Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% of silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. The sterling alloy originated in continental Europe . It being used for commerce as early as the 12th century in the area that is now northern Germany.
You must be wondering, what is the process of making it? The following is the basic process of doing it:
Designing the Jewelry
Drawing the jewelry design sketch is the first step. Being your own designer will allow you to differ from others. Thus offering something new to your clients. You are the one making the decorative decisions, and you are the one bringing your ideas to life.
Once your masterpiece is complete, you make a mold of it. There are different materials available to make molds. Jewelry companies make a high technology mold, which in turn is used to make wax reproductions of the Jewelry. People who are making their own sterling silver jewelry often use natural rubber material that comes in large flat sheets.
Casting (Lost-Wax Casting)
Jewelry casting is a process of making jewelry pieces that involves the pouring of liquid metal alloy into a mold.
Start simple for now, as complex molds are much harder to keep together at first. Get a piece of modeling wax and use a precision knife, Dremel, and any other tool needed to make a model of your jewelry. Whatever shape you make now will be the shape of your finished piece.
- You are making an exact replica of your eventual jewelry.
- Using a piece of jewelry you like as a model will help you design better pieces when you first start.
The shape of the piece to be produced is initially shaped in wax or made of metal at a scale of 1.05 (or an average of 3%) to take into account solidification shrinkage (slight reduction of the dimension of the metal piece produced compared with the wax model. This is linked to the physical phenomenon of metals that are less dense as a liquid than as a solid, which results in a volume decrease as the metal cools and solidifies.
Setting consists in attaching a precious stone or gem to a metal mount by moving part of the metal. The techniques commonly used for settings include:
- Prong/claw Setting. The prongs are tiny pieces of metal from the mount that the setter folds over the stone’s girdle securing the stone into place. This is the most common technique for solitary gems.
- Bezel setting. A tiny precious metal disk surrounds the stone. The sheet is folded over the entire perimeter of the stone securing it from the underside.
Every part must be polished while the mount is being made. The entire mount is carefully made clean and polished to the highest degree of smoothness so that each and every part is attractively polished off. After stage setting, the polisher is credit worthy for giving the jewelry a concluding polish. Rise Jewellery is using rhodium for long lasting effect and extra shine. The two ways jewelers do this are mechanical polishing and chemical polishing.
Of course, the last thing to do is to make sure that your jewelry is perfect!