Sunday, February 23, 2014

Inside peek into the Jewellery centre of Mexico

During our visit to Guadalajara, we were invited to a jewellery factory. As you can imagine this is not a place with logos or even a name on the door for obvious security reasons. The door itself is some 5cm thick steel… and if you think you can break through it, then you'll find another 3 steel doors behind it that are even harder to get through. On the outside it looks like any other warehouse, on the inside it's high tech and security is taken very seriously! The jewellery business is a hard one. Especially the designs which get stolen frequently. So, you can imagine that under normal circumstances no-one is allowed in here. Yet we could… and with a camera! Karina organised it… who else could get this done?

Before we were allowed in at all we had to get security clearance, which Karina somehow managed to get! Do not ask me how. Quite frankly I had no idea what to expect as I had never seen a jewellery factory on the outside, let alone from the inside. The factory we were allowed to see and photograph has only just been opened. Some areas had not even been properly set up yet!

The designs are all hand made drawings. Life scale models are made from these drawings in blue wax. As you can imagine the detail is incredible and the men and women making the rings must have very stable hands indeed. No room for Tequila here! The moulds are made by scribing in them with heated tools. After the moulds have been thoroughly checked they are mounted on a frame and chemically hardened. The hardened moulds are then used to make a female mould into which the silver or gold can be poured.

Even though the casting is mainly automated, each casted ring still has to be finished by hand. The polishing and cleaning up is also hand work and very time consuming. The setting of each stone is done by hand as well and more complicated designs simply cannot be cast and are all handwork. The amount of time and skill that goes into each ring is enormous. The people in the photo may not look like it but they are all craftsmen and women. The attention to detail is superb and like I said earlier they have very stable hands. 

Some of the drawings are transferred into a CadCam system. These can be transferred to a laser cutter which cuts the design with a very high precision. As a result of all these investments in high tech machinery and craftspeople, These people make incredible jewellery. This page is just a small example of the beautiful things they make.
Joyas will not give you their factory address, but they can be found at