Custom Casting Guidelines: Sterling Silver
General Guidelines for Custom Casting in Sterling Silver – May 2017
Sterling silver is the most popular choice with our customers for custom casting!
Casting Begins with a Master
SFJS uses the lost wax casting method to reproduce your artwork. You can provide us with an original model (handmade master), a wax, or your own mold for the piece you’d like reproduced. Molds you furnish will require our caster’s prior approval before we can use it. Original models can be made from any material as long as you disclose what the material is. If you prefer to submit black and white artwork/images, we can create your master for you using a 3-D printer.
Many customers supply us with an original model. From that master a mold will be made to replicate your piece. The mold process will reproduce every nuance of detail on your original so you want to take care to remove any imperfections. There is an average 5% shrinkage rate between your master and the reproduction using a mold. This shrinkage rate will increase with the overall mass of the piece and can go as high as 10%. No shrink molds are offered by request only.
A master measuring under 1” in diameter should require the smallest mold and will incur a one-time $35 mold fee per design. Up to 50 pieces can be made at one time with one mold. Should you have larger production needs, additional molds will be required. A “gang” mold can be made whereby many originals in one mold can produce larger quantities at once. The cost of your gang mold is determined by the size of your master and the number of replicas in the gang mold. Larger pieces, like bracelets, require larger, more expensive molds. A flat bracelet for example may run $50-$60 while an even deeper bracelet $75-$100.
Larger pieces like bracelets incur a flask charge of $150. Because these pieces are so much larger, usually only up to 4 can be put in one flask and take up kiln space (real estate) that many smaller pieces could be cast in.
Once the mold is made, you are only paying for the metal. Prices on sterling silver castings are based on gram weight of the master and the quantity ordered. There is a 1 gram per piece minimum charge. You can achieve quantity discounts for one individual casting or by aggregating jobs of multiple pieces. At a $17.00 silver market your price savings schedule is as follows:
+1000 grams $2.00/gram
+500 grams $2.25/gram
+100 grams $2.50/gram
-100 grams $3.00/gram
All orders are tumble-bright finished and ready to wear!
We pride ourselves on confidentiality. Every effort is made to keep your unique designs protected.
٭ Your original model should be no less than 1mm and preferably 2mm thick to ensure the effectiveness of reproducing it in a mold.
٭ For smaller pieces (under 1” diameter) there is a minimum order of 10 pieces per design.
٭ Allow 4-5 weeks on your initial order when a mold is being made. For reorders allow at least 3 weeks.
٭ Molds and masters are stored at our casting facility for future orders unless and until you request that they be returned to you.
٭ A 3-8 piece production volume variance is typical of smaller pieces (either under or over the order quantity). Overages in excess of this amount will be brought to your attention for approval otherwise you will be billed and receive overages in the acceptable range.
٭ All pieces are made to order. We do not hold stock of your pieces.
٭ Findings such as ear posts, pin backs, jump rings or hat (scatter) pins can be added for a nominal fee. Adding findings will increase the delivery time by 10-14 days.
٭ Initial orders must be prepaid. After the first order and with approved credit references, your orders may be paid at the time they ship.
To discuss your particular needs please contact Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to partnering with you on your new casting venture!