Gold jewelry can basically be manufactured using three different techniques: hand made, die struck, or cast.
The entire manufacturing process involves hand fabricating each part of the jewelry starting with a block of gold that is formed into wire, sheeting, tubing, and bars. These components are then shaped and assembled into finished jewelry using various tools by very skilled craftsmen.
Advantage – Intricate detail combined with one-of-a-kind appeal.
Disadvantage – It’s the most costly of all processes.
Gold is rolled into thick slabs, tubes, and sheets and then struck by high pressure stamping machines. The high pressure compacts the gold molecules very tightly squeezing out all air, leaving very crisp and exact reproductions. All the coinage of the world’s governments is produced by this method. Die struck jewelry, weight for weight, is the strongest and most durable of all the manufacturing processes. Many wedding bands and engagement rings are manufactured this way.
Advantage – Durability, no porosity, higher polish.
Disadvantage – Intricate designs are difficult to produce and equipment is large and costly.
Lost wax casting is a modern update on an ancient manufacturing process. A wax model is coated with plastic or rubber to make a hollow mold that captures every detail of the original design. Hot molten gold is poured into the mold. The wax evaporates, leaving a perfect gold replica.
Advantage – Lowest reproduction costs.
Disadvantage – Difficult to finely polish, potential for porosity (pitting) in the gold, less durable.