Jewelry making is a wonderfully creative business. There is nothing quite like making stunning new shapes out of precious metals and stones that your clients will treasure for years to come. However, if your business growing rapidly and it’s becoming hard to stay on-pace with customer demand, then it may be time to consider turning to a jewelry casting company for help. Loren Castings is here to help you shine by producing custom casts made to your exact specifications. You dream up new designs, and we’ll help you make them a reality with an unmatched dedication to quality and attention to detail. Read on to learn more about our process, and contact Loren Castings today to discover all the ways we can help you expedite jewelry manufacturing and expand your business!
Most jewelry today begins with a cast pattern, and the process has evolved in the 70 years Loren Castings has been in the business. While new technology is being introduced every day, each step has remained essentially the same. Lost wax casting is the technique most commonly used across the industry, and today, we’ll give you an inside look and walk you through how we create custom castings for your business and other jewelers across the country.
To cast jewelry, you need a master model. Traditionally, one is carved by hand to be used in the model-making process later on. With new advances in technology, you also have the option of creating a 3D-printed model from a CAD (computer-aided design) file, and then creating a precise wax or resin prototype from that model. Loren Castings can even use an existing master model from your business and repair or update it to be used in new designs. Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages — explore our blog to learn more!
Once the master model has been made, it needs to be replicated to create the final mold used in the “lost” wax method. Rubber is a common choice for the mold medium, but different materials can create different effects. Shrinkage is to be expected — a size 7 ring master model may create an end product that is size 6 ¾, for example – but you can minimize the differences between your master model and the mold with different media, such as VT rubber or silicon.
Once the impression in the rubber or silicon has been made, the master model is cut free and wax is injected in its place. Typically, many wax casts will be made and then collected and connected into a “tree” that will be suspended in a flask of plaster. Each one is connected to the tree with a sprue, which directs liquid material throughout the mold. It needs to be in just the right location and just the right size in order to create a high-quality final casting.
Adding the Investment
Once complete, the wax model tree is placed in a flask, which is then filled with a plaster material called the “investment.” The flask is placed in an oven to cure the plaster, and this is the point in the process where the wax is “lost.” The low melting point of wax causes it to melt away, leaving behind empty space and a perfect impression of your jewelry pieces. Now it’s time to cast!
In this step of the process, the precious metal or alloy of your choice is melted and poured into the plaster mold. It sounds simple, but this is actually one of the most complex steps. Each type of metal melts at a different temperature. Soft, malleable 24K gold, for example, melts at a lower temperature than durable platinum or even 18K gold, which is made of a slightly different alloy combination. Here at Loren Castings, we have the expertise and the equipment to adjust for the exact casting parameters necessary for each metal. Once the molten material is poured into the cast, it is allowed to cool, and the metal replicas are removed from the flask.
Loren Castings Goes Above and Beyond
Here at Loren Castings, not only do we dedicate ourselves to perfecting the custom casting process and ensuring the end product fits your specifications, we also offer services that go beyond raw castings. Keep reading to learn how we can save your business time and money with our comprehensive jewelry manufacturing services and contact our team today to start your custom order!
When your casting is pulled from the plaster investment mold, it is still a far cry from the final product. These castings are rough and unfinished, just a few steps away from a block of solid gold, silver, brass, or platinum. If you want to create your jewelry in a way that is as hands-on as possible, you can finish these raw castings yourself, or you can further streamline your manufacturing process and take advantage of Loren Casting’s comprehensive services.
Raw castings, as the name may suggest, are raw products. The sprue and any other excess metal will be trimmed away, but many imperfections remain. There may be edges and seams to grind away, particularly if it was made with multiple castings in a tree formation, and it will be without shine. If you are looking for Loren Castings’ most basic service, ask about raw castings!
The next step in finishing your jewelry castings is typically tumble finishing. Tumbling is a process similar to making sea glass, where your piece is “tumbled” around a barrel with other materials to clean, smooth, and brighten it, bringing it one step closer to the final product. The medium used for this process can vary, from small plastic to metal pieces in all shapes and sizes.
The barrel of the device is filled with whatever medium you choose as well as a lubricant like water, and then spun to tumble the materials together. Your jewelry pieces will emerge smoother and shinier with each round. Throughout the finishing process – whether you do it yourself or leave it to the team here at Loren Castings – a coarse texture is typically used in the first application, and then your piece will graduate through finer materials for a more refined polish. You can apply this technique to tumble finishing by putting your castings through several rounds using different materials. Many jewelers and manufacturers will also utilize different shapes of materials in each round of finishing to clean every curve and crevice of your castings.
With most imperfections filed away, the only steps left in finishing your jewelry pieces are the several stages of polishing. Polishing typically involves rotary tools, each one with a different grit and/or material, transitioning through coarse stone to fine-grit sandpaper to soft materials like felt or muslin. At this stage, any remaining flaws are removed, chemical finishes are added by request, and your castings are thoroughly cleaned and polished to a brilliant shine.
Spend more time growing your business and creating inspiring new designs by taking advantage of all of Loren Castings’ jewelry services. Not only can we create gorgeous custom castings for your business, but we can help you perfect the final product. Go beyond casting and polishing and contact Loren Castings today to learn how we can help with everything from die-cutting and engraving to enameling and stone-setting!
