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The Creative Design Process

The design process usually begins with a DRAWING. If it is a custom piece, oftentimes the client has elements of pieces in mind such as style of setting and line. Tools such as pictures and catalogs are helpful. Clients generally don’t give themselves enough credit regarding their vision and communication. Typically it requires me asking some questions and modifying a drawing to create their vision. An initial estimate may be obtained from the drawing based on the design, size of the ring, and type and purity of the metal.

Once the drawing and initial estimate is approved, I have a WAX carved by my goldsmith. Minor modifications are not unexpected, but should the client decide to change directions entirely or abandon the project, the client is responsible for the cost of the wax. Once the wax is approved, an exact estimate is provided. That is because if there are modifications, cost adjustments may result. A fifty percent deposit is required to begin and balance is due upon receipt. Not surprisingly, custom work is neither returnable nor refundable. Oftentimes if someone is purchasing a diamond and is concerned about committing to a design, I will mount the diamond in a solitaire for presentation. This allows for the element of surprise without the concern.
A piece of wax called a sprue is attached to the wax to act as a pathway for the metal.  The wax is then placed in a flask and filled with investment which is a plaster like substance. This is cured in a kiln.  This causes the wax to melt out leaving a hollow cavity in its form.  The flask is placed on its side in CASTING equipment such as a centrifuge.  The metal is placed in a crucible and is melted with a torch. The pin is released and the molten gold goes into the cavity in the flask.  The flask is opened and the rough metal is left with the sprue.  The sprue is removed, and the metal is filed and polished and completes any applicable setting. Typically one should allow three to four weeks for the process although times may vary.  I include an insurance replacement valuation appraisal with each piece.
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