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Cubic Zirconia History

Cubic Zirconia History

This natural mineral was first discovered in the 19’th century. However the cubic zirconia as we know it as a gemstone doesn’t begin until many years later, during the 1970’s.

Stainless Steel Hex Nut Ring
Stainless Hex Nut Ring With Cubic Zirconia.

Natural Form of Zirconium Oxide

The natural form of cubic zirconia is zirconium oxide, which in itself is a bit yellowish in appearance. It was first discovered in 1892, but the mineral wasn’t considered to be of any value. It wasn’t until sometime in the early 1930s, that interest in the mineral really begun as scientists conducted experiments. During one of these experiments it was found that the mineral didn’t lose its strength when subjected to high heat, making it a refractory material. This was an important discovery and allowed inventors to use zirconium oxide in various applications, such as abrasives for ceramics, metal, and glass. Such as zirconia sanding belts.

 

Zirconia Sanding Belt
Zirconia Sanding Belt

Continue reading Cubic Zirconia History

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The Bentwood Technique – Bentwood Rings

The Bentwood Technique

Bentwood is wood that has been cut along the grain and steamed until pliable, then wrapped around a form to take shape . Everyone is more familiar with bentwood than they may think. Wooden canoes, rocking chairs, and other types of furniture employ bending wood to make the finished product. Bentwood is a well established method in woodworking. Creating rings with the bentwood technique makes a durable and long-lasting ring.

Every Bentwood Ring is expertly handcrafted to your exact size when you order.

So what is the difference between Bentwood and a solid wood ring?

In a solid wooden ring there are two areas where the end-grain grain is exposed. This makes the ring more vulnerable to breaking when put under pressure or when water enters the wood and causes it to expand. However the Natural Solid Wood Rings from Artisan Mint Works are made to correct that. I use metal inserts and professional grade jewelry sealant on all solid wood rings.

In a bentwood ring, the grain only runs in one direction, in several layers, creating an incredible durable ring with no weak spots.

To bend wood, thin strips of wood need to be steamed, then wrapped around a form and clamped to hold their shape. After the wood has dried into shape, a special glue is used to glue each overlapping layer. I like to use about 5 to 7 layers to create each bentwood style ring.

With the grain running in only one direction, the multiple layers of wood, and the strong adhesive all working together, this creates one of the toughest wooden rings possible.

After ring has been created, I carefully sand the wood to a polished state, and smooth the edges to a soft curve and add a sealant to protect the ring.

 

Bentwood Ring - Birch
Bentwood Ring – Birch
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Solid Wood Wedding Rings With Ring Boxes

I am now making solid wood wedding rings complete with handcrafted oil rubbed boxes. These ring boxes are made from one piece of Oak and treated with special oils to preserve and protect. They will feature swivel open lids to secure the wood wedding ring inside.

 

The ring itself will be made from various woods and materials and will be shown in the individual listings. They are treated with a special blend of wood oils and poly to add strength and waterproof. They are then sealed to fully protect. They will also feature steel or silver inserts to add even more strength, durability, and comfortable wear.

 

For more info or ordering please click on the image below to be taken directly to wood ring category page!

 

Solid Oak Ring
Solid Oak Ring
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Silver Rings With Stone Inlay

Choosing the Stone and Jewelry Piece

Lava Stone Inlay Silver Ring
Lava Stone Inlay Silver Ring

When choosing the stone, consider color, chip size and price. Color is strictly an artistic consideration, and price a personal choice, but chip size will affect your finish piece artistically.
Chip sizes range from a fine powder to 1/2-inch pieces. Be sure your chip will fit into the recess, but also note that the size will affect the appearance of the final product. The smaller the pieces, the more even the color will be. Crushed stone in various colors and sizes can be found at many large craft stores, but can also be purchased online.

Filling the Inlay

To fill the inlay with the stone and resin,  fill approximately 3/4 of the recess with the crushed stone. If you are working with a powder, you may find a small paint brush helpful in filling the recess.
When the stone is in place, mix your resin filler according to package directions, and be sure to use a clear epoxy resin.

