Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Making Black Hills Gold Jewelry

How is Black Hills Gold Jewelry made?

Different Black Hills Gold jewelry manufacturing companies have somewhat different processes for creating a finished piece of jewelry out of raw gold. But the process will always begin with 24K gold grain, and a vision!

The following steps are part of Landstrom’s unique process – watch the video below for an excellent tutorial.

Pure gold is 24 karat, and is very soft. Mixing the gold with other metals creates an alloy, a stronger composition that will hold up to wear and maintain its beauty and characteristics. This is how 14 karat, 12 karat and 10 karat gold are made.

Ever wonder how the pink and green Black Hills Gold leaves are made? Well, copper is mixed with gold to create the pink colored gold while mixing Sterling silver with gold results in the delicate green color.

Gold Bars
The gold grain is alloyed and then cast in bars, which are then rolled into different thickness sheets as required by the various designs.

Leaves and other jewelry components, as well as some thinner ring shanks are then stamped out of these sheets. Another process used to make rings is casting.
Black Hills Gold Leaves
The new design begins as a drawing and then a three dimensional model is intricately carved out of wax. From this design, a metal model is produced which is then used to produce a rubber mold by surrounding the model with rubber and heating it until all the rubber melts. When the rubber mold cools, hot wax is then injected into the rubber mold and a detailed wax form of the model is made. Wax models are then placed in a flask, which is filled with a substance much like plaster of Paris. The filled flask is then heated to over 1000 ˚F, melting the wax and creating a casting. This is what is called the “lost wax casting method”. Molten gold is then poured into the casting and when cooled, the basic piece of jewelry is formed.

Next these pieces go to the Grinding Department where they are worked on by hand until smooth.

In the Soldering Department, leaves and grapes are permanently attached and then the pieces are dipped in a solution of 24 karat gold, a process called electroplating.

The pieces are then worked on further by hand: Wriggling is a process, which removes the electroplating and creates the frosty finish on the pink and green leaves.Wriggling Once the wriggling process is done its time for the Engraving Department where Landstrom’s skilled craftsmen still hand engrave veins into each leaf.

In the Polishing Department, jewelry pieces undergo several steps to bring out the full, rich luster of each piece.

Jewelry pieces requiring stones go to the Stone Setting Department where genuine or synthetic stones are set.

Then it’s off to Final Inspection, where the jewelry is checked and tagged and packaged in the distinctive Landstroms box.

Inspecting JewelryFrom the first step to the final inspection, each piece of Landstroms Original Black Hills Gold reflects the skills of up to 50 different highly trained artisans.
Watch our amazing video below....


  1. Very nice description of how Black Hills Gold Jewelry is made. Interesting process. There seems to be so much detailed handy work involved.

  2. The handwork would be really was great to read about the concept..

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  4. Thanks for posting such an informative blog. Lots of great info. Thanks!