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When more than one piece of identical jewellery needs to be made, the first step is to produce a master model. In larger companies this process would start by a jeweller studying a designer’s sketch and then creating a master model of the drawing in silver. The replica model would then be presented to the designer for approval and modification, before exact replicas were made. This traditional method of making master models is still used today for designs where the craftsman is encouraged to add their own personal flair to the design.
A more modern way of making master models is for either the designer to make an initial drawing and have it entered into a CAD (computer aided design) software program, or for the designer to create the design for the jewellery personally on a computer. Once the design is finished, often the master model is then created directly from the computer. The best way of understanding the process is to imagine a special laser printer which is not outputting its design on paper, but creating a 3D plastic model of the jewellery.
GIA qualified Gemmologists
Members of the British Jewellery Association
Members of the Coloured Gemstone Assocation