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There is more than one type of handmade…

Handmade jewellery can be benchmade or cast. Luna Hearth use the term bench made to mean items that are completely handmade from raw materials without the use of moulds.

Luna Hearth standard is handcrafted bench made jewellery.  At Luna Hearth I start with the raw material, cut the metal with a hand saw, use a hand torch heat to anneal the metal; then use hammer and other hand tools to form the shape of the jewellery and work harden it. Using a hand torch or jewellers torch, the parts of the jewellery are soldered together to make a solid piece. The item is then polished and the stone is hand set. The item is then sent off to be assayed and hallmarked. As the assay process may slightly loosen stone settings, so when the piece is returned, the settings are tightened and checked, then the jewellery gets a final polish. After this process the piece is ready for display or ready for the customer. Due to the crafting time and hallmarking process, it is approx 30 day turnaround.

Benefits:
*Stonger than cast, because the crystals in the metal are smaller due to the workhardening process.

*Each item made will be slightly different, so you get a truely unique piece.

*You can design the item to be as bespoke as you like- you are not limited to specific designs.

Considerations:
*Takes longer to receive item due to the time it takes to hand make and hallmark it.

*Items are not indentical as they are not made using a mould (cast). Bench made has a handmade quality to it – with each piece being unique.

Cast Items:
Handmade jewellery may be made be using cast parts. The jeweller may buy cast components from a supplier (ring shank, bezel, claw setting, etc) and then hand solder the pieces together, set the stone and polish the piece. Alternatively, they may cast pieces themselves.

Casting is a process where the item or components are made using a mould. Metal is poured into the mould, which hardens and produces the cast piece. This process also allows for multiple pieces to be made at the same time.

Benefits:

*Usually cheaper to buy as less time is required to produce the item and can be mass produced.

*The jewellery you buy will be the same as you see online and in photos.

*You can usually recieve the item much quicker, in particular where the supplier of components has already hallmarked them.

Considerations

*Items look similar to each other giving a less handmade feel.

*Pieces may be less robust due to the casting process.

So which is right for you? Only you can decide which you prefer. There is no right or wrong answer. If you want a unique piece, but may have to pay more and wait a little longer then consider bench made. If you want an item that looks like the piece you see in the photo, and is perhaps a little cheaper and quicker to be dispatched, then consider a cast piece.

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