I had written yesterday about attending the MJSA show in New York last weekend. On Monday, Mike and I visited our contract factories in New York. We have colored gemstone suppliers, diamond sorters, setters, polishers, and casters all within 3 blocks of each other. So, we set out Monday morning for an appointment with our colored gemstone supplier.
What I found was a huge selection of colored gemstones ranging from Tanzanite, amethyst, garnet, emerald, sapphire and ruby. He is one of the largest colored gemstone dealers in the country. I have a client that wants to make an emerald ring for her husband. While there, I hand picked a beautiful oval cut emerald for the ring. I also picked out other gemstones for clients including sapphires and tanzanites. In some instances I would have as many as a dozen or more of a particular gemstone to choose from. Being a Graduate Gemologist (GIA), I am able to pick out the best color and cut for the price. We had an enjoyable and productive meeting.
Next, we carried the emerald with us over to our setters and finishers. There, they had a man’s 14kt yellow gold ring casting waiting for us. They have master jewelers and setters that have worked for them for over 20 years. Lots of intricate and delicate work comes out of that shop. The first two photos on this page show the setters in the background with the owners in front. Manny and Jackie handle a good portion of our finishing and setting. Their company was started by Jackie’s father who happens to be Manny’s brother. He passed away suddenly in 2011. But, they have continued with a great shop that can handle just about anything I throw at them.
The last stop was our caster. We used to cast in our store. However, over the years the complexity of what the client wants has required us to find a caster that can handle anything from sterling silver to the finest platinum. Our caster is more of a partner in that they work with our models. We come up with the designs. They make our models and use them to cast only for us. Our models are never used for someone else. It is our own line and is exclusive to us. They cast for many big names in our industry. I cannot tell you the famous jewelers and designers that they cast for because it has to remain confidential. Let’s just say when we cast your jewelry, it sometimes is cast with the same metal and in the same cast as some of the most famous jewelers that you could name.
I was going to take more photos at the shop, but I became so interested in the operation that I forgot to get the camera out of my pocket. The wax department is huge, with probably 20 or more people working to pull wax models. This is how we start the casting process, with wax models. When we do a custom piece, the computer aided design file is sent over to a growing machine. They have over 10 growers running nearly 24 hours a day. Each grower costs nearly $40,000.00, so they are very serious about their waxes. A good wax is the start of a good cast. The wax must be right or the piece will not turn out as planned. With their wax expertise, we get excellent waxes.
They have 7 vacuum casters that I counted. Each for different metals. They have an entire wall of burnout ovens. These are used to melt and evaporate the wax from the mold so that you can cast the metal in it’s place. I believe that he told me that they had cast over 100 flasks on Friday! Each flask could have a dozen up to 50 or 60 pieces on it. They were just finishing up a 15,000 ring casting order from one of the big brands in bridal. I would say that they are the best at casting platinum that I have personally seen.
This gives you an idea of our capabilities. With our partners, we can design, build, and deliver almost anything that you can dream up in jewelry. Our main speciality is bridal, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, as well as colored gemstones and anything with diamonds including bracelets, earrings, and pendants. We are working on many new styles for our line. Soon, we will have a few styles for value priced engagement rings that will be cast in germanium silver. This is a tarnish resistant silver that should wear very well. We will have round diamonds to start with in the .14 to 1/5ct sizes and then princess cut diamonds. Matching bands will be available and they will be Lucida settings, very high end in appearance.