Metal choice - the thought process

This is a continuation of a concept in another thread but getting
off topic to I’ll do it here.

How do you determine what metal you are going to use?

Is it strictly an aesthetic choice? If so what factors influence
your decision?

If you have commercial considerations also, how do you balance those

As an example…you are presented with a 16mm Tahitian Pearl,
perfectly round, undrilled, beautiful peacock coloring. You have no
parameters other than to make a necklace.

What is your thought process?

look at all the different ways it can be made into a pendant, I look
at the cost vs. the price to sell it and what I think will look the
best in what type of mounting,that’s in style right now? gold or
silver? etc…bottom line what can I do with this pearl that will
me the most amount of money in the shortest time?If I cannot sell it
has no value to me…

I would take the pearl onto the bench and set it next to what ever
colored golds, platinum, steel, mill-printed silver, rubber, or any
other materials I had at the time. I would consider it’s fragility,
it’s cost, it’s best qualities, it’s downside. I would ask myself,
how can I best highlight this gems qualities and balance those
qualities with my craftsmanship.

Usually,with this kind of consideration some pretty cool ideas begin
to form and a particular metal will make itself known. I actually had
a 15mm steel-grey South sea pearl that I did this with, but it ended
up in a ring and not a pendant

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228