This is where glass and gold come to life! Crafted in 14K yellow gold, this lightweight ring comes in your choice of an amber, blue or green oval shaped venetian glass accent at the top of the ring. The glass is surrounded by a halo of polished, braided gold that continues across the band. The look is completed with etching and dimples on the underside. A true treat for your digit!
Electroform is a technique used to create hollow pieces of gold or silver jewelry. It is a time-consuming process that makes the pieces lightweight and seamless for a beautiful effect.
By far the most common color of gold used in jewelry, yellow gold is gold in its natural shade. Yellow gold is usually alloyed with copper and silver to increase the strength of the metal. How yellow the metal is depends upon the content of gold. A 14-karat piece of jewelry will have a brighter yellow hue than a 10-karat piece. Likewise, an 18-karat piece of jewelry will have a deeper yellow than 14-karat gold, and so on.
Gold's softness and malleability make it a wonderful metal to work with when creating virtually any design in jewelry. But this softness can be a drawback as well. To make it stronger and more durable, gold is usually alloyed, or mixed, with other metals such as copper or silver. The higher a metal's percentage of gold content, the softer and more yellow the jewelry piece. The karat weight system used to measure gold in a piece is the same for all hues, including white and yellow gold.
The word “carat” is Arabic, meaning “bean seed.” This is because historically seeds were used to measure weights of gold and precious stones. In the United States, “karat” with a “k” is used to measure gold's purity, while “carat” with a “c” is used in measuring a gemstone's size. The karat mark of gold represents the percentage of pure gold to alloy.
In order to determine the karat weight of a specific item, simply look for the quality mark. Jewelry items will bear the stamp of their karatage based upon the United States or European system of marking. The United States system designates pieces by their karats—24K, 18K, 14K, 10K, etc. The European system designates pieces by their percentage of gold content. For instance, 10K gold is marked “417,” denoting 41.7% gold; 14K is marked “585,” denoting 58.5% gold; and 18K is marked “750,” denoting 75% gold; etc.
Venetian & Murano Glass:
Handcrafted Venetian and Murano glass is renowned for being colorful, elaborate, and skillfully made. The process of making Murano glass is rather complex and the history is rich. Artisans still use the same time-honored techniques that have been passed down for generations. The handmade process allows the glassmaker to shape uniquely beautiful multi-colored designs.
Murano glass gets its name from the location in which it is made: The island of Murano off the shore of Venice, Italy. The glass has been produced there for centuries, as Murano was a commercial port as far back as the 7th century and a well-known city of trade by the 10th century. Today, Murano remains a destination for tourists and art and jewelry lovers.
It is believed that Murano glass actually originated in Rome in the 9th century. But artists were influenced by the Asian and Muslim cultures that were exposed at the major trading port in Venice. They decided to create the glass in the Venetian Republic for convenience, which was the first main location for the glassmaking before a devastating fire ruined most of the city's wood buildings. This event caused the glassmakers to move to the island of Murano in 1291. To this day, the names for Venetian and Murano glass are used nearly interchangeably.
The glassmakers of Murano were soon the most prominent citizens on the island. Around the 14th century, the talented artisans were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution, and married their daughters into wealthy families. Their success did not come without a price, however. Glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic, causing a feeling of unrest. Some craftsmen rebelled and set up business as far away as England and the Netherlands. Despite this, most workers did stay on the island and by the end of the 16th century, 3,000 of Murano's 7,000 people were involved in the glassmaking industry in some way.
Today, Murano artisans are still employing the same age-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art and jewelry to chandeliers and wine stoppers. Murano held a monopoly on quality glassmaking for centuries, creating and refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass, glass with threads of gold, multicolored glass, milk glass, and imitation gemstones made of glass. If you visit Murano, the island is now home to the Museo Vetrario, or Glass Museum, in the Palazzo Giustinian. It displays the history of glassmaking, as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through present day.
Techniques & Materials
Most Murano glass art is made using the lampworking technique. The glass includes silica which becomes liquid at high temperatures. As the glass passes from a liquid to a solid state, there is a moment when it is slightly soft before it hardens completely. This is when the craftsman can shape the material. The more sodium oxide present in the glass, the slower it solidifies, which is important for hand-working since it allows for more time to shape the material.
The colors, techniques and materials glassmakers may use depend upon the look the artist is trying to achieve. The Millefiori technique involves layering sliced canes of glass, or forming tiny glass beads by cutting the canes into sections when cold then rounding when hot. Sommerso, filigree, incalmo, enamel painting, engraving, gold engraving, lattimo, ribbed glass and submersion are just a few of the other techniques a glassmaker can apply.