The pieces offered at Lapis Lazuli World are not mass produced. Each one is handcrafted by highly skilled Chilean artisans that are part of a very unique industry. Therefore, no two pieces are exactly alike.
How are each one of our pieces created?
It all starts with a design. We study contemporary trends, classic settings and very often incorporate consumer input! From any of these sources, the basic design of the piece of jewelry is developed. Then a manufacturing jeweler creates a wax mold of the design, taking into consideration all of the features involved but at the same time making certain that the jewelry will be structurally sound when it is completed.
The wax mold is placed into a cylinder and the entire cylinder is filled with plaster, completely encircling the wax. When it hardens, the plaster is placed in an oven where, under precisely-controlled temperatures, the wax is melted out of the plaster. What remains is the basic mold for the jewelry.
Molten metal – gold, silver, platinum or what is known as base metal – is poured into this mold, and it is allowed to cool and harden. Then the mold is broken away, leaving the jewelry in rough form. A master jeweler takes the piece, and slowly, patiently, smooths off the rough edges, then polishes it to the desired finish.
The next step is the gemstones, which is also done by an experienced jeweler. Once the stones are set, the jewelry is carefully inspected by another jeweler, peering closely under a magnifying glass to make certain the piece is in perfect condition.
Several types of settings for the stones are available to the manufacturer, depending on the design and style of the jewelry. The most common is a set of long, tapered prongs which hold the stone in place. A bezel setting is one in which the stone is completely surrounded by a metal border which grasps the stone. It’s like a picture frame holding a painting. A channel setting is used when a row of stones is part of the design, and the jeweler holds them in place using two strips of metal. Think of a tiny railroad track with gemstones in the middle. When small pieces of stone are used, a technique known as pavè involves setting the gemstones closely together so that no, or very little, metal shows. Often the metal is engraved so the engraving blends in together with the gemstones. Then, and only then, is the jewelry released for sale.
So, next time you look at a piece of Lapis Lazuli World jewelry, stop for a moment to think of the process taken to get it into your hands. It didn’t happen by accident!
You will be the owner of an original!
Enjoy the sensation of wearing an art piece!