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Unlocking the Magic of Raw Materials A Journey to Jewelry Design

Written by 6:51 am Jewelry Design

Unlocking the Magic of Raw Materials | A Journey to Jewelry Design

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Explore the captivating world of jewelry design, where raw materials for making jewelry are used in a creative and extraordinary way to create eye-catching jewelry. Every bit of this creation is given life by vision and skill, whether it be shining jewels or dazzling metals. Experience and explore the fascinating process of creating beauty from raw materials in the field of jewelry design.

In this article, we will explore the different raw materials for making jewelry, the best jewelry materials, eco-friendly jewelry materials, and more. So, if you are eager and excited about this industry and wants to learn more about the making and materials that make a beautiful and luxurious jewelry piece continue reading.

Table of Contents

Significance of Raw Materials in Creating Unique Jewelry

When designing one-of-a-kind jewelry, raw material is very crucial. It is the element that will decide the character, quality, and originality of the jewelry.

If there are enough raw materials like metals, jewels, pearls, and other organic elements, jewelry designers can experiment with these materials to create some breathtaking jewelry pieces. As each material has a unique color, texture, and properties designers can leverage it to create something amazing.

Jewelry design is improved drastically due to the way that the raw materials are handled, processed, and transformed through specific techniques. Competence in various techniques like stone setting, engraving, and metalsmithing can bring out the real beauty of the raw materials.

In various materials like gold, silver, and gemstones, there are found symbolic, spiritual, and cultural implications in several societies. Due to this, using these materials helps the jewelry designers to add personal meaning to every piece that the wearer wears and also shows the intricate culture.

Due to the rise in the use of recycled precious metals or ethical mining of gemstones, responsible sourcing in this industry can be seen. These principles of eco-friendly jewelry, may attract customers looking for a similar interest in their designs.

Jewelry designers can extend the limits of their profession and create innovative jewelry that connects and draws audiences by discovering unique raw materials or fusing diverse materials in an artistic manner.

Raw Materials for Making Jewelry

You cannot overstate importance of raw materials in jewelry design. Using the correct raw materials is very important to know the character, quality, and identity of every piece. Jewelry designer may show their vision and develop extraordinary, unique ornaments using basic components, that vary from the fundamental characteristics of the materials to the cultural and symbolic values they bring with them.
Here are the materials used to create an eye-catching jewelry piece:
  • Metals
  • Gemstones
  • Organic Materials
  • Synthetics


Gold: Gold has always been one of the most demanded and precious materials of all time. A beautiful crimson, yellow precious stone which values in katats (k). It compares to Silver which was used to make coins, jewelry, and money in ancient times. About 50% of Gold globally is used in jewelry, 40% is invested, and 10 is used for study.

Hardness of the Material:  The pure Gold of 24 karats, which is soft and has a hardness rate of 2.5 to 3 is rare to be found. To create a tougher layer Gold is alloyed with Copper, Silver, Nickle, or Zinc for the jewelry trade. The most common types of Gold jewelry are 14k, 16k, 18k, and 21k Gold.



One of the finest forms of metal used for jewelry

Expensive compared to silver

Gold is repellent to acid

Gold jewelry can be scratched when worn every day

Compared to Silver, Gold is less allergic

For metal aversion, Nickel might not be ideal

Silver: It is a most wanted and affordable metal. It is a type of precious metal and is called one of the most ancient metals. In addition to being used for chemistry in history, the main purpose was to produce jewelry and other everyday items which still continues. Silver goes well for jewelry, belt buckles, bracelets, and chockers.
Hardness of the Material: Pure Silver has a softness of 2.5 to 3 on the Mohs hardness scale, therefore, it is alloyed with copper.



Silver is highly reflective

It can get scratched when worn every day

Silver is affordable compared to gold

Sterling Silver jewelry tends to darken

It has good antibacterial values and is therefore used in making cutlery

It is nonrepellent to acids

It is durable and has a longer lifetime


Platinum: It is a type of metal that is widely used for occasions like weddings and engagements. It is a white silver, thick, and flexible value metal. It is compared to luxury because it is one of the rarest metals which explains the hype for Platinum disc or Platinum credit card.

