Why handmade jewellery is superior than cast jewellery.
The terms Handmade and Handcrafted should mean that the piece of jewellery has been entirely made by hand from start to finish, using hand tools and raw materials. But it is commonly used even if the piece has been cast or assembled from prefabricated components.
Jewellery that is produced using CAD/CAM, wax models and casting is NOT handmade, and should be described as hand-finished which is more accurate. Telling the difference between the way a piece of jewellery has been made is difficult to see, unless you have a trained eye in jewellery trade, but whether a fine piece of jewellery is able to wear well and last for generations depends entirely on the method of construction, the quality of materials used and the skill and diligence of the jeweller.
Picture above is an example of a standard cast ring construction, metal is crumbling, this ring is only 6-12 months old.
The process of handmade jewellery has been practiced for centuries. However most of the jewellery found in chain store jewellery retailers is made by the casting & moulding process. This is where a piece of jewellery is drawn up on a computer and made using CAD techniques, this means your ring is manufactured many times over and is very common.
Making your piece of jewellery as common as McDonalds takeaway. when its beaing pumped out by the thousands.
Handmaking jewellery, like any trade skill, takes many years of training to refine. It takes a very well trained jeweller to create unique pieces of jewellery. The difference between handmade jewellery and cast jewellery is in the molecules of the metal, when the metal has been worked by hand (hammered, tempered and rolled) the metal becomes stronger. The molecules become flattened and stacked like a brick wall, which gives the molecules a greater surface area and therefore the metal is denser and has more tension. This in turn means that the metal has a greater resistance to bending, is stronger and most importantly more durable. When metal goes through the cast process (not worked by hand) the molecules are separated and are further apart, creating a less stable structure and is prone to fracture due to air bubbles between the molecules and therefore the piece of jewellery is likely to fall apart and will wear down alot sooner. See images below. You can liken the two very different metal structures to that of chipboard and natral Hardwood.
As you can clearly see, chipboard is flaky and brumbely and the natral timber has tight grain and intertwining fibers.
Cheap CAD/CAM-produced cast jewellery simply cannot be compared to something that has been made by hand from scratch. If a jeweller describes their work as handmade, and they use CAD machines to prepare wax models to make it, how many other lies are they willing to tell you?