Trade Casting Services
At Precious Metals West / Fine Gold we cast for the trade. Quite often we are the casters go to for the most difficult jobs. Maybe it’s a metal like platinum that runs too hot for your setup as a gold caster. Maybe you have a store or handful of stores and you need a dependable caster for CAD / custom jewelry work. We offer a product better than ordinary casting. We leverage our 30+ years of experience in alloy making and refining in our casting. Modern designs and CAD can be very demanding. We have it covered. We ship out castings that have been semi finished. No sprue. Just a clean fine grit sandpaper finish that lets you set and polish the best possible jewelry.
We cast in all recognized karats and colors. In general we do not ship raw castings anymore. What with demanding designs and deadlines, we ship “Cleaned Castings”. The sprue is ground away and we bring the whole surface to a fine sandpaper finish. It’s a rare thing for a bad casting to get out of our shop. You are not burdened with filings to refine. Our pricing is based on high quality, fast turnaround and a fair price. Cleaned castings is a four day turnaround.
We offer same day casting, next day casting. Tumble finish only, when speed is king.
Our standard metals-
- 18K Yellow – High Silver, European Green
18K Yellow- Middle East/Royal, Rich Neutral Yellow 14k Yellow- Bright Yellow
18K White – High Nickel, Very White, Hard
18k White/Palladium – No Yellow, Dark Undertone, Soft 14K White – High Nickel , Extremely White, Hard
14K White/Palladium – Very White, Gray Undertone 18K Pink – High Copper, Rich Pink
14 K Pink – High Copper, Rich Pink
Platinum, Palladium, Palladium White Golds
We cast in all recognized platinum alloys. We also cast 950 palladium. White gold with palladium instead of nickel is cast and handled in our platinum shop. that makes for the best cleaned castings or same day raw castings.
Platinum 90% / Iridium 10% – Hardness 11O HV
This is, in our opinion. the best all around metal. It casts well: it is hard enough for most applications and is still ductile enough for fabrication.
Platinum 95% / Ruthenium 5% – Hardness 130 HV
The hardest of the three, this alloy takes and holds a polish well and stands up to wear better that the others. It has a slight tendency to shrinkage porosity and prongs can be a little brittle. However, many of our most demanding customers feel that the benefit of the harder metal offsets these issues.
Mold Types and Prices
Castaldo Yellow-$29 Our yellow mold, the industry standard for many years is high in natural rubber, providing for a strong, durable mold that cuts well, provides a good surface finish
Castaldo Pink-$35 Our least expensive non-shrink mold, the Pink Mold is somewhat higher in Silicone content than the Yellow Mold. Not quite the life and not quite the surface quality of the Yellow mold, but a very good production mold.
Romanoff Blue-$45 Our best mold, the Blue Mold is a natural rubber, with very high strength and resilience resulting in excellent detail, excellent surface finish and durability.
Castaldo Super High Strength-$35 Our Yellow Silicone Mold provides excellent detail. but lacks in strength and durability, and its lack of stretch makes cutting a challenge. Its primary advantage is that it has the consistency of putty prior to vulcanization, making it possible to pack delicate originals without damage. It can also be produced very quickly in an emergency.
Custom Alloys, Special Flasks etc.
For a minimal flask charge of $75, we will cast anything that falls within the limits of our processes. We cast variations on precious metals. These include unusual Pt alloys, 19K Purple Gold, Green Gold, Pure Gold, Pure Silver, Pure Platinum, Exotic Silver Blends, and many others.
When speed is truly essential, for our usual charges plus $75 we will get your item cast and shipped the same day we receive it. Then FedEx gets it too you as fast as they can.
What Materials Burn Out Best To Cast?
All incoming items for casting should be labeled with what the material actually is. We use a variety of investments and procedures adapted for those materials. The more you tell us about yuour order, the better job we can do for you.
Wax injected into a rubber mold-For years the industry standard, shot wax poses no problems for the lost-wax caster.
Carving/Milled waxes-Never presented a problem in casting – until recently. In the last few years, manufacturers have been including plastic elements in their carving wax to improve its carving characteristics. These can present a problem in burnout, particularly in platinum, where any trace of residual carbon will severely embrittle the metal.
Solidscape-Perhaps the best of “printed” rather than “grown” models, Solidscape wax is usually light blue or occasionally olive green in color. It is capable of producing very precise and relatively strong models. Solidscape burns out cleanly and stands up well to the casting process. It’s main disadvantage is a relatively high cost. In addition, the machines require careful maintenance for best results. Solidscape machines can print in high or low resolution.
ProJet-ProJet has become the industry standard over the last few years. ProJet waxes are extremely fragile. ProJet wax provides a surface quality between the high and low resolution of Solidscape. ProJet wax is generally dark blue, but there is also a white version that is somewhat stronger, but somewhat less precise that the blue.
Resins-CAD photopolymer resins, by their nature have two important limitations. The first being that they tend to expand before they soften, which can cause broken investment. Secondly, they react like acid with the investment, particularly the usual gold or platinum investments. Casting these resins requires a high strength investment such as our Docs casting plaster and a tailored burnout, both of which we employ, but there can still be problems with very heavy pieces due to their greater expansion.
Envisiontec has developed resins and processes that minimize these issues. Other resins, which are produced on machines using an LED rather than a laser to set the resin, need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. The uv cured resins seem to be a work in progress. These items currently carry the most risk of less than excellent results. None of the resins are compatible with normal platinum investment and require the use of Docs Casting Plaster.
Injected Plastics-Plastic Waxes, produced by injecting plastic into metal molds produce extremely precise models. The main issue with this process is the expense of the mold and the necessity for an expensive, special purpose injection machine. These waxes generally cast well. The main problem we see with these models is that they have a tendency to leave a small amount of metallic ash (probably from the dye) which is impossible to burn out.
Organic Materials-Over the years, we have successfully cast an amazing variety of materials. We have cast live flowers, tree bark and plastic model parts. We are always happy to try something new.