22k Custom

5 Jun

I’ve just received an order to make this ring in 22k gold.  You didn’t know I could do that, did you?  I can!   In fact, if I received an order to make this ring out of petrified llama snot, I could probably figure out a way to do that, too.  Because I am that hard-headed. 

Jade Queen's Ring

Jade Queen's Ring

I wasn’t a big fan of jade until Valerie urged me to work some into my collection; Val loves jade, and after working with it, I do too.  Jade has a feel and a mood, and most stones don’t have that.  Jade is cool and relaxed and feminine without being fussy.   A lot like Valerie!

This ring will be gorgeous in 22k, and its design is sturdy enough to be a good fit for the softer, high karat gold.

The opportunity to work with a high karat is a huge treat for me, as I mostly work in the 14k Americans prefer.  Wonderful, but a bit lighter in color than the rest of the work prefers, a bit less malleable. 

The term 14k means the metal is 14 parts gold, and ten parts something else (usually a blend of silver and copper), for a total of 24 karats.  This makes 14k gold 58 percent pure gold.

24 karat,  pure unalloyed gold,  is too soft to be practical for jewelry, and alloying it with silver and copper adds strength and durability.  An 18k blend, at 75 percent pure gold, is widely considered to be perfect for jewelry;  it strikes the balance of retaining gold’s best characteristics (color, workability), while minimizing its one key fault: softness. 

The 22k I’ll be working with is 92 percent gold, and it’s the preference in many eastern cultures despite being a bit soft.  In addition to 22k’s  gorgeous, buttery texture,  I’m looking forward to working with it because of its appeal to other cultures.  

I think there is a place for higher karat, contemporary artisan jewelry in America.  We’re a melting pot, and home to so many first-generation American women of foreign descent;  thoroughly American, and yet with strong ties to their parent cultures.  Their Mom’s jewelry?  Probably higher than 14 karat, but also stuffy and old-fashioned in their eyes, as any mother’s jewelry seems.  These women are blending the old and new, and I’m excited to create designs which might appeal to them.   The quality of gold they’ve learned to look for, with the modern sensibilities they want. 

I’m excited to incorporate higher karat into my designs and show the process on the blog.  As with creating custom pieces, I want people to know this is do-able, and jewelry which is personal and unique is an option.

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