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Enamel Jewellery – A Guide

What is Enamel Jewellery?

Enamel is coloured glass, which is combined with 925 sterling silver or gold to create decorative pieces of enamelled jewellery. It is a way of adding colour to jewellery.

One of the most famous examples of enamel jewellery are Fabergé eggs! We at Jewellery of Scotland haven’t branched out to selling them (yet!) but what we do have is a range of enamel jewellery from Ortak.

Click here to view our full range of enamel jewellery from Ortak, the Orkney artisan jewellers!

How is Enamel Jewellery made?

They say a video paints a thousand pictures, so have a look at the video below: this is a 4 minute video by The Victoria and Albert museum in London, where they show in beautiful detail how to make hot enamel jewellery.

If you don't want to watch, here is the process, which is deceptively simple.

  1. The coloured glass is ground to a fine powder
  2. The powdered glass is then laid onto a 925 sterling silver or gold surface - you can use both opaque or transparent enamel, depending on how you want the metal to affect the glass
  3. The design is then fired in a kiln at a great heat (~800 Celsius) to make it melt and fuse.
  4. This process is repeated several times.
  5. Finally, the jewellery is polished and ready to wear!

What are the benefits of enamel jewellery?

The fantastic thing about enamel jewellery is the sheer range of colours available. These colours are due to different metallic salts present as chemicals in the glass, for example cobalt results in blue, iron oxide produces green etc.

Any piece of enamel jewellery you see on our site can be made in all the different colours available. See the Ortak enamel chart below for an example of the colours available in the "Elementally Ortak" range.

Taking care of enamel jewellery

Despite these pieces being high quality handmade jewellery, you have to remember that enamel jewellery has glass in it after all. This means that it is more delicate than pure metal pieces. The enamel can be chipped or broken if treated roughly.

Click here to view our full range of enamel jewellery!

When you order any piece, just e-mail us via our contact page to tell us what type of enamel you want, quoting the name of the design as shown in the Ortak chart above. Your piece will be handmade on order – what an honour hey?!