What is Electro-forming?

Electroforming is a close cousin to electroplating. Electroplating, as most people know is the deposition of a pure metal on a metallic surface using electrical current and the appropriate conductive electrolyte solution. Vermeil, for example is gold plated over silver: a fairly common solution to oxidation of silver in some Victorian pieces. Electroforming, on the other hand is the deposition of pure metal on a non-metallic object! In other words, you can have an acorn or a small pinecone plated in 24K gold and wear it around your neck as a piece of jewelry! How is that done? Let's use a small pinecone as an example. A customer brings us a small pinecone that is perfectly shaped, and they think it would make a beautiful pendant as a gift for their mother. "What can we do to help them?", they ask. Well, here's what we do: First we make the pinecone conductive by carefully painting it with a special paint. We then attach the bail (or pin or whatever 'finding' we are going to use to attach the finished product to a human). Then using special electroforming equipment and solutions we put on a very fine and shiny coating of very shiny copper. We then electro form nickel over the copper for an even brighter shine. Finally, again using special electroforming equipment and gold solutions we 'grow' gold on top of the nickel to the desired thickness to make the piece strong while still retaining all of it's original texture and shape. The end result? A beautiful miniature 24K gold pinecone ready to wear around Mom's neck as a beautiful pendant. The customer is thrilled! Have something you think might make a unique piece of jewelry? Call us! (Ideas: Sharks teeth, acorns, small flowers, sand dollars, small starfish, sea shells...the list is endless!

 

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