A Pearly Rose Gold Renaissance

You may have noticed a trend building if you are a fan of fine jewelry …

… ROSE GOLD!!!

Pearl Paradise Rose Gold Jewelry

A collection of a few of our favorite ROSE gold pieces

It’s gorgeous!!!

Now what exactly is it and why is it pink???

Gold is an AMAZING metal. It has been considered valuable and precious since long before the beginning of recorded history, and for good reason!

Gold’s Amazing Properties

Gold can be hammered so thin, that one ounce of it (about the size of a quarter) can be turned into a sheet measuring roughly 300 square feet! One ounce of gold can also be stretched into a wire so thin (only five microns thick), that it would reach a distance of 50 miles!

Gold is one of the least chemically reactive elements, which is why it doesn’t easily rust or tarnish. Gold is also one of the best conductors of electricity and heat, making it extremely important in advanced computers. Gold strongly reflects infrared radiation, and because gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become transparent, it is used in astronauts’ helmets. Modern space exploration would not be possible without gold!

Gold’s Amazing Color

Most pure metals are gray or silvery white, while gold is a deep, rich yellow. Adding small amounts of other metals can dramatically change its color. Mix gold with some palladium and nickel and you’ve got white gold. Mix gold with silver and you’ve got green gold. Mix it with aluminum and you get purple gold (though it is too brittle for jewelry). And my favorite, mix it with copper and silver and you get ROSE GOLD!

gold-karats-101

Rose gold, also known as pink gold and red gold, has been part of gold’s history from the start.  During ancient times, due to impurities in the smelting process, gold frequently turned a reddish color. In fact, many texts from the Middle Ages, describe the color of gold as red.

Rose gold jewelry gained popularity in Russia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, due to its distinctly different look from yellow or white gold. Rose gold jewelry first became popular in the United States in 1924, after Louis Cartier introduced his “Trinity” ring, which consisted of three interlocking bands of white, yellow and, you guessed it, rose gold!

Rose gold has continued to gain popularity for numerous reasons. The hue of rose gold looks great with pretty much every skin tone. It also finds favor with those who generally would only wear white gold, or only wear yellow gold, because it looks beautiful when worn alongside either gold color. Rose gold also has the added benefit of not containing nickel, which can cause an allergic reaction with some people.

We here at Pearl Paradise are proud to be able to offer a great many of our designs in rose gold! This is because the vast majority of our jewelry is made in-house. In fact, Pearl Paradise arguably has the largest selection of rose gold pearl jewelry on the internet! To showcase our collection, we’ve added a Rose Gold Jewelry page to our website, where every design on the page is available in rose gold!

Enjoy!

 http://www.pearlparadise.com/c-344-rose-gold-jewelry.aspx

Rose gold settings with Tahitian pearls, South Sea pearls and metallic freshwaters

 

From a Rubber Mold to a Finished Piece of Pearl Jewelry

The majority of the jewelry you see in the retail market is made using rubber molds. A rubber mold is what jewelers and jewelry manufacturers usually use to duplicate a piece of jewelry. The original piece of jewelry that is to be duplicated, would have been carved by hand, or created using computer-aided design (CAD) software and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), like a 3D wax printer. We are proud to be able to say that the vast majority of Pearl Paradise’s jewelry (if not all), was originally carved by hand. There is a tangible difference between jewelry that is hand-carved by an artisan, and jewelry that is created on a computer by a technician. While hand-carved jewelry may not be mathematically perfect, the contours tend to feel softer and more fluid, while jewelry created using a computer seems to have a cold and more mechanical feel to it.

My name is John, and I started hand-carving wax models for jewelry, casting and making rubber molds 20 years ago. Over the years, I’ve created an extensive assortment of designs that I’ve captured and added to my rubber mold collection. When I joined Pearl Paradise, I brought over 3000 rubber molds with me. Today, on a daily basis, Hisano and I go through these rubber molds to hand-select which designs can be modified, if needed, to hold a pearl to add to Pearl Paradise’s online collection. After we select a design which we want to add to the collection, and make any necessary alterations, we then begin the process of creating jewelry from a rubber mold.

