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Die striking is a jewelry making technique that results in fine jewelry of unrivaled strength, durability and heirloom quality. It requires extensive technical expertise and manufacturing capabilities. The technique is also largely considered superior to casting. One of the main reasons is that die-struck jewelry is not mass-produced, and pieces are coveted for their exclusivity. This is a factor that becomes even more decisive when it comes to the choice between a die struck engagement ring and a cast one.
Engagement rings that have been passed on from generation to generation carry a strong sentimental value. They also symbolize enduring family values and ‘’old-world’’ ideals. And even though contemporary die-struck engagement rings are newly made, the distinct manufacturing process and original vintage designs are evocative of values such as honor, fidelity, and family cohesion. As such, they are more than a token of love and devotion – they are a reminder of the tradition and values we wish to preserve and are cherished heirlooms.
Die striking involves putting the metals under extreme conditions. This includes pressing metal ingots into sheets, which are further compressed into a desired shape under intense pressure of 30 to 50 tons. As a result, the metal’s underlying molecular configuration changes. The metal's grain structure becomes more tightly-aligned and fibrous, and the metal is less porous.
The lack of permeability and porosity translates into the metal’s heightened ability to resist corrosion. Additionally, the same properties enable die-struck jewelry to retain its polish longer.
The intrinsic nature of die-struck pieces boosts their resistance to friction and abrasion. As a result, a die-struck engagement ring shows fewer signs of wear and tear over time compared to a cast one, even if it’s worn every day.
Die striking involves fine hand setting of diamonds and other precious gemstones. Jewelers use specialized cutting tools known as gravers to carve the precious metal into the setting for each gemstone. Since the metal’s strength and ductility have already been enhanced in the process, the jeweler can carve the areas around the gemstone (known as bright cuts) with extreme precision. As a result, the piece can hold the gemstone more securely over a long period of time.
Filigree details are literally pierced using a saw blade the size of a human hair. Each detail is polished individually to achieve the mirror-like finish. The luster of die-struck engagement ring settings is also enhanced during the fine hand setting. The finish of each bright cut reflects light, enhancing the scintillation of the gemstone.
Hand engraving is a sensitive art form that yields the best results on pieces of durable density. The specific molecular configuration of die-struck engagement rings makes them the perfect ‘’canvas’’ for hand engraving. Jewelers can engrave a message that not only speaks of enduring love but will also stand the test of time.
Die striking is a sophisticated jewelry making process that dates back to the end of the 19th century. Today, it is used by only a handful of manufactures. There is only one manufacturer that die-strikes Victorian jewelry and replicates designs from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau eras - Van Craeynest. The renowned jewelry manufacturer, owned by Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry, uses the equipment originally constructed in the Victorian times. Original dies enable Van Craeynest to die-strike brand-new engagement rings with genuine vintage and antique jewelry designs.
Emerson & Farrar boasts a unique jewelry manufacturing workshop where die struck engagement rings are handcrafted by GIA-trained jewelers using original die striking equipment. Our showrooms in Redlands and Palm Springs are the go-to locations for jewelry enthusiasts who crave pieces of masterful designs and enduring quality. Visit us in store and browse through our collection of die-struck engagement rings you cannot find anywhere else.Contact Us Today