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What is Sand Cast Jewellery?

Delft Clay Sand Casting - what is it?

Sand casting, or Delft Clay casting is when a mould or impression is made in the sand or clay (in what's called a flask), and molten metal is then poured into the mould. This process results in one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces and due to the nature of it, the stone placement, texture and finish of each piece will be unique. 

placing stones into sand cast jewellery mould

One of the reasons I like to use the sand casting method to make jewellery (especially when using customers gold as part of my Jewellery Recycling Initiative), is because once the gold is melted down and poured, it sets in its final form. Sometimes old gold can be full of solder or plating (especially white gold), and if you try and re-work it too much into something completely new, it can get quite brittle. So although the sand casting method can limit the design possibilities, so to speak, it’s the best way to reuse old silver or gold!

What stones can be cast in place?

In the jewellery world, there is a scale of hardness for gemstones, called the MOHS Scale. It is a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hardest) and is a way to help identify minerals, their hardness and relative resistance to scratching. Diamonds rank number 10 on this scale, and sapphires number 9, making them both super strong and scratch resistant, and suitable as gemstones to cast in place.

This means that I can pour the molten metal directly over the stones and they are 'cast into place'. Traditionally, stones are set into the design as one of the final steps, after a piece has been made, but the sand casting process that I use to create my jewellery designs allows for gemstones to be set into the metal instantly, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.  

 hands holding the finished ring design

How does this make Zoë Alexandria a sustainable jewellery brand? 

I believe in slow fashion where the sustainability of my jewellery is unified with my ethics and my designs are quality-based rather than time-based. 

By using the sand casting method to make jewellery, I can create pieces that are entirely handmade in Australia, from start to finish. I can reduce waste by recycling silver and gold to produce my designs, and I make everything to order, to limit over production. All my materials and stones are responsibly sourced, plus with every purchase I give back $1 to charity. 

When you invest in a piece of Zoë Alexandria jewellery, you're not just buying another ring, earring or pendant - you're adding to your story and connecting with a moment that has meaning to you. A piece that has been lovingly handcrafted with my two hands, for you. 

zoe creating jewellery at her bench in her studio

 

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