Goldsmithing Research Question from a Fiction Writer

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Scott, I would suppose that your character who hastily mad a
duplicate of your Idol a week ago had to do so quickly and quietly.
Should I want to duplicate a smallish figurine quickly I would be
tempted to make a mold of the original, however this would tend to
leave parting lines unless I was very careful, and haste would make
he necessary care difficult.

Thus your main character notices these subtile parting lines in the
fake. This way the material of the original and the fake can be the


Indeed, a copy cast from an original would have mold lines where the
mold, usually a synthetic silcone or similar, would have been cut
but, these lines can be removed with a file prior to finishing
making discovery difficult. Cire perdue (lost wax casting) goes way
back having been used in mezzo-American cultures in pre-Spanish
times so, the original might have been made the same way. Maybe nit
picking here, depends on how meticulous you need to be in your
writing. What is the origin of this idol?

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I would suggest that the artifact might have been scanned in 3d for
archival purposes by a museum, curator or conservator for insurance
carrier satisfaction. That scan, having been purloined or perhaps
freely downloaded from the internet, could be used to grow a model.
If that model were to be burned out and cast, a reproduction of very
near perfection could be produced. During a hasty finishing, some of
the “stair stepping” (very similar to the “pixilation” or “jaggies”
notable in computer graphics) could be left in the crevaces. This
stair stepping is unique to digitally produced models. This would be
evidence of very recent manufacture. Further evidence might be left
in all of the computers used in the transfer of the data leaving a
digital trail.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Benchjeweler, CAD/CAM Services