufactured appearance. If the metal tones are still not matching both rings can be yellow gold plated at the same time.

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Our jeweler will rhodium plate yellow and rose gold settings for a two toned look as in the sample shown in rose gold with a rhodium plated top plate. Prices will vary depending on setting design and placement of the rhodium plating.

 

 

 

Sterling silver settings:

Sterling filigree settings and patterned wedding bands depending on the maker and the freshness of the antiquing solution may have a moderate to lightly antiqued surface. If you prefer not to have an antiqued finish you may request to have a high polished finish or have a local jeweler remove and polish the antiquing completely off. A polishing cloth alone will not remove this chemically applied oxidation.

The sterling silver in our filigree lines are not rhodium plated (unless otherwise noted in the item description) as it the intention of the antique reproductions to look antique and have an aged patina. Sterling silver is meant to tarnish, that is the nature and beauty of the metal. However if you still wish to have your sterling silver item rhodium plated we are now offering it as an optional finish on our made to oder jewelry for and additional charge. 

 

 


 

 

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