Hello. First of all let me explain that I am completely new and know virtually nothing about this art of silversmithing except for what I have read on the Net...what I would like to know is if it is possible to make engravable sterling silver jewelry myself. I currently own and operate a small jewelry business in Alabama and we specialize in engravable jewelry (see my website, www.carpediemsales.com) I don't know if the pendants I am referring to are castings or what, but I am only interested in doing simple, easy shapes (rounds, ovals, squares, rectangles, etc that I can maybe solder the bails ont or something)......just simple pieces that will finish with a high polish, mirror finish that I can then engrave. If anyone knows where I can go from here, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The simple designs you are asking about can easily be made by cutting out the shapes in silver sheet and then attaching a jumpring to the top or just drill a hole in the top of the design. I believe that these can also be bought as findings from a jewelry supplier or manufacturer.
If you are still wishing to produce a great many of these you may consider having a pancake die made of steel and acquire an hydraulic press to cut out the shapes you desire. This may be a large initial investment and it still may prove to be worth your while if you are requiring a great quantity of these shapes.
You might find a jobber who whould be willing to make these for you to engrave.
Good luck in your venture and let us know how things work out.
Thank you so much for the help! Do you have any recommendations on what to use to cut the designs out with? That is my main problem....what to use to cut out the ovals, squares,circles etc. I truly appreciate your help!
There is a process known as the RT Blanking system that allows you to cut out desired shape. Developed by Roger Taylor in England and now used extensively by many jewelers and metalsmiths for inexpensive short run cutouts of sheet metal. The Blanking System and tools used to help make the dies are available from Rio Grande and Bonny Doon produces great tools for cutting dies and the presses used to stamp out the designs from the dies.
Here is a link to a website that shows this system in use to produce multiple shields used on a trophy.
I suggest you spend some time investigating these options and contact Rio Grande and Bonny Doon or visite their websites to see if this may be the solution you need for your needs.
Hope this helps and please let us know how things work out.