Carving waxes, machinable waxes and many other kinds of wax used by
jewelers include a substantial proportion of paraffin wax in their
makeup. The formulations are many, are proprietary to each maker and
they rely on the quality of each component of the mix.
High quality paraffin wax is getting quite expensive, so there is a
temptation for jewelry wax compounders to use lower cost versions of
paraffin wax. Commonly, the price is very dependent on the oil
content. Here is a typical Chinese paraffin wax supplier’s product
As you can see, the oil content varies from under 0.5% up to 10%
and this affects (a) the compounding techniques and proportions
required, along with (b) the long term stability of the compounded
wax properties. Low oil content paraffin wax is the most stable, also
the most expensive.
The high oil content is volatile. Time and storage temperature will
take their toll on the properties, as the oil migrates through the
wax and dissipates to atmosphere. Ya get what ya pay for…