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Factory Tour

Take a look into the processes involved to bring you quality jewelry. From design to final inspection, here is a behind the scenes look at The Jewelry Exchange

Sketch ring Rendered ring

Comp Stage
Get your design on paper. Try to represent your idea as close as possible for our CAD designers to pull from.

Wireframe
Your design is then passed onto our CAD team members where they begin the rendering.

Finished Piece
Your custom design has taken full shape and is ready for production!

CAD & Design

Building one of a kind products

All of our products start out here, as computer generated designs. The designers build 3D graphical representation of our new products before sending the design to our wax growing perfactory. We can also use the CAD system to make one-of-a-kind custom designs for our customers. Just bring in a drawing, picture or heirloom that you want reproduced, and tell us any changes you might want, and we will work with you to create the perfect design.

Wireframe Ring

Wax

Making Exact Replicas

Once a design has been finalized by our CAD department, we send it to have a rubber mold created. This is an exact replica of the piece made of resin. Wax is injected into the rubber mold and set aside to harden. Once the wax pieces have been inspected for accuracy, they are placed on a “tree” with other pieces to be sent off for casting.

Wax Ring Tree

Casting

Pouring Melted Gold

Our casting process has 2 steps. The first is the investment stage. The wax tree is placed in a casting cylinder. A plaster mixture is poured into the cylinder and left to harden. Once the plaster has hardened the cylinder is placed into an oven to heat the wax. The wax then melts out of the plaster, leaving a cavity inside.

The second stage is the gold stage. This involves melted gold being force inducted into the investment to fill in where the wax was. Once the gold has settled and cooled the plaster is broken and the tree (now gold) is removed. The pieces are removed from the tree and any imperfections are filled out. The final product from this stage is called a mounting.

Casting furnace

Diamond Sorting

Using The Perfect Diamonds

After the pieces are polished they are sent to our prepping room. In this stage our experts sort diamonds and gemstones, select stones to be set in frames, and tag each item with an inventory number.

  • Diamond Sorting
    • Every parcel of diamonds we receive is carefully inspected and sorted by quality, color and size. They are then placed into new parcels to help ease the design process. Our diamond sorters also use this process to select matching stones for diamond studs.
  • Designing
    • Once a frame from our casting process reaches the prep room; it is matched with the appropriate diamonds and/or gemstones that will be set into the final product.
  • Tagging
    • After being prepped for the production stage, all pieces are tagged with the appropriate information and given an inventory number for tracking.

 

Wax Inspection

Setting

Placement of Diamonds

The frames with their matching stones are sent to our expert goldsmiths to be set. There are many different techniques that can be used to set diamonds and gemstones, and the type of frame generally determines the type of setting style used.

  • Channel
    • When channel setting and thin channel is made in the gold frame. The girdle, or widest part, of the diamond is placed on this channel. Once the stones are all in place the gold channel is tightened over the diamonds securing them inside. This technique is generally done with Round, Princess, or Baguette cut diamonds.
  • Prong
    • There is many types of prong setting including 4-prong, 3-prong, and shared prong settings. The diamond or gemstone is placed into the frame and prongs are secured over the edge of the diamond to keep it in place.
  • Invisible
    • Diamonds, usually princess or baguette cut diamonds are placed on a grid side-by-side then secured by an outside channel. The tension of the grid keeps the diamonds in place.
  • Pave
    • This technique involves placing several diamonds onto a frame then carefully securing them with tiny beads of gold.
  • Micro-Pave
    • Similar to a standard pave setting, this style uses new micro-scope technology to set small diamonds.
  • Bezel
    • Gold is formed completely around the girdle of the diamond.
  • Bar and Tension
    • A bar of gold is in place on either side of the diamonds and tightened until the diamonds are secure.

 

Diamond Setting

Polishing

Giving Shine & Luster

Once a product’s stones have been set the piece is sent to be polished. Polishing removed any tool marks or imperfections left behind after setting. It also gives the piece its final luster and shine. This is a 2 step process- Lapping and Roughing.

  • Lapping
    • Cuts the finest layer of gold to even out edges
  • Roughing
    • A material that is put on a buff, then applied to the piece to make shiny

 

Polished ring

Cleaning

An Ultrasonic Bath

After a while, all jewelry looses some of its shine due to wear. Customers can bring their jewelry in to be inspected and cleaned professionally by us. Jewelry, once inspected to make sure there are no loose stones, broken or worn down prongs, or other problems, is placed in an ultrasonic bath when gentle pulses remove built up residue from the jewelry. It is then rinsed clean and steamed. For items that have several scratches or dings, polishing may be recommended.

Ring Cleaning

Rhodium

Making White Gold

Rhodium is a member of the gold family and is used to enhance the white finish on white gold pieces. All white gold pieces must be Rhodium dipped to maintain their bright white shine. The frequency of this process is determined by the wearer, and can be needed within a few months to a few years.

Rhodium plated

Quality Control

Final Inspection

All of our pieces, once they have been polished, go through our quality control and distribution center. Items are inspected to make sure that the stones have been set properly and that all imperfections have been polished out of the frames. Then they are distributed to our showrooms across the country.

Inspection

Repairs

Adjustments & Re-Setting

Is your ring too big or small? Did you lose a diamond or think one may be loose? Is the gold on your setting wearing thin? Our expert goldsmiths will gladly take in your jewelry and repair it back to its former glory. Most repairs, depending on the condition of the piece when we get it, are done on-site while you wait, and you can watch the magic happen.

  • Sizing
    • Gold bands are cut at the bottom then either stretched open carefully so that more gold can be added to increase the size, or gold is removed to decrease the size, then the ring is reformed and all traces of the cut are polished out.
  • Setting
    • Most of our engagement rings are made custom by you selecting the diamond and semi-mount separate. A standard, removable, head is placed into the ring as a placeholder, and then later removed and replaced with the proper size and shape for your diamond. Then we set the diamond in the head and secure it with the prongs.
  • Soldering
    • Gold is heated with a torch and more gold, called solder, is placed in a break or gap to secure 2 pieces together. This technique is generally used to combine multiple rings into one. It can also be used to repair a break in a chain or link.

 

Repair

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