For the most part, jewelry construction is done using traditional techniques of hand fabrication and lost wax casting, which dates back to the ancient Egyptians using beeswax to cast small metal objects. A more recent and novel approach to jewelry making is precious metal clay (PMC). Precious metal clay contains a high concentration of fine gold and silver dust in a malleable binding material, which burns off when fired in a kiln. While in many ways not as efficient as lost wax, PMC lends itself to a variety of clay-like techniques, such as taking impressions or molds of natural objects.
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