Posts tagged recycled metals
Reuse & Recycle: the Way of John Paul Design

Having grown up in the Midwest in an auctioneering family, John Paul was raised on buying things used and giving well-made items a second chance to be useful. The attitude of reusing & repurposing things has been in his blood ever since. Be it rummage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, auctions, craigslist or antique stores, he buys absolutely as much as possible, used. Nearly all of his large equipment and tooling is 50-100 years old. Some of his favorite tools include an anvil from Sweden and a fly press from the turn of the 19th century. Most of his smaller hand tools are from the 1940's-70's. He finds great pleasure in rescuing old tools and working them in to his day-to-day operations.

Metals: John Paul Designs strives to use recycled metals whenever possible or applicable. All of the gold we use is 100% post consumer recycled from Hoover and Strong. We also spend time dismantling old jewelry, removing gems, separating the karats and colors and re-using clients' gold and platinum to create new works of art with their "recycled" gemstones and heirloom diamonds.

Diamonds: All of the diamonds used to create the John Paul Signature line as well as our custom designed work utilize conflict-free diamonds. John Paul Designs fully supports the Kimberley process, which is an International process used to track and certify diamonds. In April 2003, congress and President Bush passed a law adopting the Kimberley Process - a certification scheme that requires all US diamond retailers to buy diamonds from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that the merchandise was obtained through legitimate channels. Today, the US Customs Service actively enforces the Kimberley Process requirements as diamonds enter American ports. The Kimberley Process is by no means perfect, though we stand behind it while it becomes more standardized.

Displays: Nearly all of the cases & displays at our gallery are old artifacts and objects of interest that John Paul found while "making his rounds" as he likes to call it, antiquing and junking. Over the years, this has led to a fair amount of people who bring things they see that remind them of JPD's displays. Occasionally, some people find his displays more interesting that the jewelry! Egad!

Packaging: We strive to use as many American made items as absolutely possible. From our hand stamped Kraft bags, to the light bulbs in our fixtures, we are relentless in pursuing the origin of an object and doing our best to support local makers & USA manufacturers.

Belief: A friend of his once said, "I want everything in my house to be beautiful, so no matter where you look or what you touch, you see or handle something beautiful." John Paul identified with that wish, and felt at ease knowing that he wasn't alone. This deeply held belief continues to inform every piece that he designs and creates.

Metals: Gold & Platinum

from John Paul's bench:

I tend to work in a variety of metals not always found in traditional jewelry stores. The most popular metals I work with include: Platinum, Palladium, Gold (all colors and karats), Silver (Pure Silver, Sterling Silver, Palladium Sterling & Platinum Sterling), Iron, Stainless Damascus Steel, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel & Copper to name more than a few.

An often misunderstood metal is Gold. In its purest 24k form, Gold is fairly soft with a rich, burning, yellow orange hue. To create other colors and karats of Gold, other metals are blended with pure gold to create an alloy. Metals are alloyed to change their color, or change their hardness, or both. For this reason, 10K Gold is harder than 18K Gold as it has less Gold in the mix and more alloy metals such as Copper, Zinc, Silver, etc. When designing rings, I take into consideration the density and durability of the material I am using, so that you can rest assured that ring will most likely last you a lifetime. 

Platinum: Platinum is one amazing metal. It is often the most misunderstood even in the jewelry trade. It is rare and heavy. And the part that is most often misunderstood is its durability. Most often, instead of the word durable, the word hard is used. Platinum is not hard. Platinum is soft. But before you decide you don't want a soft metal for a ring, hear this. Platinum will outlast any other material by over ten times. The reason being is this: when you scratch your gold wedding ring while working on your bike, the small divot created by the scratch removes a tiny amount of metal. Platinum on the other hand, when scratched, is merely dented or smudged like a fingernail scraped across soft clay. No metal is removed. And not only is no metal removed, the metal that was "parted" if you will, was compacted. We refer to this as work hardening. On a very small level, that tiny scratch on your Platinum ring compacted the molecules of the metal and this in turn makes the metal harder. So over time a well-worn Platinum ring is harder than the day you received it. Another side of that coin is that platinum is not for the shiny crowd. If you like a shiny, polished ring, platinum probably isn't your metal. I think of platinum like a leather belt or jacket. It just gets more beautiful with age. This is one reason that my textures look beautiful in platinum: the texture "conceals" the bumps and dings better.