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Jewelry History: Berlin Iron Jewelry

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Here at Custom Jewelry, we find inspiration in the odd, strange, and slightly off-color, so it’s no wonder we love October around here. While some may find it macabre, we’re drawn to the slightly somber rituals at the end of this month: All Hallow’s Eve, Dios de los Muertos, and — while technically in November — All Saints and All Souls days.To us, there’s something beautiful about taking time out of our lives to remember those who have come before and who will continue to go after us, and in honor of this somber month, we’ve decided to post a few things throughout it to honor the gothic, the strange, and hopefully, the beautiful. Today, we start with the gothic: Berlin Iron Jewelry.

Dark, brutal, and strangely wonderful, Berlin Iron Jewelry is a style of jewelry that started in Berlin around the turn of the 19th century during the Napoleonic wars. During this time period, the aristocratic class was encouraged to give up their gold, silver, and other precious materials in order to help fund the war against Napoleon. In exchange, the classes were given beautifully black-lacquered iron jewelry with which to adorn themselves. What started as a sign of patriotism, soon spread into a fashion trend and led to more mass production of the iron pieces.

Created by a process called sand-casting, Berlin Iron Jewelry is formed via melting wax into sand and then pouring molten iron into the sand frames. Once cooled, the iron is taken out, finished with a black lacquer and either linked into bracelets, necklaces, or the popular chokers of the time period. You can spot Berlin Iron Jewelry by the stark, black material it’s made of, the very distinct lattice-work detailing, and its tendency to have Neo-classical imagery such as cameos and classical figures. Both beautiful and menacing, these intriguing pieces give us a glimpse into the past, remind us of the war torn country for which it was made, and show us that even the most ordinary objects can be extraordinary in the hands of the right craftsmen.

Images via Three Graces, 1st Dibs, and historicalfashion.tumblr.com

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Jewelry Repair: Sterling Silver and Turquoise Earring Replacement

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Could it get any worse than losing your favorite set of sterling silver and turquoise earrings? How about losing only one of your favorite sterling silver and turquoise earrings, and being constantly reminded that you can’t wear them anymore by the remaining earring in your jewelry box. Now that’s rough.

Thankfully, this customer contacted us about replacing her one-of-a-kind earring’s long-lost mate. Custom’s challenge: Rebuild and recreate this silver and turquoise earring completely from scratch. We accepted, and it turned out to be a really cool jewelry repair job.

This earring consisted of three main sections: a round post, a decorative body, and three silver drop-shaped accents, each connecting to make the whole earring. Using the existing earring as a guide, we were able to hand fabricate the decorative body and round post. Then we took silver wire and finely hammered each piece into three decorative drops. After that, it was simply a matter of setting the turquoise into place and linking everything together.

We were very pleased with the results, and more importantly, so was the customer. Check out the process below, and take your best guess at which one was the original in the comments!

 

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1ct Diamond and Platinum Studs with Jackets

These Diamond and Platinum Studs with Jackets were made as an anniversary gift. They can be worn in 3 configurations: as bezel set studs, studs with Custom designed diamond halo jackets, or with the 3D snowflake jackets, tipped with tiny diamonds. The snowflake design was pulled from the wedding cake in our client’s winter-themed wedding. Touches like these are what makes Custom jewelers a step above the average jewelry store. Versatile pieces such as these, are designed  to be the appropriate accessory for any occasion.

 

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14k Gold, Silver, Onyx, and Diamond Gauged Ear Plugs

These are gauged ear plugs that were entirely hand fabricated out of 14k yellow gold and sterling silver. They were then set with cushion cut, checkerboard top black onyx and diamonds. This job exemplifies the purpose of opening our own store. This is the type of custom jewelry that simply would not be taken on in a traditional jewelry store, and is what sets us apart. Unique pieces of jewelry from a unique store.

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Reticulated Silver, Titanium Sphene Pendant and Earring Set

Yet another Custom jewelry piece finished in the store today. There was a slight lull in jewelry repairs today, so we took the time to continue filling the cases with new work. These unusual titanium sphene stones are just one example of the new stone stock we have in the store. Come pick yours before they are all gone.