As a jeweler, you deserve options when creating unique pieces for your customers. That’s why Loren Castings works with several different precious metals and alloys. We want to create custom castings that you love, and we have the expertise to work with a number of materials. When it comes to melting metals and using them to create jewelry castings, there is no one-size-fits-all method. As we mentioned in our explanation of the casting process, each material needs to be handled in a unique way. Continue reading to learn more about working with four of the most common metals and check out our blog for more information on which you should choose for your custom casting order!
Gold has been a classic choice for jewelry for thousands of years, and for good reason. It is resistant to tarnishing and – more importantly for the casting process – it is very soft and malleable, which is why it has one of the lowest melting points among precious metals. However, the exact level of heat needed for gold casting depends on the karat you choose for your design.
Most jewelry is made from some kind of alloy – a mixture of two or more metals – and karats is a measurement of how much pure gold is in a material. Each gold variety is marked by how many parts out of 24 is made with gold rather than another metal. 24-karat gold, for example, is made of almost pure gold, while 18 karats has only 18 parts pure gold out of 24. Your first reaction may be to turn your nose up at the less pure combinations, but gold alloys are often chosen because the introduction of other metals makes for better durability, lower cost, and more color options. Once you decide on the gold variety of your choice, the team here at Loren Castings will adjust our jewelry casting process to match the needs of that specific alloy.
Silver is beautiful, but can be challenging to work with in its pure form. It has a higher melting point than gold – about 1761 degrees Fahrenheit when pure – and its casting process may require fluxes or degassing. Sterling silver has become a front-runner in jewelry materials because the combination of silver and copper melts at a lower temperature and forms a stronger, more durable final product.
Brass, which is typically an alloy of copper and zinc, offers the warm yellow color of gold without the high price. It has a very low melting point – the lowest among the materials we are discussing here! – which makes it an easy material to work with in jewelry casting. It’s beautiful, affordable, and it often ages with a unique patina that your customers may admire and seek out.
Platinum is a unique precious metal when it comes to jewelry casting. It is an undeniably gorgeous material for finished pieces, but it is one of the most challenging metals to work with. Platinum only melts at extremely high temperatures, and it solidifies rapidly as it cools. While gold typically solidifies in around 20 seconds, platinum pieces can harden in three to four seconds, which can make shrinkage and porosity an acute concern. That means your casters have to be especially careful when creating your design, and that, if you choose to make your own pieces, you will need customized processes and equipment to handle platinum.
The flasks and investments used for creating silver or gold castings aren’t suited for the extreme conditions needed for melting platinum. You need specific materials that are resistant to refraction, thermal shock, and metal penetration. Platinum castings, while stunning, require a unique level of attention, experience, and preparation to create properly.
Let the professionals here at Loren Castings handle it all, so you only have to worry about designing your next beautiful piece. We have more than 70 years of experience working with all kinds of materials, and we have all the equipment we need to meet your needs, whether you choose pliable brass or high-quality and high-maintenance platinum. Read on to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your jewelry casting to us and contact our team today to get started!
As a jeweler, you take pride in your work, and you should! A lot of time, effort, and inspiration goes into each and every one of your pieces. However, if you are trying to expand your audience and grow your business, maintaining a personal commitment to every step of the manufacturing process simply isn’t sustainable. That’s where Loren Castings comes in. We bring the same level of dedication and attention to casting your pieces as you would, and we have the equipment and expertise you need to keep expanding. Read on to learn how working with Loren Castings can help you and call today to outsource your jewelry casting needs without sacrificing beauty or quality!
As you may already know, creating jewelry is not a cheap or easy endeavor, especially if you are just starting out. You need a lot of precious material and specialized equipment to create custom castings, and you need all of that in addition to skill to produce jewelry for a larger market. Growing your business shouldn’t consume your savings and your well-earned revenue. When you outsource your jewelry casting needs to Loren Castings, you are getting expert services at a competitive rate. We already have everything we need to create beautiful jewelry. All you have to do is give us a call or fill out our on-site online form and tell us what you need.
Even if you already have the necessary equipment and materials for jewelry making, you are probably not equipped or experienced enough to handle the workload of mass production. A one-person production line – or a two- or three-person team – simply isn’t as efficient as depending on a well-staffed business like Loren Castings. As a designer, your time and energy are valuable. Use your time to dream up new creations and innovations and grow your business.
Trusting a third-party company with your designs can be nerve-wracking, we understand. That’s why Loren Castings is committed to quality. We have been in the jewelry business for more than 70 years, and for each one, we have dedicated ourselves to creating the absolute best custom castings we can. We combine industry experience with new technology to bring you the best possible products, and each project gets the individualized attention it deserves. We have an attention to detail that is only rivaled by your own, and our goal is to bring your unique designs to life with our high-quality craftsmanship.
Our mission here at Loren Castings is to help up-and-coming jewelers and designers share their products with the world. Once you have established a partnership with us — bringing our fast, affordable process and our high-quality results into the fold of your business – you can bring your jewelry to new audiences in your community or around the world! Outsourcing to a casting company like Loren Castings opens up opportunities to truly expand your business and gain recognition for your brand. We’ll take care of the nitty gritty parts of making jewelry so you can concentrate on more important things. Become part of the next generation of jewelers and contact Loren Castings today!