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The Forgotten Art of Gold Craftsmanship

gold necklace

Samuel RyanSamuel |

Throughout history, we find that gold craft was one of the most beloved crafts throughout the sixteenth century. Much of the reason why gold craft has developed in so many forms is because of the very high value of gold compared to other materials. The intricacies of gold craft gave gold a new value from another perspective. Today, let us re-enter the world of gold craftsmanship!

Gold Diamond Ring

1. Filaments and particles

The term Gold filigree is of Latin origin and means silk thread. As the name suggests, it is the use of extremely fine gold wire to weave extremely fine gold work. Gold filigree was first designed to be used as a gold base. Later, as technology continued to advance and mankind's pursuit of aesthetics continued to improve, the level of gold filigree was developed more and more rapidly, and in the end it could even be rendered in the form of openwork or lace. Of course, the craft is more and more delicate, for jewelry craftsmen's skills and the use of carving tools are also more and more demanding. For example, the types of engraving tools are becoming more and more diversified, and the level of sophistication of engraving machines is also increasing.

Gold Granulation, as the name suggests, is the setting of very small gold round beads on top of other jewelry. Although unlike gold filigree, it requires twisting as well as winding of fine gold wires. But the complexity of gold granulation is no less than gold wire craft, and can even be said to be comparable. When the size of the gold bead is very small, such as the diameter of the gold bead in one millimeter or less, this time want to put a large number of gold beads inlaid in other jewelry on top is not an easy task!

2.Embossing and Repoussé

Through the analysis of some experts found that a large part of the previous gold jewelry is people use the mold on the gold material on the external impact, and finally to shape the style of gold. This process is not only able to work with gold in a short period of time, but it is also able to work with gold in bulk. This is why the process is so widely used and passed down to this day. Additionally, on top of the stamping, the artisan will further treat the gold items to enhance their personalization.

gold earring


Unlike the stamping process mentioned above, the chasing process requires the craftsman to use a small tool like an awl together with a small hammer to carefully knock out different shapes of depressions on the surface, which ultimately gives the effect of relief.

4. Chip cutting and Piereced work

The biggest difference between Chip cutting and Piereced work and the burin and stamping mentioned above is that chasing does not cause any loss of gold material. Although when working with precious metals such as gold, we need to work with the principle of not wasting as much raw material as possible. But some special circumstances, such as in order to ensure that the finished gold engraving can have more diversified details and the use of more sharp tools, jewelry craftsman need to dig out the excess gold, and ultimately present a brilliant faceted effect. As to how to distinguish between ship cutting and piereced work, this is also very simple, piereced work will dig through the whole piece of gold, while chip cutting will not.

5.Silver-topped Gold

Before the cutting of gemstones was developed, gemstones didn't sparkle as much as they do today. So what would jewelry artisans use to enhance the sparkle of gemstones? The one they most often used was to set gemstones in silver. It's true that the combination of silver and gemstones can make them shine, but silver is a material that loses a certain amount of its luster if it's not cleaned regularly. And oxidized silver is likely to leave traces if rubbed directly against skin or clothing. But gold is different, gold this material will not oxidize, so it will not leave traces on the skin or clothes.

In response to this situation, there is a British jeweler invented Silver-topped Gold. Simply put, it is in the silver underneath the layer of gold, which can not only increase the luster of the gemstone, but also increase the value of the jewelry itself, the most important thing is that the jewelry will not leave traces on the clothes or skin. Later, this process quickly spread.

6. Lost wax casting

Lost wax casting was first used for casting bronze statues, but was gradually used in the creation of gold jewelry. The principle of the lost wax casting process is simple. First, a mold is made from wax and then the wax mold is surrounded by plaster, which is then placed in a high temperature oven to allow the wax mold to drain away leaving the plaster behind. Finally just pour the melted gold into the plaster body, cool it and mold it to get the prototype of gold jewelry.

7. Textural Gold

Simply put, this is a brushing process where the gold ends up looking like a tulle. This process was first popularized by an Italian jeweler, and has only come to the attention of Chinese consumers in the last decade.

When we really understand the various processes of gold, our understanding of gold will not be limited to gold bars and coins only, after the gold craftsmen's fine craftsmanship, gold can also be regarded as a kind of art, attracting the world to understand its inner meaning.