Hardness of the Material: On the Mohs hardness scale, Platinum is rated to be 4 to 4.5 and therefore less flexible than Gold. Due to its hardness, it is often fused with other metals to decrease its flexibility. The most common metals to be fused with Platinum are Palladium, Rhodium, Copper, and Titanium.



It is rare and stronger than gold

Platinum jewelry is heavier than gold jewelry

It does not darken and is very durable

It is more costly than pure gold and white gold

It is white and does not fade to yellow


Titanium: It is not really that popular when it comes to jewelry making. Titanium is mostly used for making watch materials and wedding bands. It is a shiny and strong metal with a silver color. It was first founded in 1791 and was named after Titans and Greek folklore.

Hardness of the Material:  On the Mohs hardness scale it is rated around 6 and has the strongest weight of all other metals globally. It is sold as 24k pure gold when titanium and gold are fused together.  It has a hardness of 14k and is more durable than 24k gold.



It is purely non-allergic

It is not easy to resize

It is scrape-resistant, light, and easy to color

It is very rare

It is repellent to erosion



Diamonds: One of the most wanted gemstones in the field
of jewelry. It is known for its durability, brilliance, and never-ending
demand. It is prized according to its hardness and symbolic significance which
makes it more attractive for rings and luxury jewelry.

Hardness of the Material: It is rated around
10 on the muhs hardness scale. This hardness makes it less flexible.



brilliance and it sparkles


durability and hardness

Will always
have copies

It is a symbol
of love and luxury

concerns in mining

Sapphires: Sapphires are known for their durability and beauty they are highly valued. There are various colors that these stones come in blue being the most valued. The rarity of sapphires and their hardness and cultural significance make it one of the most desirable stones.

Hardness of the Material: On the Muhs scale of
hardness it is rated one of the hardest gemstones with a rating of 9 which is
just below diamond.



Vibrant color


in culture

concerns in mining

High level of


Ruby: Rubies are another expensive gemstone. They are known for their pinkish or blood-red color and exceptional beauty. They are also valued for their symbolic significance. They are a symbol of love, passion, and luxury.

Hardness of the Material: As per the Muhs hardness scale it is rated to be around 9 in hardness which makes it one of the hardest gemstones second to diamond.



creativity can be done in designs

designer jewelry

rich culture and legacy

Not always
available as a designer piece


concerns in mining

Emerald: This is an expensive gemstone, which is famous for its green color and attractive beauty. Their value is expensive as they are vibrant in color, very rare, and have significance in culture. They are desirable in the global jewelry market.

Hardness of the Material:
Emeralds are gemstones with high hardness levels. It is rated around 7.5 to 8 on
the Muhs hardness scale. It is important to be careful when handling the stone.



Emeralds are vibrant gemstones

There is a limited availability

It symbolizes luxury and culture

Can raise ethical concerns

It has a historic significance


Organic Materials

Pearls: Pearls are one of the most elegant materials used in jewelry. They are soft and can be worked with gem drills etc. A pearl is formed in an oyster and is the same color as the inside of an oyster. It is one of the most beautiful organic materials used in jewelry.

Hardness of the Material:  It is rated around 2.5 – 4.5 according to the Muhs
hardness scale. It is moderately soft compared to others.



They are organic and are high-quality materials

Natural pearls are too expensive

Pearls can be colored or modified

They can be damaged easily as they are soft

They are soft enabling you to work them with pearl drills

They lose their luster if contact with acids or chlorine.

Seashells: These are one of the oldest forms of jewelry. Over the years, according to the fashion trend the demand for shells has come and gone. In the 1800s they were used in rings, earrings, and brooches. Popular shells used in jewelry are Mother-of-Pearl, Cowrie, and Paua to name a few.

Hardness of the Material: It is rated around 3
on the Muhs hardness scale. Due to their different forms and shape, they might vary
in hardness and roughness.



Due to its soft texture, they can be cut and sculptured easily

Expensive designer jewelry

They have been in trend since2018

Limited in availability

They can be polished and threaded

Ethical concerns in production

Seeds & Nuts: This type of jewelry is mostly used for religious purposes. They are used all over the world to decorate individuals according to their culture and tradition. Seeds and nuts are the most popular for making drips or jewelry.



