Electrifying Electroform

June 1999

Precious Metals & Bench:New Products

Electrifying Electroform

Size and substance

when diminutive just won't do, jewelry lovers turn to electroform. This manufacturing process allows big sizes at weights that won't drag your customers' earlobes to their shoulders or their wrists to their ankles.

"Electroform offers large sculptural pieces that are wearable and affordable," says Karen Duclos, president of Frederic Duclos, Huntington Beach, CA. "It's lightweight not weightless and, if manufactured properly, will weather the storm of daily wear and tear."

Don't be embarrassed if you're unfamiliar with the process. Electroform involves depositing metal (by means of an electric current) into a mold so the jewelry will be an exact, seamless reproduction. It's hollow so it's light, but thick enough to stand up to normal wearing conditions.

The mold can be reused, allowing mass production. The technique was developed in 1838 by Morris Hartman Von Jacobi in Russia and introduced in England in the 1840s to copy Celtic jewelry. Today, computer-controlled systems are available to mass-produce electroformed pieces.

Don't confuse this with electroplating, a much-less expensive process that lays a very thin coat of precious metal over a permanent metal base. To help avoid confusion with customers, it's perfectly acceptable to refer to electroform as metalform.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Heart-of-gold pendant is $273 suggested retail in 14k, $348 in 18k. Omega is not included.
Breuning, Lawrenceville, GA; (678) 377-1673, fax (678) 377-1674, breuningus@aol.com.

14k gold CaSandra collection features earrings and pins that are $150-$400 suggested retail. The pavé earrings feature 0.15 carat of diamonds and the pin, 0.08 carat of diamonds.
Carla Corp., East Providence, RI; (401) 438-7070, fax (401) 438-0455.

Two-tone or yellow gold earrings from the Roberto Courali line come with a lifetime warranty.
Dobbs Boston, Gloucester, MA; (800) 233-6227 or (978) 283-0432, fax (978) 283-2209.

The Safari Collection represents a series of endangered animals in 18k gold earrings and pendants.
Charles Garnier Paris, Cranston, RI; (800) 722-3721 or (401) 946-3444, fax (401) 946-0044.

White and yellow gold doorknocker earrings feature a post/clip back. Suggested retail, $385.
A.O. Busino, Atlanta, GA; (800) 879-6172 or (770) 396-5821.
Sterling silver is accented with 24k goldplate in this sea life collection featuring sculptural pieces signed by Frederic Duclos. Suggested retail, $240 for the necklace, $90 for the earrings.
Frederic Duclos, Huntington Beach, CA; (714) 898-3636, fax (714) 897-7963.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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