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How do your make your jewelry, Katy Beh? (part 1)

I am inspired by color!

Rainbow color of gemstones Katy Beh Handmade Jewelry

  • My jewelry design process is pretty fun. I begin making my one of a kind pieces by selecting an unexpected match of colorful gemstones.
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    Colorful Gemstones 22k Gold Katy Beh Jewelry

    • Sometimes, pairs and combos are left to ponder upon for days, even months. When I feel the zing of the Ah-ha moment, I know I have - what I call - a match.

      Michele Bracelet 22k Gold Aquamarine Fluorite Opal Katy Beh Fine Jewelry

      I played with the gemstones in my Michele Bracelet for weeks until the perfect trio of color, texture and shape came together.

      New Katy Beh Jewelry New Orleans

      • I use only 22 karat yellow gold in making my jewelry. I alloy the gold myself in my studio.
      • I purchase 24k gold by the ounce or two from a refiner on New York's 47th Street. It looks like shot or Pop Rocks.

        Pure 24k Gold Classical Goldsmithing Katy Beh

        • The "fine" or pure gold (0.9999) shot is then heated to its melting point of 1947.52 °F with my largest acetylene torch. I do this on a dense charcoal block where I have carved out a small bowl.

        22k Gold Recipe Katy Beh Custom Fine Jewelry

        • Exact proportions of fine silver and copper are then added to the molten pure gold, creating an alloy suitable for making jewelry. 

        • The final ratio is 22 parts pure gold to 2 parts fine silver and copper.
        • Or 91.7% pure gold.

          The tradition of using 22k yellow gold, and the methods I use to make my jewelry are centuries old.

          • After the gold, silver, and copper are blended an alloy of 22k gold is formed.The alloy is cooled and formed into an ingot or dollop.
          22k Gold Ingot Goldsmith Katy Beh New Orleans Jewelry

            22k yellow gold is distinguished by its rich color and develops a beautiful luster when worn.

            • The same classical goldsmithing methods I employ have been used for 5000 years. It is very labor intensive and exacting, demanding patience and discipline.
            • I worked with master goldsmiths at the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York to learn this nearly lost craft.
            Katy Beh Jewelry Classical Goldsmithing
              One ounce 22k yellow gold goldsmith alloy Katy Beh

                  My next blog will tell you what happens next!

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