February 15, 2018 3 min read
From time to time we post up a photo of us at work in the studio as we think its nice for people to see what actually goes into making their jewellery. One question that seems to crop up with each photo of us at work, is 'how do we tell whose print is whose'. We popped this photo up on valentines day, which shows me sawing off the casting sprue from each piece, and promptly had people query how we could tell pieces apart, so I thought I would write a little blog about how we achieve this.
You can rest assured that we take a lot of care when working with your prints, to ensure the right print is used on the right piece of jewellery. It is the single and most important thing going through our minds from the moment we accept your prints in our studio. Our systems are simple, but they work. Each set of prints is opened one at a time, and carefully and permanently marked with the customers name. The name is then written permanently on the positive cast or stamp, which is kept together with the original mould or negative, in the the customers order form. Then when we use the positive cast or stamp to make the wax model, we inscribe the name clearly on the back of each wax model. When the wax model is cast in silver or gold, the inscribed names remains visible in the metal, clearly identifying each piece. So far so good :)
Once we get our casts back they look like the pieces pictured above, and we need to do a lot of grinding, sanding and polishing, to get them to become the beautifully smooth pieces of finished jewellery you see on our website. This will inevitably remove the inscribed name, so before we sand, we write the name within the print in permanent marker. The print itself is not sanded, and so this serves to identify each piece throughout the sanding and polishing process.
Once we get to the solder stage, each piece is attached to its appropriate piece of jewellery, so a bracelet or a bangle, a charm carrier or a cufflink back. We work in small batches of about 50 charms, so there usually is only one of each type of design within a batch which serves to identify pieces from this point onwards. If we do have a repetition of pieces within a batch at this stage, we will take a close look at the prints before soldering, if they are clearly different then we know we will be comfortable comparing back to the original mold after soldering. If they are similar enough to cause concern for a potential mix up, then we would work on one piece at a time to its conclusion from this point, to ensure they did not get confused.
The last thing we do to a piece of jewellery is the engraving of text on the back. At this stagewe do a very careful compare and contrast between each piece and the original prints or fingerprint mould provided, to ensure we are 100% comfortable that we have the right piece for the customer, using their print. Fingerprints, handprints and footprints really are very unique and very distinctive, and when you work with prints day in, day out, for years and years, like we have, then you get very adept at picking out the subtle differences between prints. Even fingerprint moulds with a similar print pattern will be completely different in terms of the size and shape of the print, and the unique wrinkles or creases within the prints. Once the text is engraved each piece is clearly identifiable and we pack and send.
We return any original moulds or prints to the customer together with their finished piece, so they can compare the original print to the print in their jewellery. So believe us, if there was ever any doubt as to who a fingerprint belonged, then we wouldn't use it. But, we are very good at what we do, and our systems, though simple, are effective and followed rigorously, to ensure you receive your unique print cast in your unique jewellery.
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