They are available everywhere in the world

They are very delicate

Easy to polish or drill

Can be broken very easily

They are weightless

They are not water prof

Wood: For more than a century jewelry made up of wood has been in demand. Their demand in the jewelry industry has increased due to its eco-friendly significance. Jewelry of wood can be created with any type of wood.



It is easy to sculpt, shape, and polish

Not water resistant

It is weightless making it a good choice for necklace

Can easily be broken

Making cost is not expensive

Natural color might fade away


Lab-Created Diamonds: Diamonds produced in labs are called lab-created diamonds or synthetic diamonds. They are created through technology but are chemically and physically the same as the natural diamond. They can be produced fast unlike natural diamonds which take time to be created.

Hardness of the Material: They are as hard as
natural diamonds and as durable as them.



Comparatively less expensive the natural diamonds

Not as valuable as natural diamonds

Same quality and clarity

Not a natural rarity

Eco-friendly production


Glass: Glass jewelry is made with heated glass on an extreme level to make it easily mouldable. There are various forms of glass used in jewelry like Lampwork or Murano. If the glass is cold glass, it can be easily engraved, polished, or drilled. One of the very first glass jewelry made popular was the Venetian type of glass bead jewelry.

Hardness of Material:  Generally, the hardness according to the Muhs
hardness scale is around 5.5 making it relatively softer than gemstones.



They can be moulded into different shapes

They are very fragile and can be broken easily

Available in various colors

They can be heavy

Glass droplets are handier and cheaply produced compared to crystals

Due to the hardness of glass, cold working tools are to be made out of synthetic diamond fibers making them expensive

Acrylic, Resin, and Plastic: These materials are often used for casual outfits or for everyday use. For a fresher in the jewelry business acrylic beads can be a good option to start with as they are not that expensive. To be put into form, the resin is poured into the dirt. They are flexible and need effects to be added.



They are weightless

Can be easily broken or scratched

In resin, details can be added making it explorative

Not as good as glass

They are durable and flexible

Melts if exposed to honey

Clay: A type of jewelry made with hands and popular globally is clay jewelry. They can be easily shaped and molded into different designs. They can be easily personalized using colors and adding different textures.

Hardness of the Material: They are softer
compared to other materials.



They are non-allergic so can be used as bands

Not durable as metals

They are light in weight

Require delicate handling

Durable and resistant to scratches

Has a limit for detailed designing

Ceramic: They are a type of handmade jewelry renowned worldwide. They can be made in soil to maintain the same shape over and over. It is made from broken pieces of China, making it to trend globally. Cutting shapes from chinaware can help in making this.

Hardness of the Material: They are softer compared to other
materials like gemstones.



They are non-allergic so can be used as bands

Not durable as metals

They are light in weight

Require delicate handling

Durable and resistant to scrape


Polymer Clay: To bring out a look in jewelry in a 3D form polymer clay is used. They are affordable and can be made in various colors as per the need. They are found all around the world and are not really expensive, therefore, can be used by freshmen.

Hardness of the Material: On the Mohs hardness
scale it rates around 2 to 3.



They can be molded easily making them versatile

They are soft and therefore have less durability

They are affordable

They are fragile and crack easily

They can be easily customized


Take Your Jewelry Passion to the Next Level

 If you are passionate about this industry, start your jewelry career today. AAFT Online’s Diploma in Jewelry Design is a program that is built for individuals passionate about this industry. You will be learning some of the most crucial topics of the jewelry industry from foundation to market analysis to sketch making and more. The curriculum is designed by industry experts making it up-to-date with the current market. Start your jewelry designer career today and build a lucrative career in this booming industry.


To conclude, we have gone through all the important materials that are used in the jewelry industry. These materials have their fair share of pros and cons as discussed in this article. It is very important for every jewelry designer to know about their niche of materials and work towards building an eye-catching piece of jewelry. If you are interested and want to start a career in this competitive industry the knowledge shared in this article is something that will help you for life as a jewelry designer.  

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