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Handmade VS Cast Jewelry: LEARN THE DIFFERENCE!

When it comes to purchasing jewelry, most people overlook the importance of how it is made. However, the manufacturing process can impact both the quality and look of a finished piece of jewelry. Keep reading to find out what sets us apart from our industry competitors!

The main two production methods most commonly used to create jewelry are casting and hand fabrication. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll review in further detail in this post. Before we dive any deeper, it’s important to keep in mind that the term “handmade” is often incorrectly used to describe both manufacturing processes. Hand fabrication is the ONLY method where a piece of jewelry is created from scratch by a skilled craftsman, while methods like casting rely on additional manufacturing techniques to assist in the process.  

At Lauren B, we specialize in creating custom engagement rings that are completely made by hand. Each piece is crafted by master jewelers in our personal production facility located only a few blocks from our NYC showroom.

CASTING

The vast majority of retailers use the casting method, which involves pouring molten metal into molds. The mold is created by first carving or 3D printing a wax model of the finished jewelry product. This model is then covered in plaster prior to being heated. The heat causes the wax to melt, which leaves space inside the plaster for molten metal to be poured in. Once the metal is cooled, the plaster is removed to reveal the piece of jewelry. It is then polished and set with any gemstones to complete the final design.

Pros

  • Casting is a very efficient method for producing large volumes of jewelry, since it is possible to use multiple molds at once to create a finished piece.
  • It is less expensive when compared to handmade jewelry, as it requires less time and labor.
  • There is often the use of digital renderings, which can be 3D printed to create jewelry with very precise specifications.

Cons

  • The use of molds in metalwork poses a risk of porosity (small air pockets within the metal). This can cause the finished product to be weaker and more prone to breaking. 
  • Cast metal is less dense when compared to handmade jewelry, which can make it easier to scratch and bend. 
  • It is difficult to create designs with finer and more delicate details due to the limited durability of the metal.
  • Creating designs with multiple types of metal can be more challenging, as the components need to be cast separately and then soldered together. This can make the piece weaker at the various soldered points. 

HANDMADE

Hand fabricated jewelry is much less common and involves working with metal from scratch using a very high level of craftsmanship. This process does not involve any models or molds. The process begins with raw pieces of metal that usually come in the form of wire and/or sheets. The metal is then manipulated by cutting, hammering, shaping and annealing (heating) to create the desired design. Once the metalwork is complete, it is polished and any gemstones are set to finalize the piece. Watch the video HERE to get an in-depth look at how we handcraft our engagement rings.

Pros

  • Handmade jewelry is almost 50% harder than cast jewelry, as the metal is much more dense from being hammered and shaped. This results in a more durable product that has an increased resistance to scratching and bending.  
  • One can create finer and narrower designs that have a more delicate appearance. By comparison, cast rings can have a bulkier look.
  • It is easier to mix different types of metals in a single piece of jewelry without having durability concerns. For example, creating an engagement ring with a yellow gold band and white gold prongs.
  • There is no chance that a piece will develop porosity, which is a common flaw in the casting process.

Cons

  • Handmade jewelry is more expensive, as it is more time and labor intensive. 
  • Since there is no aid from 3D printing or molds, the level of detail and precision when replicating a design by hand can have slight variations. 

Our New York store location carries an extensive collection of handmade engagement ring designs that can be customized to your liking. We believe it’s important to have each ring crafted by hand in order to ensure a lifetime of the highest level of quality and detail. To learn more about our custom process or to inquire about creating your own unique ring please email [email protected].

Comments

  • […] When it comes to purchasing jewelry, most people overlook the importance of how it is made. However, the manufacturing process can impact both the quality and look of a finished piece of jewelry. Keep reading to find out what sets us apart from our industry competitors!The main two production methods most commonly used to create jewelry are casting and hand fabrication. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll review in further detail in this post. Before we dive any deeper, it’s important to keep in mind that the term “handmade” is often incorrectly used to describe both manufacturing processes. Hand fabrication is the ONLY method where a piece of jewelry is created from scratch by a skilled craftsman, while methods like casting rely on additional manufacturing techniques to assist in the process.  At Lauren B, we specialize in creating custom engagement rings that are completely made by hand. Each piece is crafted by master jewelers in our personal production facility located only a few blocks from our NYC showroom.The vast majority of retailers use the casting method, which involves pouring molten metal into molds. The mold is created by first carving or 3D printing a wax model of the finished jewelry product. This model is then covered in plaster prior to being heated. The heat causes the wax to melt, which leaves space inside the plaster for molten metal to be poured in. Once the metal is cooled, the plaster is removed to reveal the piece of jewelry. It is then polished and set with any gemstones to complete the final design.ProsCasting is a very efficient method for producing large volumes of jewelry, since it is possible to use multiple molds at once to create a finished piece.It is less expensive when compared to handmade jewelry, as it requires less time and labor.There is often the use of digital renderings, which can be 3D printed to create jewelry with very precise specifications.ConsThe use of molds in metalwork poses a risk of porosity (small air pockets within the metal). This can cause the finished product to be weaker and more prone to breaking. Cast metal is less dense when compared to handmade jewelry, which can make it easier to scratch and bend. It is difficult to create designs with finer and more delicate details due to the limited durability of the metal.Creating designs with multiple types of metal can be more challenging, as the components need to be cast separately and then soldered together. This can make the piece weaker at the various soldered points. Hand fabricated jewelry is much less common and involves working with metal from scratch using a very high level of craftsmanship. This process does not involve any models or molds. The process begins with raw pieces of metal that usually come in the form of wire and/or sheets. The metal is then manipulated by cutting, hammering, shaping and annealing (heating) to create the desired design. Once the metalwork is complete, it is polished and any gemstones are set to finalize the piece. Watch the video HERE to get an in-depth look at how we handcraft our engagement rings.ProsHandmade jewelry is almost 50% harder than cast jewelry, as the metal is much more dense from being hammered and shaped. This results in a more durable product that has an increased resistance to scratching and bending.  One can create finer and narrower designs that have a more delicate appearance. By comparison, cast rings can have a bulkier look.It is easier to mix different types of metals in a single piece of jewelry without having durability concerns. For example, creating an engagement ring with a yellow gold band and white gold prongs.There is no chance that a piece will develop porosity, which is a common flaw in the casting process.ConsHandmade jewelry is more expensive, as it is more time and labor intensive. Since there is no aid from 3D printing or molds, the level of detail and precision when replicating a design by hand can have slight variations. Our New York store location carries an extensive collection of handmade engagement ring designs that can be customized to your liking. We believe it’s important to have each ring crafted by hand in order to ensure a lifetime of the highest level of quality and detail. To learn more about our custom process or to inquire about creating your own unique ring please email [email protected]. SOURCE: https://www.laurenbjewelry.com/blog/handmade-vs-cast-jewelry-learn-the-difference/ […]

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