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Case studies in casting lightweight and hollow jewelry designs

By Shannon L. Brown and Tina Wojtkielo Snyder

It’s no wonder that as precious metals prices have risen to new heights over the past few years, jewelry castings have gotten thinner and lighter to maintain reasonable price points. It’s not uncommon today for impossibly thin or delicate and complex casting jobs to land on a contract caster’s desk with the target retail price that must be reached to make the piece salable.

But it’s not always about the money. Sometimes, weight is a matter of function: Too heavy, and a piece won’t wear properly. And other times, the heft of a jewelry item is a product of its intricate design.