The Mega Chain!
A gold chain this size, can’t just be bought from our chain supplier!
A gentleman wanted to replace a chain that he had previously lost, but he wanted to upgrade the link size to 15mm wide. He wanted solid gold links (not hollow) and a lobster style clasp to secure it. Louise actively maintains longstanding relationships with excellent UK based chain suppliers, but a chain of this size, can’t be bought off the shelf!
Hand making a chain from gold or platinum creates a far superior product, than a machine made chain.
Here is how this huge chain was created! – We used CAD (Computer Aided Design) to design the links and the end pieces, because the links are so big, we couldn’t buy pre-cast end pieces from our supplier. The blue wax version next to the tape measure, was our first idea, but our customer wanted a bigger link. We 3D printed some resin links and posted them to him so he could see how big they were and how they moved together. Louise wanted to double check that she had understood what he wanted, before anything was actually cast in solid gold.
So the purple wax was the finished link that we 3D printed from the final CAD file. This is what the links were actually cast from. We also designed the end pieces that attach to the lobster style clasp in CAD, and cast them in yellow gold as well.
Every pair of links is on a sprue for casting. The sprue is where to liquid gold flowed into the mould, creating the link. These are cut off with pliers and returned to the pot for melting again on the next casting job (unless the gold belongs to the customer and then it is returned).
You can see the biggest clasp ever! Louise was able to source this giant lobster in the UK, it measured 24mm long by 14mm wide. Our Mark absolutely loves hand making chain, so he meticulously assembles this chain from start to finish by hand.
Rough cast gold has a slight texture to it from the casting process, it looks similar to a fingerprint. Each link needed ‘cleaning up’ this is done by hand, using a file, and then different grades of very fine sandpaper. You can watch this in our videos below. You can see how beautifully shiny these links became. The chain spent some time in our tumbler – a machine that rotates and uses ball bearings to polish every nook and cranny!
The links are cast as closed links, this stops them flexing and warping out of shape during the casting process. This means that every other one needed to be cut by a fine jewellery saw, then a whole link clipped into it. Mark repeated this process until the chain was 24inches long! Then he soldered the cut links back together, forming the actual chain. The two bespoke chain ends were soldered into place, finally a handmade gold jump ring attached the lobster!
The chain was sent to Birmingham Assay Office for hallmarking, and was given a full UK hallmark, including the historic ‘rainbow’ mark which raised funds for the NHS during the Covid Pandemic. The last step was to gently buff this on the polishing wheel by hand, to ensure it had a perfect shine, before hand delivering this to the customers home!
A quick recap: Here is how The Mega Chain was hand assembled!
- Each link had to be cast as a closed link, to stop them flexing and deforming during casting.
- Then the rough cast links were filed and sandpapered smooth.
- Every other link was cut, the links clipped together, and then soldered closed.
- Each link was buffed and hand polished, ready for Birmingham Assay Office to hallmark it.
These links are 15mm wide, the chain is 24 inches long, the clasp is 28mm long by 14mm wide, the chain is solid 9ct yellow gold, and weighs over 200 grams.
We included a £1 coin in a photo for size reference!