We use both 24K Fairtrade Gold and recycled gold to make our designs with our own hands and tools.
SPECIAL NOTE: HANDMADE GOLD WEDDING RINGS MADE USING FAIRTRADE GOLD ARE OUR SPECIALTY, AND WORKING WITH US YOU'LL RECEIVE THE RING OF YOUR DREAMS — CREATED BY ARTISANS WITH DECADES OF EXPERIENCE, AND BACKED BY A LIFETIME GUARANTEE.
Looking to work with an awesome small artisan studio with excellent cred? Check out our 170+ Five Star Google Reviews. Then, call us at our shop at 888-733-5238 or email info (at) reflectivejewelry.com for a free consultation. —Marc Choyt, co-owner
These days, we are among very the very few jewelers who have the ability to fabricate rings using old world techiques. We actually make the majority of our Reflective Jewelry gold over silver and two tone gold rings entirely by hand.
Additionally, rings that are created from our customer's old gold and gems that do not require CAD/CAM drawings are also made in the same method illustrated below.
This means that the energy, love and devotion to craft excellent that our jewelers have developed over decades is actually infused in the process of making the ring itself.
Our customers can feel the difference and appreciate knowing that, even in the case of a classic comfort fit flat topped wedding band, each version is going to be slightly different.
We start with 24K gold and make our own wire and sheet from which we then fabricate our rings — working on cottonwood stump benches, using hand-forged anvils, hammers made of steel and cow horn, and a huge variety of tools we made ourselves. Based in Santa Fe, NM, where we learned to make jewelry, our techniques date back to the old-style artisanal methods of the Spanish Conquistadors.
This two minute video below takes you into our workshop and shows you some of the tools and techniques we employ.
So, here's the bottom line:
If you order a classic wedding band, or a gold/silver two tone ring, our jewelers will be making it in our Santa Fe workshop.
Below we’ve broken down this process into 11 steps. The end product is a gorgeous 4mm Flat Topped Classic Comfort Fit Wedding Band, pictured below and available for sale here.
1. We start out with 24K Fairtrade Gold, which is formed into small grains.
2. This is weighed out in the amount needed for ring.
3. The pure gold is mixed with an alloy, to make it either 14K or 18K and a particular color—such as white gold or rose gold.
4. Gold and alloy are then melted down with a torch.
5. Now, we have a round 18K gold nugget.
6. The next step is to roll out the nugget into a wire, using a rolling mill as shown.
7. Here’s what the gold looks like after its gone through the rolling mill. If we are making a ring that is a combination of gold and silver, we do the same process with the gold element in the ring.
With the silver elements, we purchase the wire or sheet in order to keep the costs down.
8. The wire is formed into a ring using hand tools.
9. The ring is shaped using a hammer and a mandrill. Though our jewelers make this look easy, it take alot of skill--particularly when we have to line up a complicated Celtic knot pattern so the join is bairly noticeable even when you look for it.
10. Then, we polish the gold ring on our polishing wheel. This is where we make the ring comfort fit. We also can add a matt, hammer or various other types of finishes on the surface of the ring.
11. And, this is what the ring looks like once it is off the wheel.
Curious what else our jewelers can do? Discover our Custom Jewelry here!
Next Steps for Your Handmade Fairtrade Gold Wedding
With over 80 years of combined bench experience in old-world artisan techniques, our jewelers are capable of anything and everything. We'll even reuse your old or inherited gold and gems to make new jewelry out of old!
If you’re ready to order a Fairtrade Gold handmade wedding ring, or have any questions, I'm here to help! Browse our website, stop by our gallery in Santa Fe NM, call 888-733-5238, or email me at info (at) ReflectiveJewelry.com. If what you really want is a custom gold ring, I’ll be happy to answer all your questions with absolutely no obligation. You can find more info here — but get in touch, and we can set up a phone or Zoom consultation.
Marc Choyt is president of Reflective Jewelry, a designer jewelry company founded in 1995. He pioneered the ethical sourcing movement in North America and is also the only certified Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the United States. Choyt’s company was named Santa Fe New Mexico’s Green Business of the Year in 2019, and he has been honored with several awards for his efforts to support ethical jewelry. His ebook, Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies and Conflict Free Diamonds, is available online. Choyt can be reached on Twitter at @Circlemanifesto or by email at marc(at)reflectivejewelry.com.