Knox Jewelers specializes in one-of-a-kind custom created engagement rings and wedding bands. Every ring commissioned through Knox is built from the ground up, starting first with a hand sketch or CAD image. Once a design is finalize in 2D, the ring will be brought to life on our 3D printer. This technology allows us to grow a 1:1 wax prototype of your design layer by layer. Once this wax model is completed, the ring will enter its final transformation into precious metal. This step in the process is called lost-wax casting, since the wax prototype is lost in the process. The model will melt away and metal will take its place.
Lost wax casting is an age-old process that dates back many thousands of years. Artists and craftsmen of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and Africa used the lost wax method of casting to produce their intricately detailed jewelry and trinkets. The oldest lost-wax cast sculpture was found in the Cave of Treasure near Israel, and has been dated back to 3700 BC.
Below is a closer look at the crucial steps in Knox Jewelers’ perfected modern lost wax casting process.
The casting process begins by measuring the proper amount of water and investment. The jeweler carefully measures each element, making sure the perfect amounts are used. If the mixture is not exact, the investment will not harden and set correctly. Once the investment powder and water have been added to a mixer it is very important both are mixed for a specific amount of time. This process is done under a vacuum to ensure few air bubbles enter the mixture and cause weak spots within the mold, which could further lead to breakage or inconsistencies during the casting process.
The wax prototype of your ring is placed within the flask first, then the flask is filled with the investment mixture. Once the plaster-like investment hardens overnight, the container will be placed upside-down in a kiln oven to melt the wax.
Once the wax prototype has melted away it will leaves an empty mold of your ring design. The jeweler removes the hot flask from the kiln and positions it into the casting machine.
The jeweler will measured out the exact amount of metal casting grain need to create your piece and pours it into the crucible. A crucible is a metal container used for heating substances at high temperatures. The metal is heated to a molten state under a vacuum sealed chamber within the casting machine.
The casting machine is rotated allowing the metal will pour into the flask and fill the empty mold. The flask is then removed from the casting machine and submerged in water to cool. The cooling process breaks up the investment surrounding your ring, making it easier to retrieve the cast metal piece.
At Knox Jewelers we believe that there is no shortcut to quality. Every step in our creation process is a necessary step towards obtaining an heirloom quality ring. The lost wax casting method may be time consuming, but it ensures every ring we create is one-of-a-kind, and custom tailored for her. Contact us today to get started on your custom created engagement ring or wedding band!