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JEWELLERY 101

Casting gemstones

Casting gemstones

At Finematter you will find a wide range of coloured gemstones and diamonds, all perfectly set by each of our incredible designers. It is common to see rubies, emeralds and sapphires hugged into place by claws or rub over settings but there is another method of stone setting that requires years of experience and a little bit of luck. 

Casting gemstones is a technique that sees gemstones carefully placed into a wax model that is then cast in precious metals such as gold or silver. This method is often unpredictable but produces unique, one off natural looking pieces. We've recently introduced Amy from Aimos to the platform, and it just so happens that she is well versed when it comes to casting gemstones. Who better to shed some light on this elusive technique than Amy herself.

So Amy, how did you discover the technique of casting gemstones?

It's hard to say exactly when I discovered this technique. I knew of a few jewellers online working in this way and found it fascinating and always wanted to give it a try. I love to experiment when making jewellery and find this is the best way to create something that is truly unique. 

 

What happened the first time you tried casting gemstones? 

To be honest my very first attempt was a complete fail. The stone was nowhere to be seen and lost inside the metal of the ring. Luckily I quickly realised where I was going wrong and this didn't happen again. 

 

Do you prefer casting gemstones rather than setting them?

I personally have a lot more fun casting the gemstones directly into my pieces. I love having the freedom of where I want the stone to be placed and that I can easily switch it up between each piece if I want to.  

 

Which gemstones do you find work best for casting?

The only natural gemstones you can cast with are Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies. Unfortunately, I learnt this the hard way haha! 

 

How do you choose the perfect gemstone for each piece?

I have a selection of different coloured gemstones readily available at my bench. When choosing a new stone for a design I get them all out and picture the finished piece in my head. I always go with the stone I think will look best in the metal it's being cast into. 

 

What's your worst gemstone casting horror story? / Have you ever broken a stone during the casting process? If so, how did you rectify it?

Recently I cast a champagne diamond into a ring and it came out from the cast cloudy and with no sparkle at all. The only option was to smash the diamond and replace it with a new one.

Do you use any other gemstone setting techniques in your work?

Yes, some stones cannot be cast because of their hardness. So in these instances I handset the stones.

 

There are a lot of interesting textures in your jewellery - what is the inspiration behind your designs? 

I am really inspired by ancient jewellery. I love jewellery that has a handmade finish and can appreciate the beauty in imperfections. 

 

Have you ever tried to cast objects other than gemstones in your jewellery? 

I haven't but now you've got me thinking...

Casting gemstones is a method that juxtaposes the refined, geometric shapes and polished surfaces of faceted gemstones with natural, free flowing and often ethereal metallic textures resulting in a mesmerising piece of fine jewellery that you’ll struggle to take your eyes off. If you, like Amy, have been inspired by the natural unpredictability of casting gemstones you can discover the Aimos collection below. 

Selected from our Journal