Pine Bough Silver Drop Earrings
The pinecone and bough design originated at the turn of the last century when it was hand-carved into a steel block to form a master hob for die pressing.
These earrings began as a 99.9% fine silver ingot. I 'rolled' this down in my rolling mill with a repeated process of annealing the silver with a torch and then reducing the thickness through rolling until the metal 'hardened' again, at which point I'd repeat the process. When the metal got to about 20 gauge in thickness, I did a final anneal and then rolled with a texture plate to create the baroque design of the back-plate. This was then cut out using a pancake die which made the outline of the hoop design.The fine silver stamping I made was then soldered to the back plate, giving a nice, finished look and feel. I lightly oxidized (antiqued) the earrings and then did a tumble finishing, first with ceramic media, that gives a velvet matte finish and then with a stainless steel shot media and burnishing compound to give them a final polish.
In die stamping, an original master die, called a hub, was hand carved by an artist in steel. These artists did not have electricity or modern tools, they used chisels and rudimentary tools to do this amazing work. The hub was carved in the male orientation, with the 3D design visible as it would be used in jewelry. This male hub was used to create a female (reverse orientation) die that could be used to mass produce stamped final impressions. These would then be used in jewelry making.
In recent years, my die supplier, Potter Tools USA, has been striving to save the original master dies around the world. Factories have been closing over the past 20-80 years due to changing consumer demand and technology. The factory owners would save their masterpiece hobs, protecting and hiding them from war driven steel collection drives. Those master hubs would be passed down through family lines. As consumer interest diminished in Revival styles, and steel prices increased, the 2nd and 3rd generations of these families have been selling off these masterpieces, often opting to sell as scrap steel.
The Potter family has a family mission to save these unique pieces of art and history and they have spent the past 10 years tracking down and buying collections as they are headed to the scrap dealers. These collections are from some of the most prestigious jewelry firms all around the world. They also save and use original machinery in their machine shop, updating it to electric and supplementing with modern machinery to provide dies from those saved master hubs.
The jewelry made from these dies is not considered "replica" jewelry, it is stamped directly from the historical master hub. The work of those artists from the turn of the 19th century directly creates this piece of jewelry via the die stamping process. I am so fortunate to have access to these pieces of history and they give me great joy! I hope you will enjoy these unique and beautiful windows into history, as well.
Your purchase will be placed in a Shiny Sparkly Things gift box and carefully packed for shipping. Please report any shipping damage or problems within 7 days of receipt and I will get you taken care of. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, please contact me within 7 days of receipt for a refund authorization. I am deeply committed to providing my clients with the same service I give my family and friends and want you to think of me when you think of great service (and beautiful, unique jewelry, too, of course!).
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns
Priority USPS shipping is included for all purchases. Please allow 1-3 business days for preparation of package for in-stock items. Allow 2-4 weeks for preparation of Make to Order Items.
Do not wear your silver jewelry in the shower or while bathing. Avoid chemicals such as soaps, perfumes, or pool chlorine. Many things will cause silver to tarnish, including atmosphere and body chemistry. If you piece has antiquing, use cloths and lightly buff the high spots only. Use caution with silver polish and polishing cloths as they will remove antiquing.