Payne's Custom Jewelry

How Your Custom Made Jewelry is Manufactured Using the Lost Wax Casting Process





The Idea, Sketch and Wax Model


The first step in the lost wax casting process is you, the customer, getting the idea of a ring, bracelet or pendant design you would like manufactured.  Usually you have looked in stores for that special piece of jewelry but can't find it anywhere.  When you contact jewelry maker Tony Payne, and explain what you want, he will give you a free price quote based on your unique design ideas. A sketch of the custom ring or pendant, like the ones pictured here, can be made for your approval before any work begins.


Sketch of a custom pendant by jewelry maker Tony Payne

Sketch of a custom championship ring by Payne's Custom Jewelry

Drawing of a custom pendant by jewelry maker Tony Payne

Sketch of a ladybug pendant by Payne's Custom Jewelry


Wax model of a custom championship ring by Payne's Custom Jewelry

When you decide to go ahead and make your down payment the next step in the jewelry manufacturing process is carving the wax model. Rings start out as wax tubes and pendants or charms begin as wax sheets or blocks. Saws, files, and specialized carving tools are used to cut away the wax and sculpt the unique design. 

Measurements are taken and the design is scratched in the surface of the wax model. As in most sculpture the material that is not needed is removed.  Wax can also be added to the design using a special wax heating tool. You will receive pictures of the wax model when it is complete. After the design is carved, and approved, sprues, or wax wires, are added which will be attached to a flexible rubber base. The wax is weighed and multiplied by a factor to see how much gold or sterling silver will be needed to make a complete cast.



Wax model of a handmade heart shaped pendant by Payne's Custom Jewelry

Wax model of a custom pendant by Tony Payne

Hand carved wax model of a custom pendant by Payne's Custom Jewelry



Injected wax model of a custom pendant on the rubber base

The Rubber Base, Metal Flask and Investment


The wax model is then attached to the rubber base using the wax sprues. More than one model can be attached to each base if needed.  An open ended metal flask is then put into the rubber base and surrounds the wax.


Wax model of custom ring attached to the rubber base


Investment is a white powder, used in casting, that is mixed with water.  The investment and water is combined using exact proportions, stirred and then poured into the metal flask. This material is semi-liquid when first mixed and it engulfs the wax model and sprues. It is then left for an hour to harden. After that time the wax model and sprues are encased inside the hardened investment.

Wax model of ring with rubber base and metal flask



Pouring molten gold with a vacuum assist using an electromelt furnace

The Wax Burnout


The rubber base is removed and the flask containing the wax is placed in a burnout oven. This burnout step takes about six to twelve hours to complete and reaches a maximum temperature of 1350 degrees Fahrenheit. The carved wax model is destroyed by this extreme heat.  The flask is taken out of the oven and molten gold or sterling silver is immediately poured into the investment where the wax model once was. A vacuum machine is used to assist. The sprues now act as channels for the molten metal which then cools and hardens.




Jewelry after casting by Payne's Custom Jewelry

The next two pictures are of handmade jewelry after it is removed from the investment but before any finishing has been done. The jewelry is pickled overnight in a mild acid to remove oxidation.  The metal is cleaned thoroughly and the finishing works begins.

Cast custom made ring before any finishing has been done

Finishing - Saw, File, Sand and Polish


The sprues are sawed off and the metal design is smoothed with files and then sanded. The piece is polished and given any finishes that are needed such as texturing or antiquing. Any gemstones are then set in your custom made ring, pin or pendant. To view a YouTube video of these steps visit this page. That completes the ancient custom jewelry making process know as lost wax casting.  The result is a finished handcrafted ring or pendant that will always have special meaning to the person that wears it.

Handmade ring being finished by Payne's Custom Jewelry


Finished Custom Made Jewelry

Custom animal pendant manufactured by Payne's Custom Jewelry

Handmade gold pendant made by Tony Payne

Custom sterling silver ring made by Payne's Custom Jewelry

Unique gold wedding band handmade by Payne's Custom Jewelry

Payne's Custom Jewelry manufactures unique custom made jewelry that you design. Your handcrafted jewelry can be created using yellow or white gold or sterling silver. The jewelry design can include any gemstones you choose.  All the custom jewelry images on this site are examples of the workmanship you can expect from jewelry maker Tony Payne.

The price for your handcrafted jewelry depends on the complexity of the design, what metal is used and whether gemstones are included in the design. The labor charge to carve, cast and finish a simple handmade ring starts at $250. The labor cost for a simple custom made pendant or charm begins at $150. The cost of labor for a championship or class ring with lettering or a design on the top and both sides begins at $1,200.

The price of the precious metal will depend on it's type, the weight of the finished piece and the current market conditions.  Gemstones can be provided and included in your unique custom jewelry.  Natural or synthetic gemstones can be used.

Email custom jewelry manufacturer Tony Payne at with your unique custom jewelry ideas. He will give you a free price quote based on your individual design ideas, desires and needs.



Payne's Custom Jewelry

Madison, Ms.





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