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Each piece of George Rings jewelry is created in our Pacific NW studio using the lost wax casting method — a metal-forming technique over 6,000 years old. 

Lost wax casting is accomplished through melting gold casting grains at high temperatures and allowing the molten gold to flow into negative space created from the "lost wax." 

Bowl of 18k gold casting grains

Each time we cast a piece, a corresponding vulcanized rubber mold is shot with wax and peeled apart to reveal the shape that will eventually be the finished gold piece.

vulcanized rubber mold lost wax casting george rings

The wax version of the finished piece is then attached to a wax sprue to create a casting tree. A casting flask containing the tree is then filled with creamy liquid plaster ("investment"), shaken on a centrifugal surface to remove air bubbles, and then allowed to rest and dry for several hours.

lost wax casting rings sprue casting tree investment

Once the investment is dry, the flask is placed inside a kiln overnight to allow the wax to slowly burn out. The negative space that remains creates the path for the molten gold to flow.

investment flask casting kiln lost wax casting gold

Gold casting grains are poured into an intensely hot furnace to melt and then flow into the flask. 

lost wax casting melted gold kiln george rings

Once the molten gold has filled the space within the flask, the flask is removed from the heat and quenched in water. When the newly formed gold pieces are retrieved from the flask, they are matte black due to oxidation of the alloys.

oxidized gold lost wax casting quenching george rings

After a soft massage to remove the remaining plaster and a bath in a lightly acidic and salty pickling solution, the oxidation disappears to reveal a gorgeous matte gold.

acid bath jewelry pickling lost wax casting george rings

The sprue and “button” of gold are clipped from the piece, and finish work begins

weighing matte 18k gold before clipping lost wax casting george rings

Depending on its shape, a piece may be placed in a pin tumbler — a gentle, microscopic polisher — to remove any remaining oxidation from tiny crevices.

pin tumbler lost wax cast ring gold

Final polish work involves at least 12 stages — a skillful back and forth between wheels of varying shape and grit. The timeworn softness of our jewelry depends upon the careful work at this phase of the maker process.

soft lap polisher lost wax casting bench jeweler george rings
polishing button grande ring at george rings studio lost wax casting

final polish of button ring grande by george rings lost wax casting

button ring grand by george rings lost wax casting method completion
Finished Button Ring Grand (SHOP HERE)