COSTUME JEWELRY TECHNIQUES
Numerous techniques have been developed for producing costume jewelry:
- Hand Fabrication. The entire piece of jewelry is created manually by the jeweller from start to finish. This method results in the most personal attention and permits a lot of customization. However, it is also more expensive as the jeweller has to do everything personally.
- Casting. A mold is cast of an existing piece of jewelry or of a wax replica and then metal is poured into the model to produce copies. A versatile and inexpensive method.
- Die-Striking/Stamping. A sheet or strip of metal is pressed between steel plates. This twists the metal sheet into a particular shape that’s determined by the indentations. Though inexpensive, the design of the jewelry is limited to what can be defined by the indentations.
- Electro-Forming. Gold is deposited on a mandrel placed in a bath of electrolyte solution. An expensive process that can only be used with certain styles, the final product is beautiful, hollow jewelry that looks big and bold but isn’t heavy.
- White Metal Spin-Casting. The metal is melted down while the jewelry mold is placed in a spin-caster. As the mold spins, the metal is poured in and then cools into the jewelry’s shape. Most popular way to make costume jewelry, both versatile and not too expensive.