Whether seeing from images or holding in your hands, some of you must be attracted by enamel jewelry’s vibrancy, gloss, and opacity. Probably, you may not clearly understand what it is. What is enamel jewelry made of? Would it last long? Here, we prepare this blog to show you what enamel jewelry is on earth. Keep reading and bookmark this page!
1. The History of Enamel Jewelry
Enamel Jewery can be traced back to the ancient Persian empire, where the Meenakari technique allowed Persian to craft multicoloured and vibrant artistic enamel jewelry. (Today, Meenakari jewelry is still a famous Indian jewelry type).
Between the 13th and 11th centuries B.C.E, the earliest enamel jewelry, including enamel gold rings, was discovered in Cyprus.
In the 12th century~the 18th century, enamel techniques became renowned and continually evolved. During this period, enamel techniques like Champlevé, Ronde Bosse to Pertabghar were invented and developed in Europe and Asia. And enameling was increasingly used for jewelry.
In the 19th century, enamel jewelry flourished. Enamel, plique-à-jour enamel mainly, was frequently used in nature-inspired jewelry.
2. What is Enamel Jewelry Made of?
Briefly speaking, enamel jewelry is decorated by enamel created by powder glass fused with the jewelry metal. Being one of the oldest jewelry types, it features painterly or illustrative and smooth effects without the help of gemstones.
Enameling is the art of fusing powdered glass (typically colorless compounds of quartz sand, iron oxide, potassium oxide, and borax) onto jewelry metal at extremely high temperatures, 1450 °F at least. The fusing process takes 30 seconds~ 2 minutes for small jewellery items. For larger ones, the process takes a longer time.
Flat metal jewelry and 3D pieces can be enameled with a decorative and protective coating. And endless designs are available on the enamel jewelry.
Many enamel colors are accessible on jewelry, depending on the heat, powder, and underlying metal. The higher the temperature, the enamel jewelry is likely to be durable and translucent with vibrant colors. In contrast, lower temperatures result in opaque jewelry of lower vibrancy and may get damaged more easily. Opaques give a one-dimensional effect but can be pretty effective in certain designs. On the other hand, transparent ones allow you to layer, shade, and blend different colors.
3. Enameling Techniques for Enamel Jewelry
Enamel Jewelry differs from one another according to different enameling techniques.
Meenakari enamel is comparable to cloisonné enamel, but it is more vibrant. Indian Meenakari, connected with Indian jewelry, is recognised for its colorful look. Persian Meenakari usually is blue and used in ornamental goods.
Silver or copper are the metals utilized. The design is etched onto the metal first, and then the etchings are filled with enamel colors. After heating at temperatures exceeding 850 °C, the piece is polished and cleaned with organic acids like lime and tamarind, bringing out vibrancy and luster.
Cloisonne is a technique in which thin silver or gold wires outline a design and fill jewelry with enamel. Subsequently, jewelry is placed in a kiln where the enamel is melted.
Cloisonné is fantastic at bringing intricate and vivid designs to life since the individual wires keep visible, presenting an outline of the motif. It’s one of the unique enamel jewelry styles.
A French method to create hollows made by etching, engraving or chiselling in the metal surface, which are then filled with enamel layers till the layers are slightly above the metal surface. Finally, the enamel is fired and polished. Champlevé enamel has a textured finish and bright hues.
- Ronde Bosse
“Round work” in French, it’s the technique that enamel is applied to three-dimensional jewelry forms. Ronde Bosse was firstly used in the 15th century. Invented adhesives would hold the enamel in place and disappear after firing. Ronde Bosse jewelry is defined by its perfect finish.
Guilloché is a technique that involves engraving a detailed symmetrical design on metal (done by lath). Transparent enamel is applied on top, allowing the pattern to appear.
- Plique a Jour
Prevalent during the Art Nouveau era, plique a jour, which means “to let in daylight”, is a technique enabling the light to enter from the rear. As a consequence, the enamel jewlery appeared to be glowing from within.
Place enamel powder to cells on a thin sheet of copper foil or mica, then remove the sheet. The final jewelry has a stained-glass-like appearance which is luminous and transparent.
4. Types of Enamel Jewelry
Enamel jewelry is one of the most popular handmade jewelry types. Whether bold, statement jewelry or more subtle ones, people can always find enamel jewelry that fits them. Here are some sought-after types of enamel jewelry:
Enamel rings can be designed into expressive shapes like squiggle wavy or wave enamel rings, making the rings unique. Besides, jewelry designers add gemstones to create a more elevated look.
Bold-color enamel hoop earrings, ear cuffs and studs featuring creative designs are perfect for everyday wear.
Enamel Bangles and Bracelets
Either ethnic bangle and bracelets or something more contemporary, they offer class and refinement that wearers cannot resist.
Enamel Charms and Pendants
5. Does Enamel Jewelry Last Long?
When correctly crafted, enamel jewlery is long-lasting, sturdy, smooth, chemically and scratch-resistant. Gold is an excellent metal making enamel jewelry tarnished resistant. And enamel well adheres to bronze, brass and copper. It’s easy to maintain enamel jewellery clean if you get high-quality pieces from reliable enamel jewlery manufacturers.
As known, enamel is the fusion of glass powder, not paint, so it doesn’t fade under UV light. The longer the enamel jewelry stays under heat, the more durable it is. Therefore, your customers can wear this beautiful jewelry without worrying about the colors fade or the jewelry fractures. In comparison, fake enamel jewelry produced by painting the pattern over the resin won’t last long.
6. Is Enamel Jewelry Expensive？
Enamel jewelry is usually affordable. But the price is determined by some factors.
- Enamel jewelry of copper, bronze and brass base is much cheaper. While metals like gold or 925 sterling silver are applied, it gets more expensive.
- The price increases if the enamel coating area is larger and more detailed.
- The more colors appear on enamel jewlery, the costlier it is.
- Well-known brands, like Cartier, commonly use enamel in their jewelry, which may add a lot of value to enamel jewelry.
7. The Most Prominent Benefits of Enamel Jewelry
A. It’s fashionable and contemporary. Enamel jewelry is hot in summer 2022, with everything from minimalist earrings to rings, statement enamel necklaces to enamel bracelets, and geometric style to romantic flower design. “In jewelry today, enameling enables designers to highlight vibrant colors of deep intensity and a saturation that lives perfectly on social media.”, said Angelina Chen, a senior vice president of Christie’s jewelry.
B. Adds colors to attire. Colorful jewelry speaks for itself, adding contrast against dark or neutral hues. Enamel hoop earrings in berry shade or lemon yellow, green or rainbow-color ear cuffs or soft color rings help form a vivid and playful outfit.
C. It’s styling wise. Long-term developed enamel jewelry could be gothic or ancient Greek geometric styles. And Enamel jewelry in Y2K style today attracts the young generations.
Or, for people who love to mix and match, enamel jewelry pairs well with gold plated or sterling silver jewellery. In short, whatever style your customers show a preference for, they will always find enamel jewlery that fits them.
D. It’s Affordable and available. As we said, enamel jewelry is inexpensive. One can own trendy enamel earrings at less than 10$ from the online jewelry stores. And people easily get quality from famous enamel jewelry manufacturers or suppliers such as Maroth Jewels, Nicole Barr, TTT Jewelry, etc.
That’s all about “What is enamel jewelry”. In a word, enamel jewelry is vibrant and affordable jewelry with a long history. Characterized by a wide range of styles, this durable jewelry is fascinating.
Want to know about the enamel jewelry business? Contact our team!