Everything is Custom done when requested .... email us
There are several ways of doing a design and it all depends on what ‘look’ you would like as well as what is technically possible or best, including engraving, appliqué, cast or machine done.
There are also a few techniques that can be used to to make something standout, most of all inlaid chips, an acid patina or stippling are especially relevant.
The metal is laid out flat and carved with a small chisel, called a ‘graver’ . It fits into the palm of your hand and is pushed.
Art, unique, stands out, (shines), negative impression
Only slightly 3 dimensional, no patina or stone inlay possible
After cutting a shape from one piece of metal and applied, (soldered), to another, you then engraved it.
You can add a 3rd dimension and set stones up to 4mm or can combine metals
Straight more distinct edges than casting
Bearclaw Bracelet sample
After Designing, a piece is carved from wax, a mold is made and the piece is cast and detailed
You can produce 3 dimensional smooth surfaces
You can not combine metals in a single cast. Also, it is more time consuming.
Design by Computer
You can produce an exact replica from a drawing with precise detail
precision and detail
Not hand done, (unique), multiple steps in the procedure
All Pieces are signed with our Mark
FMM – Frank & Marlene Marasco
What’s the difference between Appliqué , Engraving, Etching and Casting?
Engraving: You carve into the metal with the chisels above. Engraved sample is ‘A’ on the left.
Appliqué: You cut out shapes from a sheet that are soldered on top of the basic ring blank. Picture ‘B’
Cast is a model that is cut from wax and then cast in an oven. Picture ‘C’
Etching is done with an acid that will eat away any design that is not covered or painted on. We do not do etching.
Casting is more labor intensive but gives more depth/ height. Engraving at times gives more detail and is a negative impression.
What is a Comfort Fit Ring
The regular band has a slightly rounded edge from buffing, The comfort fit’s edge is much more rounded. Our standard manufactured comfort fit ring has the center of usually 1.6mm thick in the middle and the edge tapered to 1.2 mm and if cut open. It looks more like the shape of an eye with round corners.
Metal Ring finger Gauges
How should I measure My Finger
Get measured by your local Jeweler with a ‘wide band ring gauge’.
This is important !
Most of our rings are a wide band stock, 3/8″, or the thinner 1/4″ .
The regular jewelers thin gauge will sit down into the crotch of your finger , while a wide band ring extends up to the bulbous part of the finger, which generally means a 1/2 size bigger.
D and E
What does Domed and Tapered mean ?
Domed means there is a curved surface and not flat in the direction of the knuckle to first finger joint…like a car tire.
Take a look at the right side of pictures ‘D’ and ‘E’ to see the curve.
F and G
The ‘bottom’ or ‘back’ of the ring is a smaller width to allow for finger movement.
‘F’ and ‘G’ are tapered rings. See how the back side is not as wide as the top ring surface
An appliqué cavity is cut and soldered onto another piece. The cavity is filled with chips / crushed stone or gems
Multicolored possibilities, fills an irregular area
This design method can not be used on thin bracelets, which could possibly be hit and broken out
An appliqué is cut out and soldered onto another piece. The cavity is filled with an acid which turns the silver black.
It covers areas hard to reach or clean and a makes agood contrast effect
It wears out in time as it is rubbed.
A few samples…
A and B Claw setting where a 4 or 6 prong claw is soldered in for the stone
C.- Press fit, The stone and setting are the same diameter and the metal is rubbed over the stones edge
D and E. Holes are drilled and pins are soldered in
F.- Left side– a ‘cup’ called a bezel is soldered on for the stone to sit into
F.- right side – a small bit of metal is pushed over the stones edge to make a small round ‘bead’
What is the difference between silver, white and yellow gold and platinum ?
There is a very detailed chart on metal content and percentages for various golds ( rose, yellow, white 10k, 14k etc…)…….HERE
Top row- 14k White gold, 10k yellow and 18k yellow
Small Squares- Silver on top and Platinum on bottom with the hole.
