Sneak peek into the workshop…blue topaz earrings

topaz12November is Topaz month and so it seems like a great opportunity to share the making of a beautiful pair of blue topaz earrings.

The design might look familiar to some of you – the earrings are a special commission based on our Christmas Collection from 2014.

This special commission started with a drawing of the earrings being given as a wrapped gift – make1we did this so the lucky lady knew that her partner had planned something special for her, and also allowed her to have some input into the design process when it came time to make them.

She loved the design. After choosing the striking, bright blue topaz briolettes (this is the technical name for the way that these blue topaz have been cut), it was time to start the making process.

This style of earring is made at PIKE using a casting process – this means that a rubber mould is made of the very first hand made earring, so that repeats can be cast of the exact same dimension. This process allows us to make a pair of earrings that match, and saves valuable time.

The sterling silver casting is done by a specialist casting company in Adelaide, and once this was complete, Matthew set about cleaning up the castings. The cleaning up process requires patience and careful craftsmanship, as it involves a numbermake2 of filing steps (with metal files), and emery steps (specialised papers, similar to sandpaper) to remove any imperfections and to get a beautiful result.      make3The next step is carefully preparing the area where the stones are going to be set. In an earring like this,  all areas of the earring are visible, and so Matthew always takes the utmost care to make sure that every surface of the earring is perfect. make5This involves drilling out the setting area, and then carefully hand soldering in a fine sterling silver rod for the blue topaz to be attached on to.make7











A machine polish over the whole surface, and then stamping the earrings with the ‘PIKE’ and sterling silver ‘925’ hallmarks is next. make11







And then for the exciting part – attaching the amazing blue topaz! This is always a tricky process, because the small holes that are drilled in the blue topaz are cut by hand by a stone cutter and can differ in angle, size and depth. make13 make14

The small rods that Matthew makes to hold these stones on must be tight-fitting, but not tight enough to damage the stones as they are attached. Once the stones have been fitted, Matthew uses a two-part epoxy to provide a secondary security for the stones. make9Once the stones are secure, it’s time for Matthew to carefully bend the earring to create the hook shape.

make12A final hand polish with the jeweller’s hand drill with a soft cotton mop and some polishing dialux, and the stunning blue topaz earrings are finished.




These classic PIKE drop earrings are very simple and classic in design, and I think this look at the hand making process shows that even the simplest designs involve many processes, and much experience to get a beautiful result.

We’d love to show you some of the earrings we have at the studio, or let us know if you would like to have something custom made. Call us on 08 8338 3109, or drop us an email at

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