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Capital OneVoice: The Science Behind The Shine: Tech And Jewelry Making

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The annual celebration of love is upon us, and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to give your loved one the perfect gem in the perfect setting? But how does such beautifully designed jewelry go from rock to wrist, anyway?

Jewelry is almost synonymous with Valentine’s Day.

Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of technology behind all that bling. The sparkle-filled science and tastefully adorned tech is some that only skilled jewelry makers and accessory artisans are knowledgeable enough to master. With the help of some super cool hi-tech tools and advanced software programs, creative limits are quickly lifted, and true craftsmanship comes to life.

Leigh Sandusky, a jewelry designer based out of Boulder, Colorado, has been designing carefully crafted pieces for 7 years, now. For Leigh, technology has played a huge role in helping her create unique and artistic jewelry.

Designers like Sandusky fully embrace innovation within the industry. She acknowledges that “advancements in technology have made the custom design process easier for both me and my customers…technologies such as 3D printing make it possible to create the perfect design.”

Model Design

Jewelry designers have historically utilized hand-carved wax molds to bring their creations to fruition. But now, with the implementation of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided machinery (CAM), the accessory industry has been completely revolutionized.

While the ability to carefully craft jewelry using esteemed hand tools still holds a firm place in design history¾think the crown jewels¾CAD software has perfected a designer’s precision even further. These software programs have also dramatically shortened the time it takes to go from idea to “I love!”  when it comes to the design process.

As a jewelry design pro, Sandusky proclaims that “The design process does not take long (with CAD).” She continues that because of CAD software, she “Can take a design and make it into a piece of jewelry within days.”

Beyond improving efficiency, CAD software has also lowered manufacturing costs. While this, of course, may depend upon what the design entails, the fact still remains that it takes less time to produce more intricate pieces.

Laser Sharp Accuracy

We’re printing everything these days, from human organs to hearty food. So, it should come as no surprise that 3D printing has found a happy home in jewelry design. The advancements in this industry have not only made it more cost effective, but precision is also on-point.

Sandusky is definitely a fan of being able to utilize this type of tech at work, stating that “3D printing is an extraordinary tool… I can print a 3D model of my customer’s design and they can actually try it on and make sure it’s what they want. This technology helps make the custom design process run more smoothly, and the finished product is always what the customer expected.”

A Story That Sparkles

Expert craftsmanship and a creative eye will always live at the core of jewelry making, but technology is making life a little less time-intensive for these incredible artisans. Sandusky recalls that, “hand carving a wax mold used to be the norm,” and that it remains, “an art form.” However, with the ability to 3D print a model of a custom design for a customer directly, “they know exactly what they are getting.”

From custom design to sizing to timing, and every diamond detail in between, tech is playing a glamorous role in the jewelry industry. Of course, we’ll always appreciate the practices of the past, but the future of fine jewelry design continues to evolve, helping to make our bling even more accessible, efficient and even more beautiful than ever imagined.


This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.

Capital One does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

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