Above is a typical rubber mold. It was made with a device called a vulcanizer, which compresses and heats several layers of a special type of soft rubber, inside of which, the piece of jewelry you want to recreate is placed. The compressing effect of the vulcanizer squeezes the rubber around and into the crevices of the jewelry, capturing all of its details. The heating first makes the rubber soft, allowing it to flow seamlessly around the jewelry, and then the heat vulcanizes the mold rubber, making it firm. The mold is then hand-cut open to remove the original piece of jewelry. What is left is a three dimensional impression, ready for wax to be injected.

Step One: Injecting wax into the rubber mold.

Doing this step correctly is crucial to having your finished piece of turn out properly. The two key factors are wax temperature and air pressure. If the wax isn’t heated to an adequate temperature, it won’t flow correctly and will not completely fill the rubber mold. If the wax is too hot, it can create air bubbles, which result in your finished piece having porosity.

The melted wax inside of the wax injector is pressurized to force it into the rubber mold. If the pressure is too low, the liquid wax will not flow correctly and will not completely fill the rubber mold, similar to when the wax is too cold. [This is shown with the wax on the left.]

Conversely, if the air pressure is too high, it could result in visible mold lines and/or “flashing”. Flashing is when wax overflows the rubber mold’s design, resulting in extra wax on the injected wax model. [This is shown with the wax in the middle.]

When all of the variables are correct, the result is an injected wax model that is an exact duplicate of the original piece of jewelry. [This is shown with the wax on the right.]

Step Two: Sprue and invest the wax model.

In the photos of the wax injections, you can see a wax stick attached to the jewelry model. This is what is called the sprue. The sprue is basically the pathway for the liquid wax to get from the outside of the rubber mold, to the impression of the jewelry design in the center. Casting the piece in gold or silver is essentially the same process, but with different materials. Instead of injecting liquid wax into a rubber mold, you pour molten gold or silver into a plaster mold.

The first step in this part of the process is to attach the sprue of the wax model onto a rubber sprue-base.

You then slide a metal cylinder, referred to as a flask, over your wax model and onto the sprue-base forming a tight seal.

The next step is to mix a very fine plaster, called investment, and pour it into the flask. Before and after you pour the mixed investment, you have to put the mixture into a vacuum chamber which pulls all of the tiny air bubbles out of the mixture, and off of the wax model. If you left the bubbles in the investment mixture, your casting would have tiny metal bubbles attached to it where the bubbles were touching the wax model.

After the plaster solidifies, you gently pull off the rubber sprue-base, giving you access to the end of the sprue.

Step Three: Casting the piece of jewelry.

You’re now ready to put the flask into the casting furnace to harden the plaster and “burn out” the wax model, leaving an empty cavity that is the exact shape of the wax model. After all of the wax has burned out, and while the flask is still hot (between 800-1200 degrees Fahrenheit -depending on the metal and the design), you pour in your molten gold or silver into the hole where the end of the sprue was once visible. You always have to pour more metal than you need for the piece of jewelry you are casting. This is because the extra metal pushes the primary metal into the empty cavity where the wax model was, filling all of the fine details completely. The glowing metal you can see in the photo is referred to as the “button”.

Step Four: Cleaning and polishing the casting

After the flask cools for a little while, you submerge it in water, or “quench” it. This rapid cooling hardens the metal making it more durable and easier to work with. The rapid cooling also makes the plaster break away from the cast piece of jewelry in the center, referred to as the casting. After you clean off any remaining plaster, you cut your casting off of the metal sprue. If done correctly, your casting will have the exact same shape as your original wax model.

Your casting is now ready to be tumbled clean, then filed and sanded into shape.  Your next step would be to solder together the components if needed, in my case, the bezel and post are attached to the top of the pendant with the jump-ring. After the piece is assembled, you would then set the diamond. Finally, the piece is ready to be polished.

Not done yet! Now my favorite part… Selecting the pearl!!!

Step Five: Setting the pearl.

After the pearl is selected, it is drilled and attached to the mounting and …

 

We are currently creating a minimum of 12 new pearl pieces per month, one of which is posted weekly on Facebook for our “First Look Friday” promotion – One New Pearl Jewelry Design a Week.

I really hope you all enjoy the new pieces as they are produced!