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Design to Fine Jewelry

Making jewelry is an intricate process with many steps. As a vertically integrated manufacturer, J. Homan has expertise in volume manufacturing of fine jewelry while ensuring quality craftmanship at every step of the process. Here is just a glimpse into the creation of fine jewelry.

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Design

The first stage of fine jewelry is to start with a concept. Our merchandisers work closely with our artists to develop sketches. From the sketches, we move to CAD (computer aided design.)

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MINING

Jewelry in essence begins at the mine. Metal ore is extracted from the earth and gemstones are freed from their matrix. While much of the precious metal in circulation is refined and recycled, at some point in its history, it was mined from the earth. Diamonds and gemstones are also mined from deep within the earth after growing for thousands of years. Created gemstones have the same physical, optical and chemical properties of the genuine gemstone counterpart but are man-made creations in a laboratory.

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LAPIDARY

Gemstones come out of the earth in their original crystalline structure. It is the art of lapidary that brings out the full potential of beauty in a gem. Gemstones can be cut, shaped, faceted, and polished to reveal their sparkle, scintillation and brilliance.

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WAX CARVING

Wax carving is a subtractive process where a jewelry model maker begins with a solid piece of wax and carves into it much like a sculptor. Waxes are very delicate, often cast directly into metal to create a metal prototype.

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CASTING

A process by which multiple pieces of jewelry can be made at one time, casting replaces a wax form with metal. Referred to as “lost wax casting” the steps include mold making, wax injection, investing, burn out, casting, and finishing. Casting is commonly used for single, one of a kind pieces as well as large volume production.

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STONE SETTING

Commonly done by hand, it is possible for calibrated gemstones to be set mechanically and some durable gemstones and diamonds can be set into the wax before casting. Stone setting varies in its complexity, but most jewelry will contain one or more of five dominant stone setting techniques: prong setting, bezel setting, pavé setting, channel setting, and flush setting. Each one of these different techniques has multiple variations within them.

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FINISHING

The final look of a piece of jewelry is achieved by its finish. Common finishing techniques include high polish which imparts a bright luster. Finishing is often done by hand but can also be done mechanically in large batches by a process known as tumbling.

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RHODIUM PLATING

A rare, silvery-white, hard, corrosion-resistant noble metal.  Rhodium, in its liquid form, has a similar look to brackish water.  It is often applied onto silver and white gold as when it dries it gives the silver a bright white sheen. Rhodium is often used around diamonds to highlight the brilliance of the stones.

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QUALITY CONTROL

At J. Homan, we do rigorous quality control at every stage of production. Each finished piece is reviewed by our quality team to ensure each piece of fine jewelry meets the highest standards.

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PACKAGING

As an added service, J. Homan will create, package and tag your orders so they arrive ready to present to your customers.