Jewelry Frequently Asked Questions
We are pleased to offer extensive collections of Celtic Jewelry, Northwest
Coast Indian Jewelry, Northwest Jewelry by Paul Wagner, Judie Gumm and Cavin Richie. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive
concerning our jewelry.
|Where is your jewelry made?|
|What is a Lost Wax Casting?|
|What is Metal Stamping?|
|What is the weight of gold in the gold jewelry?|
|What is your delivery time for jewelry?|
Our Celtic Engagement Rings, Celtic Wedding Rings and Kalgoorlie Rings and
gold Celtic jewelry are all hand polished lost wax castings made in the USA
by a local manufacturing jeweler who shares our concern for quality.
Our sterling silver Celtic jewelry, with the exception of a few pieces made
in Wales, are either lost wax castings or stamped pieces made in the USA. Much
of our Celtic jewelry collection is exclusive to David Morgan.
Most of our Northwest Indian jewelry is made in the USA, here in the Northwest.
Some of the pieces, such as the Tlingit Trade Bracelets and Rings, are stamped
from the original dies made in the early 1900’s for trade with the Indians of
the Pacific Northwest. Our pewter and copper jewelry by Frederick Design is made in Canada, as is the Sea to Sky Collection by Corrine Hunt.
What is a Lost Wax Casting?
Lost wax casting is used to produce many of our items of jewelry. In this process
a model of the item is made (usually carved in wax, sometimes fabricated in
metal), sprues and vents added to facilitate later casting, and a rubber mold
cast around the model. The mold is cut into two pieces to remove the model,
the cut being made in such a manner that the mold may be readily reassembled.
Wax reproductions of the original model may then be cast in this mold. These
‘waxes’ are then either individually or in groups (as a ‘tree’) suitable sprued
to allow access of the casting metal, set in a flask and the flask filled with
plaster of Paris. The flask is then heated to evaporate and remove the wax,
leaving a firm mold with a cavity having the shape of the original wax. Molten
silver or gold may then be cast through the sprue into this mold. When the metal
has solidifed the plaster mold is broken apart, freeing the metal. The sprues
and any irregularities on the cast item are removed, and the piece is finished
Lost wax casting is preferred when an item has deep or undercut indentations
or a highly variable thickness. Detail may be reproduced well. Some variation
in weight, detail and polish is normal as the result of differences in temperatures
at the several stages of the process and in the hand work involved. Our Celtic
Wedding Bands are examples of fine lost wax castings.
What is Metal Stamping?
Jewelry may be made by stamping, forcing a hardened steel die into a sheet
of silver deeply enough to impress a pattern on the surface of the die into
the surface of the silver, much as you may impress a thumb print into cookie
dough. A cutting die, much like a cookie cutter, is then used to remove
the silver with the pattern from the sheet of silver. Stamping produces
items that are highly uniform and require little in the way of further finishing.
The sheet metal used, a rolled product, is much more uniform an equivalent
cast product, with greater strength. Stamping is generally referred over
lost wax casting for jewelry where the design permits, most particularly
for cuff bracelets where the strength and uniformity of the metal reduces
breakage when the bracelet is bent. Stamping is not feasible with undercut
designs. Because of the high cost of the steel dies, stamping is not cost-competitive
with lost wax casting for short runs of an item. Our Northwest
Indian Trade Bracelets and Rings, our sterling silver cuff bracelets, such as the Lovebirds
Bracelet and Dragon Bracelet, are all stamped, as are some of our pendants
What is the weight of gold in the gold jewelry?
Although the weight of a piece of gold jewelry is not a good measure of its
value, it can give an indication of heft and substance when coupled with a photo.
We give the approximate weight for some of our more popular gold pieces in the
individual descriptions. For instance, our Gold
Celtic Cross weights about 7.5
grams, the Gold Chi-Rho Necklet weighs about 3.3 grams. Since these are lost
wax castings, the actual weight of any individual piece may vary from these
values. For comparison, a U.S. penny weighs 2.5 grams, a U.S. quarter weighs
What is your delivery time for jewelry?
Our sterling silver jewelry is usually available for immediate delivery. We
are able to ship our most popular gold jewelry, such as the Gold Celtic Cross,
within one week of receiving your order. Allow 3 or 4 weeks for shipment of
our gold rings and some of our gold jewelry. The expected delivery times for a specific piece can be checked by placing that item in your cart. (The item can be easily removed from your cart if you choose not to purchase.)
For more information …
Please follow the links below to learn more about the jewelry we offer and other
related items and information.