Handmade & Handcrafted Jewellery
At MDTdesign, all of our jewellery – including our engagement rings, dress rings and diamond wedding bands – is handmade in our on-site workshop by our very own professional jewellers. There is an immense difference between handmade jewellery and handcrafted jewellery in Melbourne. It is important to understand what is going to be holding your diamonds in, which is why we have put together the following guide to increase your knowledge and help you make a more informed decision.
At MDTdesign, our handmade jewellery in Melbourne begins with raw materials such as 18ct gold or a platinum square bar. The metal bar is rolled to the specific dimensions needed, soldered to make the solid ring, hammered to make it round and produce the profile needed, and then shaped and worked to perfection.
The setting is also 100% handmade and is individually carved out, with the claws soldered, hammered and shaped (depending on the design) to create a place for the diamonds to be set. This is all done solely by one jeweller and does not go through a production line process. Once the diamonds are hand set, the handmade jewellery piece is then cleaned back to a very fine emery, polished, and rhodium plated (in the case of 18ct white gold).
The result is more secure, more stable and higher quality 100% handmade diamond rings that will outlast a mass produced item of jewellery. Unlike our jewellery, mass produced jewellery will not have been hardened by the jeweller’s work and handmade from start to finish. The more the metal is worked, the stronger and longer lasting the ring will be, as the metal is compacted the whole way through the hand making process.
Handcrafted jewellery in Melbourne is created using a method called casting. This is a process where the piece is first made in a computer aided design program (CAD) and then either printed out by a 3D wax printer or carved as a wax model by hand. Once this is done, many wax rings are then placed onto a central stem of wax which is referred to as the “tree”. Plaster is then poured around the wax rings and a mould is taken.
Once the plaster has fully set, it is placed in a kiln for the wax to be burnt out, leaving a cavity in the plaster where the wax rings once were. The next stage is to pour hot liquid metal into the plaster mould that has been created. Once the metal has set hard and cooled, the plaster is removed to expose an exact replica of what once was made in wax. The ring is then set with diamonds and polished. This process results in a ring that has not been hardened through the making process, making it less durable than a handmade ring.
Strength and Longevity
Many jewellery companies only hand-make certain components to make the item quicker to produce. These pieces should not be classified as handmade jewellery, as only parts of it are actually handmade.
Handmade wedding rings generally take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours for a single jeweller to create, whereas handcrafted jewellery takes between 1 to 2 hours to make due to them being produced on a mass scale. Furthermore, handcrafted items can usually be made by an apprentice jeweller, as finishing and polishing is all that is needed.
If the store you are buying your designer jewellery from does not go into full details regarding the hand making process, it may mean it is a handcrafted or mass produced piece. The hand making process is often looked at as being a very costly process, as it takes a more qualified jeweller to produce it, results in more metal wastage due to filing and metal preparation, and also has a higher labour cost. At MDTdesign, we don’t believe in cutting corners. What holds your diamonds in place needs to be strong and last the test of time!
The Benefits of Handmade Jewellery
- When made correctly, handmade rings will outlast a handcrafted mass produced ring, as the metal has been compacted and strengthened through the hand making process.
- Handmade jewellery weighs around 20% more than a handcrafted piece of jewellery, as the metal has been forcefully compacted.
- Handmade jewellery is not hollowed or thinned out to save on metal costs.
- All handmade jewellery will be a one-off individual piece of jewellery, as it is 100% made by hand. Due to this, small slight differences will occur that are unnoticeable to the naked eye, such as slight variations in thickness, width and height.
- Handmade jewellery is a dying art, as it takes an extremely skilful jeweller to be able to produce precise work.