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September 1999

Precious Metals & Bench: New Products

Mixing Metal

Clean and labor intensive, it's artwork for individualists

Metalsmiths have always brought metals together to create unique style statements. Here are several ancient methods and modern techniques used to join different metals:

  • Fusion is a straight-heat bond joining two metals into one another not onto each other. Because the metal is not melted, obtaining the correct temperature is paramount. "It's a marriage of metals," says A.J. Tosyali of Benchmark, Tuscaloosa, AL. This difficult, labor-intensive process results in high-quality, clean-looking jewelry.
  • Mokumé gané originated in Japan more than 1,000 years ago and translates to "wood grain metal." It's a method of forging metal by folding colored metals into wood grain patterns, laminating them into a stack and forging with a hammer into a series of spirals and fold-backs. The forged material is worked into a rectangular billet and sliced to expose the grain pattern. "The technique, appearance, color and patterns are what draws a customer's attention," says George Sawyer of George Sawyer Designs, Minneapolis, MN. Unless this jewelry is made as a wedding set, no two pieces are alike.
  • Two-tone metal mixes are created by soldering one metal onto another. "Not only does two-tone go with everything, it offers a design quality that attracts a younger audience," says the owner/designer of Simplicity Designs, Bethlehem, PA, who asked to remain anonymous.

Don't overwhelm your display case or the customer. Display in groups of six or fewer, with lots of space between groups. Allow customers to handle the jewelry so they are able to appreciate the labor and the jewelry as a work of art.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

From the Pretzel collection comes this suite made of 18k yellow and white gold. Each link is handmade and given a satin finish. Suggested retail, $4,310 for the necklace, $2,340 for the bracelet and $500 for the earrings. Jenny Perl for JMP, Wheaton, MD; (800) 790-3033 or (301) 933-9500, fax (301) 942-3977.
Hidden Treasure ring is crafted in 950 platinum and 24k gold inlay with custom symbols and diamond accent. (U.S. patent nos. 5,084 and 5,188,679 – 1990-1998 S. Kretchmer.) Steven Kretchmer Design, Palenville, NY; (518) 678-0304, fax (518) 678-0307.
Sterling silver and 14k dragonfly pin is made in the Philippines. Retail, $60. The Cargo Hold Inc., Charleston, SC; (843) 723-3341, fax (843) 722-1377.
Mokumé gané discus pendant features 14k yellow, white and red gold with etched sterling silver. Ten diamonds of varying sizes are burnish-set. Suggested retail, $580 without the chain. George Sawyer Design, Minneapolis, MN; (800) 440-5453, fax (612) 375-0654.
Two-tone men's rings are crafted in 14k gold. Suggested retail (from top) $567, $603 and $420. Lieberfarb Inc., Orange, NJ; (800) 631- 7898 or (973) 676-9090.
Made of platinum and gold, these wedding bands retail for $1,350 each. Christian Bauer, Melbourne, FL; (800) BAUER-CH or (407) 951-4090, fax (407) 951-4175.
Sterling and palladium rings. Zebra Design Inc., New York City; (212) 382-4216, fax (212) 382-4217.
Brushed sterling silver ring features a 14k gold inlaid wire. Suggested retail, $100.
Ed Levin Jewelry, Cambridge, NY; (518) 677-8595.
Two-tone ring features 14k white gold with yellow gold accents. Suggested retail, $279. Simplicity Designs, Bethlehem, PA;
(800) 398-9807: jewelry@simplicitydesigns.com, www.simplicitydesigns.com.
Fused platinum and 18k gold band is $850 suggested retail. Benchmark, Tuscaloosa, AL; (205) 345- 0555, fax (205) 752-8322.
Platinum wedding band features 18k yellow gold and palladium with a sand - blasted finish. Suggested retail, $1,400.
GD Platinum Inc., Los Angeles, CA;
(800) 489-7823.


Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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