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Mastering the method of manufacture

Breathe a stamp of relief

A typical hand-made Florentine finish on a 1950's brooch.
A typical hand-made Florentine finish on a 1950’s brooch.

An older form of die-striking, stamping is the process of pressing metal into a mould, resulting in a piece that shows relief or an embossed pattern. Older rolled gold or gold ‘clad’ jewellery of the Victorian period was often stamped and produced for the masses. Cufflinks, large Victorian brooches, earrings, and bead necklaces were stamped out and soldered together.

What to look for in stamped jewellery:

  • Wear on corners or near catches where one would normally see it. For instance, the top layer of gold might have worn through to the centre piece, revealing the base metal layer.
  • Age—pieces formed using this method usually look heavy, although lightweight Victorian jewellery was often stamped out and assembled.
  • A decorative pattern on the metal—it is not deep enough to have been engraved by hand and the piece is flat on the underside. Sometimes the pattern is accented with enamel.
  • The jewellery is three-dimensional, with a top and sides.

In general, making stamped jewellery comprises one or two steps and then the findings are attached.

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