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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Casting silver with a gemstone in the mold

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Question
Hi, I'm looking to cast a pendant for myself in fine silver and I was wondering if it would be safe to do so with the stone I want to set in it in the mold?

Answer
Dear Andrea,

The secret to casting gemstones in place pretty much comes down to two factors:1. Temperature control in burnout and cooldown  2. Type of gemstone.

Sudden changes in temperature is a quick way to fracture a gemstone.  Some gems simply will not take the process without damage or discoloration.

I am doing what I generally do not do and that is let web information be the primary answer. Why do this?  The information is valid and from reputable sources I have used in the past.  Plus, with these three links, you will gain a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

OPINION: I do not know why you want to cast stone in place rather than casting the setting, finishing and using standard methods to set the gem. This is much safer with low chance of stone damage, overall less troublesome and likely less time consuming than casting in place.

Andrea, if after reading the information at the links provided you want to set the gemstone and not cast in place, please feel free to get back with me with a look at the design ( or close photo of cast setting), information about the stone including what it is, etc.  I should be able to help you get through that stone setting process.

Here are links to good information on casting in place:

http://technical-articles.hooverandstrong.com/wordpress/casting-with-gemstones/

http://www.unitedpmr.com/casting_gemstones_set_in_wax.php

http://www.preciousmetalswest.com/stonein.php


God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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Thomas

Expertise

Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.

Experience

I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education/Credentials
Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to jewelry...wow, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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