A photo of a stamped elepahnt charm.

A photo of a cast donkey charm.


What is the difference between a jewelry finding that is a stamping and one that is a casting?

Although both can be jewelry findings, stampings and castings are different animals, so to speak.

Castings are made with a mold and molten metal. The liquefied metal is poured into a mold, allowed to cool and solidify, and then removed from its mold. The castings are then deburred and finished for use. Often cast charms are three-dimensional figurine type items, similar to the pieces used in the game Monopoly. Usually cast metal parts are heavier than stamped pieces. This can be problematic when trying to design earrings for pierced ears, where the weight of the earrings can pull on the earlobes, making the earrings uncomfortable. Because of its properties, gold lends itself to casting very nicely.

Stampings are made in a press using a die and a forcer. A strip of brass or other metal like copper or sterling silver is fed into a stamping press, in between the die and the forcer, giving the piece its shape and form. With stampings, detail can be very fine, and the material can be pierced out in patterns. Filigree is a good example of the benefit of stamped findings. Stampings are usually lightweight, making them less likely to pull on earlobes in the example of earrings. Stampings can also be formed after they are pressed out, unlike castings. Being able to form a stamped finding gives dimension to the piece and offers a very wide range of possibilities for variations on certain types of findings.


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