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Chain Links

From molten silver to hand-cast links to machines producing strands by the mile, we’re delighted to show you how we’ve been putting our chains together

You might have noticed we’re taking jewelry more seriously than we ever have this fall, from the fair-trade stones we’re proud to have sourced, to the brand-new ways we’re creating our bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Holding much of our new pieces together—literally—are fine chains, manufactured with great attention to both aesthetics and high quality. From molten silver to hand-cast links to machines producing linked strands by the mile, we’re delighted to give you a peek at how we’ve been fashioning our chains link by link.

Forging Ahead

At our partners’ on-site foundries, silver gets heated to a molten state in a crucible heated to 970 degrees Celsius.

 

At that temperature, silver ingots soon become molten. With great care, expert workers pour the liquid metal into molds.

 

Casting About

Each link in our Byzantine Circle chains is crafted using the ancient lost-wax method. Rubber molds yield a plaster negative cast into which the molten silver is poured. When it cools and the plaster gets broken off, delicate components are revealed.

 

Jewelry makers trim the pieces off the cast tree, or “sprue,” before joining them together by hand.


 

Metal Polish

Gold and silver wires are spun ever thinner at an on-site plant, before getting fed into extraordinary machines that transform them into chains for our Venus Pearl collection.

 

Machine-Done

In a room filled with hundreds of machines tooled to within a fraction of a millimeter, metal coils are fed in—and intricately linked custom chains emerge by the thousands of feet per day.

 

Workers perfect the machine-made chains by hand, making sure each piece leaves the factory having been inspected by an artisan

The Final Result

These painstaking steps add up to a beautiful finished product: our new jewelry collections. Discover these and many more new, beautifully made pieces at store.metmuseum.org.

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