cast·ing | ˈka-stiŋ
A method of shaping metal by melting and then pouring into a hollow mold
Jewelers use the process of casting to create the metal portions of jewelry pieces, for everything from rings to watches to bracelets to pendants of gold, silver, and platinum. The process of casting begins when a jeweler takes a wax pattern of the desired jewelry piece and creates it into a wax mold. From there, the jeweler fills the wax mold with plaster to create the mold. The next step in casting is to harden the plaster. This is done by placing the plaster mold into an oven until the plaster is hard. As the plaster is hardening in the oven, all of the wax that was originally used to create the mold melts away. What the jeweler is left with is a hardened plaster mold. From there, it’s time for the jeweler to begin working with the metal materials he or she will use to create the final jewelry piece. Molten hot metal is placed into the plastic mold with a vacuum machine or centrifugal casting machine. A few minutes later, the mold - filled with the molten hot metal - is placed into a bucket of cold water. This causes the plaster mold to dissipate, and the metal piece of jewelry to harden and form into its solid state.