Strips – 14k White and 14k Yellow Gold. Both un-buffed and ready for engraving
Gold Nugget as casting grain – 22k Yellow Gold
These are fairly close in color but generally just show the differences or similarities
A and B– Bails soldered on the back of pendants for chains
C.- The top is thin and bent around in a loop for the chain
D.- A piece is soldered on as part of the design and looped, (great for feathers)
E. A standard Jump Ring
F.- A wraparound ring style, more generic and flexible sizing
G.- Engraving on one of our suppliers 2 tone manufactured bands
H.- White gold mountain tops cut and soldered on to a yellow gold strip
I.- Stippling , many many dots
J. – Many of our designs have the traditional west coast cross-hatching incorporated into the border
G ( manufactured rings here )
What Borders and Ends are possible ?
These are just some samples of possible ring and bracelet ‘ ends ‘.
The most common is the cross-hatched space as in the long bracelet picture.
Eagle-head and Feather ends can be more creative with many heads or shapes possible.
This Gold Hawk bracelet ,’M’,shows the border with cross-hatching
Other possible ends and borders
These are some basic shapes as if the ring was streteched out flat.
Spring Lever Barrette Backs
What are the Opal like that you have ?
These are 2 pictures of the same 4 opals from a very slightly different camera angle.
We deal in basically 2 types of opals. The clear ‘ Fire’ Opals as on the right of each picture…and the ‘ Blue / Green ‘ Opals as on the left sides.
( taken a few years ago…)
Where will the chain ‘sit’ on me ?
Have a look at the pictures on the left… from top to bottom the chain lengths are…18″,20″,22″,24″ and 26″.
Depending on style…
– Tiny = 2 – 5 grams
-small = 5 – 12 grams
– medium = 12 – 20 grams
– large = 20 to 40 grams
– huge = 40 to 60 grams
– humungous = 60 plus grams
How do you keep some metals from turning color
Good Luck !!! The nature of all things is to react with it’s surroundings, such as air ,some better or worse than others. Also chemicals we come in contact with and body chemicals affect the metals. Have a peak at our ‘ Tips and Tricks page for a more detailed explanation and solutions.
We keep our jewelry looking lovely at the various shows by using a Jeweler’s Buffing Cloth.
What Type of Clasps are used ?
Lobster claws are the most common but other are available
WHY DOES THIS RING OR CHAIN TURN MY FINGERS / NECK BLACK OR GREEN?
Any discoloration is chemical. Either from you, the ring, or something you have come in contact with. The metal is reacting to an outside chemical or from your body. Everyone’s body chemicals are different and certain combinations react with one another.
Some reasons are listed below.
- Lower karat gold, (9k, 10k), has more copper alloy.
- The body eliminates foods with lots of salt and preservatives. Perhaps a mild nitric acid is being produced.
- Polishing compound is present. Wash with hot water and dish soap.
- Silver reacts differently on everyone. It reacts at different times on the same individual, depending on body chemistry.
- Some people react after having garlic and other spices.
- Some prescription drugs change the body chemistry. Chlorine should always be avoided! (Swimming pools).
- The jeweler will quench in a pickle after soldering. Some acid could still be trapped , but can leach out after. Inside buffing is required.
- Clean with hot water and dish soap.
- Ask a jeweler to clean the inside.
- Coat the inside with clear nail polish or lacquer.
- Never wear your jewelry using chemicals, (chlorine, paint thinners and solvents, cleaning liquids, bleach etc…)
- Use a bi-metal lining on rings with a high karat gold on the inner surface.
But…Unfortunately metals and acids react and “such is the nature of silver and gold”.
Cheap jewelry items have a high copper content and turn fingers green, such as gold which is not 14k or better, Cheap Mexican silver may be alloyed with tin or aluminum and turn fingers black. These are just a few of the most common reasons.
But…. there are also people who are just allergic to silver or gold. Are you one of them ?