At Seattle Findings we are often asked about the various karats of gold. Here are the answers to our top 5 most frequently asked questions about gold!
Have you ever gotten stuck when designing jewelry? Feel like you have hit a rut with your design techniques and or style? Design freeze happens to everyone! At many points in one’s life, career, and year, inspiration is going to run dry. One of the best ways to get your inspiration back in full force is to increase your exposure to new experiences.
We were thrilled to interview the talented owner of the acclaimed Facèré Antique & Art Jewelry Gallery in Seattle, Washington. Karen Lorene has owned and operated her own business for over 40 years now! In addition, she is an accomplished and published writer of 4 books and a quarterly magazine. Karen is deeply involved in the Society of North American Goldsmiths and well known for her knowledge of antique and modern jewelry. Karen is a delightful person and tactful gallery owner and operator. Learn more about Karen and her beloved Facèré in the following interview.
At Seattle Findings, we get a great deal of customers who are self-taught. Some techniques are not as easily learned on one’s own, and some require more or less instruction. Wax carving is one such skill, that once you have mastered the basics, you can potentially create anything you can dream, if you only you have enough time and enough wax!
For those of you, who are beginning to explore casting and wax carving, try out these tips and watch your carving skills improve!
3. Cut any stable shapes first. For instance, when carving a ring, be sure to size the ring tube to the desired ring size before you begin any design carving! It is easiest to size a wax ring with a ring wax sizer, instead of trying to use a hand tool or flexshaft to carve the inside away. A ring wax sizer will carve quickly and evenly.
5. The easiest way to remove large chunks of wax is with a coping saw and a wax blade. The twisted tooth of the wax blade allows the blade to cut through the wax without getting stuck. Once you’ve cut the large chunks off, you can start carving with a flexshaft and wax burs, or by hand.
6. The final touches and details can be done with hand tools or a flexshaft. It may be helpful to sharpen, shorten, or thin out your hand carving tools to better fit the needs of your design. It is always better to adjust your tools to your design, rather than adjust your design to the tools you have.
7. When you have your design completely carved, try buffing it with 300, 400, or 600 grit sandpaper to smooth any rough areas. Personally, I like to buff with a soft paper towel after 600 grit. I’ve found the extra buffing takes out any small scratches in the surface of the wax that the 600 grit didn’t get. Wiping your wax down with alcohol & or Wax Kleen also will help to reduce remaining scratches or mars in the wax.
•Cut is a diamond’s most important characteristic since it has the greatest influence on a diamond’s appearance.
•It has the greatest overall influence on a diamond’s beauty.
•A diamond’s cut grade is an objective measure of a diamond’s light performance, or, what we generally think of as sparkle or glitter.
•Color refers to a diamond’s lack of color, grading the whiteness of a diamond.
•A color grade of D is the highest possible, while Z is the lowest.
(It follows the alphabet without A,B or C)
Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. This is why a diamond’s color grade is based on its lack of color. The less color a diamond has, the higher its color grade. Diamonds can also be other colors, such as black, pink, green or blue, but they are uncommon or manufactured.
•Clarity is a measure of the number and size of the tiny imperfections that occur in almost all diamonds.
•Many of these imperfections are microscopic, and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any discernible way.
Clarity simply refers to the tiny, natural imperfections that occur in all but the finest diamonds. Diamonds with the least and smallest imperfections receive the highest clarity grades.
•Carat is specifically a measure of a diamond’s weight, and by itself may not accurately reflect a diamond’s size.
•We tend to evaluate diamond size by viewing it from the top because that is how diamonds are presented to us when set in a ring.
•To understand diamond size, carat weight should be considered in conjunction with two other criteria: Distance in millimeters across the top of the diamond & cut grade.
~Moissanites have a faint green color when heated, real diamonds do not!
~The easiest way to tell a diamond from any other stone is with a diamond tester. Without one, you either need to invest in gemology courses or visit your local gemologist. If you don’t know of one, your jeweler will certainly know at least a few to recommend!