Key Facts about Die-Struck Jewelry
Die striking is a centuries-old technique of making jewelry. Highly demanding in terms of jeweler’s skill and expertise, this technique is not favorable for mass production, which has brought it on the verge of extinction. Our Van Craeynest brand preserves this extraordinary tradition.
What is die-struck jewelry?
Die striking is a jewelry-manufacturing process that utilizes an enormous amount of pressure to form metal into a die struck mold. Gold or platinum is struck between a male hub and female master die to create engagement rings, earrings and pendants.
Die-struck jewelry vs. cast jewelry: what is the difference?
Die striking imparts the metal exclusive properties, which make die-struck rings and jewelry in many respects superior to cast jewelry. Die-struck jewelry has a higher density and a tighter grain structure than cast pieces, which are prone to porosity. Compressed metal is stronger and allows the jeweler to work more extensively with the piece, using techniques which yield stunningly intricate, work-hardened designs. The result is jewelry with exceptionally fine details and a long-lasting, breathtaking luster.
The intrinsic nature of die-struck jewelry makes it more resistant to friction, abrasion and corrosion. Even if you wear die-struck rings every day for years, they will show fewer signs of wear and tear than a cast ring would. This includes enhanced holding power for gemstone settings.
Are there many die-struck jewelry manufacturers?
Van Craeynest is one of the last remaining jewelry brands that preserves the art of die striking. Van Craeynest (owned by Emerson & Farrar) are also the only remaining jewelry manufacturer that die-strikes Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Victorian jewelry. Van Craeynest die-struck jewelry is new, but it is made through a process that is more than a century old, using dies that were originally made at the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Our workshop is a living museum, in which we work using pieces of equipment that date back to the Victorian times.
What does the die-struck jewelry process involve?
Depending on the complexity of design, a die-struck piece such as a die-struck engagement ring, takes between one and several days to make. First, the gold or platinum are formed into bars which are called ingots. In our workshop, these ingots are then pressed into sheets using an original machine from the Victorian age. Once sheets are ready, a set of dies are used to compress the sheets into the desired shape using a press which exerts a pressure of 30 to 50 tons. After this, the piece is further processed using bending, piercing, chasing and carving. These techniques require an immense level of skill, patience and focus from the jeweler and the results are wearable objects of art which could never be obtained through mass production. At Emerson & Farrar, we say that die-striking creates poetry in metal.
Van Craeynest die-struck engagement rings at Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry
Considering the functionality and symbolism of engagement rings, we believe that die-struck engagement rings are an unparalleled choice. They are remarkably durable and resistant to outside shocks. Their settings are firmer and more secure, protecting the gemstones from falling out. Finally, the sheer amount of time and craftsmanship poured into every single Van Craeynest die-struck engagement ring make it a stunning emblem of love and devotion.
If you are interested in our die-struck jewelry and die-struck engagement rings, we are available on two locations - 27 E State St, Redlands and 125 South Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, California. We invite you to visit us in store and feel for yourself the singular virtues of our die-struck collections.