Our Platinum Casting section covers procedures, equipment, and troubleshooting tips for working with this prestigious and popular jewelry metal.
This year Johnson Matthey Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of platinum group metals, in cooperation with the Society of North American Goldsmiths inaugurated the annual “SNAG Platinum Jewelry Design Competition” Open to members of the society, the competition professed the…
When making custom jewelry with any alloy, certain components within the piece are often hand made to enhance the final product. In the two 950 palladium pieces featured in this article, a handmade chain and a bracelet catch are custom made to compliment the design and finished pieces.
The expressions which have come to identify the pre- and post-World War II generations – Me decade, suburban frontiersmen, spoiled baby boomers, generation gap – are clear if perhaps overly stereotyped images. While encapsulating specific attitude changes in 10- or 20-year increments…
As in all manufacturing processes, evaluations and systematic process controls must be applied to platinum casting. As a caster you should constantly improve the quality of product by logical evaluation, technical innovation and process control. Below is a chronological list and description of the necessary procedures for a successful platinum cast.
The principle of bi-metal casting is really very simple: A wax model is invested, cast and finished. A secondary wax is created, which is going to become part of this piece. The wax is attached to the first casting, re-invested and the metal is cast on, thus creating a piece that is made with two metals. It is recommended that mechanical fastening devices, such as plugs, tracks etc. be worked into the design. The piece is then finished as usual.
Platinum casting defects are often very difficult to characterize due to the intrinsic complexity of the investment casting process. All defects will fall into one or more of the established seven categories of casting defects. The proper identification of a particular defect is the prerequisite to correcting and controlling the quality of platinum castings. It is contended that a system of defect identification should be based solely upon morphological criteria with no prior assumptions relating to the cause of the defect. The nature of a casting defect can only be determined by correctly categorizing the shape, appearance, location and dimensions of the defect. The importance of a controlled and comprehensive defect analysis program is advanced. Once appropriately classified, the possible causes can be examined and the corrective action can be taken..
In this presentation I attempted to provide you with information on platinum alloys to help you make an informed decision as to which alloy to employ for your manufacturing venture. There are several alloys I did not mention, mainly because they are experimental and have not found their way into the main stream. An alloy is chosen for its capability, ease of recycling and many other criteria. It must be user friendly, scratch and bend resistant and hold your stones securely. It is further of importance that it can be finished with few or no problems and hold a shine. These alloys that can do all this are here. They are on the market and can do just what you are looking for. It is sometimes just a matter of breaking old habits to see a major improvement in your product.
In this paper I will attempt to give some insight into the investments used to cast Platinum and also talk about how we go about developing them. While this particular class of materials has been around for a long time, there have been recent improvements brought on at least partially by the increased interest in Platinum jewelry. I will briefly consider some of the properties which we seek in an investment and comment on the differences between gypsum and phosphate bonded investments on the one hand and the Platinum investments on the other.
It is widely known that platinum, the most noble of metals, is also the most challenging of metals. Platinum’s high level of sensitivity to even the tiniest variation in processing was something we had experienced first hand and as most things of high value, had to be learned the hard way. We now maintain a controlled process with yields upwards of 95%. The beauty of a controlled process is that given the right tools and a high level of determination, anyone can do it.
Platinum casting with gemstones in place has been the latest development before the end of the second millennium. It has been a world first to give fully successful results. The development of this new process required several years of uninterrupted experimentation, and in the spring of 1999 I obtained the first good results that encouraged me to continue the study.
There is a major difference between durability and scratch resistance. Platinum is very durable. When scratched, the scratch actually displaces the metal, leaving ridges on the edges of the scratch. This is where durability comes in. Whereas other precious metals, if scratched, lose metal, and thus wear down, Platinum does so at a much slower rate.
Joining is a very important production technique in the field of jewelry production. Therefore it is useful to know, what kinds of different joining techniques are possible. This paper will give you a rough overlook on joining techniques as well as some tips and tricks to do a good joint between platinum and platinum, and between platinum and gold. Which technique to prefer depends on the worker skill and on the available equipment.
Platinum casting is different from gold or silver casting, and insufficient preparation and understanding of the process can still lead to many hours of frustration. Success depends on having good, functional equipment and process control, and learning all you can about the process before you cast your first flask.
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