Manufacturing Process

Silver Shop jewellery is created using a number of different processes:

Hand Made
Most of Silver Shop's Mexican silver is handmade using, for example, metal sheeting and dies where the metal sheet is pressed into a die (concave shape) so that it forms the shape of the die.  The shapes are then hand soldered together to form jewellery.
Another hand-made process is 'drawing' or forcing silver through a hole so it is extruded as a wire or tube, which can then be used to make rings, bangles, chain etc.

Lost Wax Casting
The lost wax jewellery casting process starts with a master model of the piece to be recreated.  A mold is made of the master model which is injected with wax to create a wax replica of the original piece.  Inside a flask, the wax replica is surrounded by plaster.  The flask is placed into an oven and the wax is completely melted from the mold.
A hollow void is left in its place which is then filled with molten metal. Once cooled the piece is cleaned, polished and finished.

Stamping
A process used to make light-weight jewellery.  Silver sheets are stamped with dies (like cookie cutters) to produce cut-out shapes which are then assembled into jewellery.  Light-weight earrings, pendants and charms are often made in this manner.

Electroforming
A very complex and labour-intensive process in which silver is electroplated onto a shape, usually made of wax.  The shape is submerged into a bath and treated with a solution that forms a thin base-metal later over the wax.  It is then treated in another solution in order for a thicker silver layer to develop over the base-metal layer.  When finished, the shape is warmed so the wax interior melts, leaving the finished piece of silver.

Cold Enameling
Cold enamel is a type of epoxy resin that can be applied to metal.  Once the jewellery has been hand painted with the cold enamel, the piece is then heated so the paint and silver bond.

Gold Sheeting
A sheet of gold (Najo usually uses 18 carat and approximately 0.3mm thick) is laminated onto a sheet of sterling silver, out of which shapes are cut and incorporated into jewellery.

Oxidation
Silver can be treated with a solution to turn it black.  The silver piece can then be polished so the black finish remains only in the indentations.  Often used to give jewellery an antique appearance.

Anodised Aluminium
Aluminium is soaked in an acid solution with an electric current passing through it in order to build up a layer of oxide on the aluminium. This oxide later is necessary in order to be able to then dye the aluminium.

Plating
Plating of metal is achieved by soaking jewellery in a solution that has an electric current running through it - this causes a thin layer of silver/gold etc to build up on the jewellery.  Platings are used to improve appearance and increase scratch resistance.

Gold Plating
Najo gold plated jewellery is usually 18 or 22 carat.

Rhodium Plating
More popular in Europe, rhodium plaint gives silver the colour of white gold.  Cubic Zirconia-set jewellery is usually rhodium plated.

Black Rhodium Plating
Gives silver a grey to black finish

Anti-Tarnish Plating
Used to reduce tarnishing on silver.  Most Najo jewellery is anti-tarnish plated.