For small spaces fill the epoxy in the recess with a craft stick or toothpick. Use the toothpick to pop any air bubbles that may form. The mixture of stone and epoxy should be filled just above the lip of the recess. Be careful here because while you want the resin to be just slightly past the top of the recess, you do not want it to spill any onto the jewelry piece.

Finishing

Finish your stone inlay by sanding and polishing. For best results, use finer grades of sandpaper as you work. For example use a 220 grit sandpaper to sand down to within a millimeter of the top of the recess. Then switch to a much finer 400 grit sandpaper and sand all the way down to the lip of the jewelry. The jewelry piece itself should be free of resin at this point. Now you can polish the resin over your inlay to create your finished piece.

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Australian Three Pence Coin

The Three Pence Coin

The Australian Three Pence Coin is a small silver or nickel-brass coin used in the Commonwealth of Australia prior to decimalisation. It was minted from 1910 until 1964, excluding 1913, 1929–1933 inclusive, 1937, 1945 and 1946. After decimalisation on 14 February 1966, the coin was equivalent to 2½¢, but was rapidly withdrawn from circulation.

During World War II,  coin production was supplemented by coinage produced by the United States Mint at the San Francisco and Denver mints. Coins minted at the San Francisco mint from 1942–1944 contain a small capital S on the reverse, while coins produced at the Denver mint from 1942–1943 have a small capital D on the reverse.

Now The Artisan Mint Works can transform one of these coins into a beautifully handcrafted ring, with a vibrant golden hue and comfortable fit. Click on the image below for more information and ordering.

 

three pence coin
three pence coin
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Silver American Eagle Wedding Bands

Artisan Mint Works is proud to offer premium .999 Silver American Eagle Wedding Bands!

Getting married this year? How about a custom made Wedding Band? My .999 Silver American Eagle Wedding Bands will have the year shown on the outside of the band to proudly announce the year of matrimony. Made out of nearly one ounce of pure silver, I give great care and attention to all detail in every ring made. Due to these being custom made wedding bands please plan ahead and allow two to three weeks for full processing and production. However usually will only take one to two weeks.

 

What do you need to know about .999 Pure Silver jewelry?

.999 Silver jewelry is more durable than 24K and 22K Gold, however not as durable as 18K Gold and below. With care the details on the silver wedding band should last for many years to come. However it is strongly recommended to remove your ring during activities involving heavy use of your hands that could scratch the ring.  .999 silver jewelry is an investment and will tend to appreciate over time. Pure silver will increase in value. Your purchase today may even double in value within a few years. Most jewelry today cannot be sold back at its original cost, because it is not pure silver. A .999 Pure Silver Wedding Band is in fact Investment-grade jewelry, at a reasonable markup! Handcrafted from a one ounce .999 pure Silver American Eagle coin. Click the image below to be taken directly to the ordering page.

 

Silver American Eagle
Silver American Eagle

 

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Gold American Eagle Wedding Bands

Artisan Mint Works is proud to offer premium Gold American Eagle Wedding Bands!

Getting married this year? How about a custom made Wedding Band? My 22K Gold American Eagle Wedding Bands will have the year shown on the outside of the band to proudly announce the year of matrimony. Great care and attention to detail in every ring made. Due to these being custom made please plan ahead and allow two to three weeks for full processing and production. However usually will only take one to two weeks.

 

What do you need to know about 22K gold jewelry?

22K gold jewelry is more durable than 24K, it is mixed with harder metals like copper and silver, but it is not as durable as 18K and below. With care the details on the Gold American Eagle Wedding Band should last for many years to come. However it is strongly recommended to remove your ring during activities involving heavy use of your hands that could scratch the ring.  22K gold jewelry is an investment and will tend to appreciate over time. Gold will increase in value. Your purchase today may even double in value within a few years. Most jewelry today cannot be sold back at its original cost, because it is not pure gold. A 22K Gold Wedding Band is in fact Investment-grade jewelry, at a reasonable markup! Handcrafted from a 1/2 ounce 22K gold coin. Click the image below to be taken directly to the ordering page.

 

Gold American Eagle
Gold American Eagle
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Zodiac Signs and Astrology

Zodiac Signs and Astrology

Do you believe in the meaning of zodiac signs and astrology? Do you know where they come from or why they even exist? Is it just another superstition that many people believe in.  Interestingly enough, there is some evidence found by scientists that they do exist.

