PROCESS & SUSTAINABILITY
What do we mean by handmade to order?
Our small team of four, work very hard to bring you the highest quality product we possibly can.
Hand Carving & 3D Modeling
All Souvenir Jewelry original designs are built first by our Founder, Rachael, by a process of either hand carving or 3D modeling computer programs.
Lost Wax Casting
From our original models, we create molds so that we can prepare wax duplicates for the lost-wax casting process.
The lost-wax casting process occurs when the wax duplicate is melted out of a plaster mold and replaced by molten precious metal, leaving us with a raw duplicate of our original SJ piece.
There are many different steps that go into finishing a raw casting. Some of those steps include filing, cleaning casting imperfections, stone setting, chain assembly, soldering, findings assembly, sizing, patina, and polishing. With the collective experience of 18 years in the jewelry industry, our jewelers Jess & Lauren, navigate the different steps and needs of each beautifully crafted piece.
Shipping, Customer Service and all the Bizness
Last but not least! The backbone of the business and how we can continue to bring you new and fun things in the timely manner you expect of us. Our buisness manager, Katie, who is on the other end of all those emails helping to get you your custom engagement rings, or your order on time for birthdays, and the person who cares about meeting the needs of any and all she can.
We believe in creating quality products.
We don't believe in creating products, for consumption and waste, at the cheapest price. The real price for a cheap piece of jewelry is seen in the exploited labor, harmful chemically treated metals, and environmentally taxing products that cannot be recycled or repaired.
This means, we choose high-quality findings, we use high-quality metal, we repurpose and recycle wherever possible, we give back, and we pay equitable wages.
Ever wonder what your jewelry is made of?
At Souvenir Jewelry, we believe in creating pieces that can withstand the test of time, so we work with materials that can make that possible.
Why precious metals?
What are precious metals?
The most common precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, rhodium and palladium.
Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical elements of high economic value.
Chemically, precious metals tend to be less reactive than most elements. They are usually ductile and have a high luster.
While they have high melting points and can withstand the test of time, precious metals are also quite soft and pliable in their natural state. They can be mixed with base metals to create an alloy that is both strong and resistant to corrosion.
What are base metals?
The most common base metals are copper, brass, pewter, lead, steel, nickel, tin, aluminum, and zinc.
The difference between precious metals and base metals is marked by their value and corrosive properties.
Base metals are more reactive to air and water. Oxygen and water more easily penetrate the surface of these metals to cause corrosion.
Base metals are inexpensive and more readily extracted than precious metals. When mixed with precious metals, base metals can add strength and color, and create a durable precious metal alloy.
Why do we use precious metal alloys?
Jewelry-grade precious metal alloys are easy to clean, polish, and repair.
These alloys retain a monetary value from their precious metal percentage. And they are more resistant to corrosion, so these alloys can be recycled.
You can figure out the percentage of precious metal in your alloy by the karat stamp. Common karatage stamps are 925, 10k, 14k, 18k, 24k and PT.
How can I tell the difference?
As a consumer, it's important that you educate yourself on the products you are wearing and putting in your body. We hope this information is helpful for our customers in their jewelry purchasing.
In accordance with the law, it's required that each and every gold and silver jewelry be marked with a quality mark. That's why you will find every SJ piece with its corresponding metal stamp.
When a stamp is not present and without metal testing, it is impossible to know what alloys and chemicals are present in your jewelry. There are very few regulations on base metal jewelry.