There are 12 Zodiac signs found in astrology.

Aquarius January 21- February 19

Pisces February20- March 20

Aries March 21- April 20

Taurus April 21- May 21

Gemini May 22 – June 21

Cancer June 22 – July 22

Leo July 23 – August 21

Virgo August 22- September 23

Libra September 24- October 23

Scorpio October 24- November 22

Sagittarius November 23- December 22

Capricorn December 23- January 20

Each zodiac sign falls under a zodiac element. There are four Zodiac elements: Air, Water, Fire, and Earth. 

Air signs are people who love communication and relationships with other people.

Water signs are exceptionally emotional and ultra-sensitive people.

Fire signs tend to be passionate, dynamic, and temperamental.

Earth signs are the “grounded” people on the planet and the ones who bring us down to earth.

Below is the zodiac element your zodiac signs falls under.

Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Why do people believe in this?

People have believed in astrology for many years because it offers many desirable things such as information and assurance about the future, a way to resolve their issues and even ways to improve their relationships with their lovers, family, and friends.

Check out our zodiac ring collection here!

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Coin Jewelry History

The different types of coin jewelry

Coin jewelry can be divided into two major categories: whole coins and cut coins. This article will attempt to explain the origin and details of both.

Coin jewelry history

Coin jewelry has more than likely been around since the origin of the very first coin. Egyptian soldiers would decorate themselves with medals that were similar to the coins of their day. Travelers would save the coins of places they have visited as souvenirs to take back home. Usually these coins would later be used as coin pendants and coin rings. The other type of coin jewelry is commonly referred to as cut coins. Coin cutting was probably first seen in the 1600’s.

Coin cutting

Coin cutting has become a serious form of art and craftsmanship. When cutting coins, artisans start with a whole coin and then hand cut different designs out of the coin. A very fine tooth jeweler’s saw is used for this. The coins can also be gold or silver plated to add more beauty. These can now be used as charms, pendants, earrings, money clips or rings.

Popularity of coin jewelry

Whether it is whole coins or cut coins, coin jewelry is not just a fad. Many people from all walks of life enjoy this beautiful jewelry.  Coins can be turned into a butterfly, hearts, flowers, the moon and sun, and can all worn as pendants or earrings. They can be used to show their national pride. Coin jewelry can also show particular interests or hobbies. Such as animals, sports, religion, anything you can think of.

Order your custom coin jewelry from Artisan Mint Works today!

 

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Coin Jewelry – Is Destroying Coins Ethical

Why destroy a perfectly good coin?

It is inevitable that someone will bring up the topic. No matter what I say someone will disagree with the art of coin jewelry. Some will even argue that it is illegal, we will get into that as well. But first off let me say this. I understand how the purists feel, and I do understand how some may feel it is illegal. For what it is worth, I’ll go ahead and state my opinions, and the facts.

Why make coin Jewelry?

So just how do I justify making rings out of perfectly good coins?  First the facts. It is not illegal. Second, Those coins do belong to me, and I have a right to do with them as I wish. Third, It is a fun and rewarding way to earn extra income.  I have always liked coins. As a kid, I spent countless hours searching through stacks of pennies trying to collect wheats and indian heads.  Every time I went to the store I would search through my coins, hoping I would find good ones to add to the collection. I never even thought of turning them into a ring. I would also never use key dates or highly graded coins for making coin jewelry.  Those coins belong in collections and should not be destroyed.

What kind of coins do I use?

The coins I use for coin jewelry are mostly circulated coins as well as non currency silver coins. The better the detail, the better the finished results. These coins are not the kind that are sought out by collectors.  It is true it is hard to find silver coins in pocket change. That does not make them collectable though. It is simply because people understand the value of silver. When was the last time you received a silver coin as change?

It’s just business

Business is business. Dealers and sellers want to make as much money as they can from each coin they sell.

That is where I come in. I take an ordinary coin and turn it into an piece of historic art that can be worn daily. Coin rings and other coin jewelry in fact increase the value of these ordinary coins.

Coin jewelry is unique. And coin jewelry appeal to every age group and gender. Wear a piece of history! Order your ring from Artisan Mint Works today!

 

Artisan Mint Works - Coin Jewelry