Our 10-Step Design Process – A Look inside our Japanese atelier

Every piece we design begins as an idea sparked by an experience and requires the highest quality of craftsmen to bring it into existence. Our focus is handcrafted fine jewelry with lasting quality.

MILAMORE’s co-founder is Azusa Yamato. Azusa’s family are respected jewelry crafters in fine jewelry in Japan. They utilize the highest quality of ethically sourced stones and 18kt gold to bring MILAMORE and the sentiments we infuse into our designs, to you. Our ateliers are located in Tokyo and Yamanashi prefecture in the heart of Japan near the foothills of Mount Fuji, and have deep ties to Azusa’s family business. The first atelier opened its doors as a watchmaking shop in Tokyo’s Asakusa district during the 1920s and then evolved into a jewelry-making atelier after World War I.


OUR TEN STEP PROCESS

Our jewelry undergoes a sophisticated 10-step process, starting with a hand-sketch design, followed by a wax carving and casting, and finished with the hand-setting of gemstones. We source the highest quality materials, and our suppliers are vetted to meet the highest of ethical standards. Our diamonds are conflict-free and responsibly sourced and all of our gold is 18-karat recycled gold.
The production is very small batched and they produce each piece one by one. We are not mass produced, as we are a small business. Due to this, we do not use as much gold as other larger companies. By doing so, we support Japanese design, and heritage.

STEP #1: HAND-SKETCHED DESIGN 図

Where it all begins… Every piece designed begins as an idea sparked by an experience. Our Hanabi Collection was inspired by the fireworks festivals of Japan experienced by George Root, Milamore’s head designer, when he was a child.

George is always carrying around a sketchbook, just in case inspiration strikes. Every piece begins as a roughly drawn outline of an idea on a piece of sketch paper, and is transformed into a unique artistic piece of jewelry thanks to the collaboration between George and the Atelier


STEP #2: WAX CARVING ワックス 彫刻

Here we see a the wax carving process behind our Gemini Zodiac Charm. This process allows the craftsmen to perfect the shape of the design without worrying about wasting precious materials. After the wax carving is created, it is used to create a mold for casting (see step 3)


STEP #3: CASTING 鋳造

Once the wax mold from Step 2 is completed, the jewelry is ready to be cast. Metal is heated up to an extremely high temperature and poured into the molds. During the design process, the casting is done in silver, as to not waste gold while creating mockups and perfecting the design. Once the design is approved, the craftsmen will pour 18kt liquid gold into the mold to create the final product.

Pictured on the right side are some of the first mock-up silver castings for our Zodiac Charms


STEP #4: FILING バレル研磨

The fourth step of the design process is Filing. This step helps the craftsmen to smooth out the contours and corners, creating a perfectly handcrafted piece that has been perfected down to the last edge. It also helps remove excess metal and solder from the casting and welding process. Pieces that require soldering and welding may need this process repeated several times

Shown here is the filing process for our Cancer Zodiac Charm


STEP #5: WELD 溶接

Once the pieces have been cast and sanded, they are ready to be welded together. This is done by heating the pieces up to an extremely high heat until they are malleable, and then joining two pieces together. Once this step is complete, the piece may be sanded a second time to ensure that the edges are smooth.


STEP #6: STONE SETTING 石付け

After the piece has come together, it is time for the stones to be set. All of our stones are ethically sourced and conflict free! Learn more about the stones we use by visiting our values page.
Here we see the ‘Manifest’Diamond Braille ring getting it’s signature rose-cut diamonds set in. Our diamond braille rings are fully customizable, and can say anything up to 10 characters!


STEP #7: POLISH 研磨

A critical step in the crafting process! Polishing gives the gold and diamonds their signature shimmer that humans have been enamored with since the beginning of time.
Here we see our Victoria Diamond Ring being polished


STEP #8: ENGRAVING 刻印

MILAMORE Jewelry is all about the details. Whether it’s a custom engraving on a personalized piece of Diamond Braille jewelry, or just a small monogram on one of our findings, each piece of jewelry is engraved with custom and unique details to make it even more special .

Here we can see our monogram being laser engraved onto one of our signature watch clasps.

STEP #9: ASSEMBLY 成型

During this critical step, all of the findings come together to complete the piece of jewelry before it can be polished and perfected. MILAMORE prides ourselves in our attention to detail, and this includes our findings. You can see unique designs and inscriptions in our jump rings, clasps, chains, and engravings on the inside of some of our rings.

Here we see our Classic Duo Chain III being assembled with our signature watch clasp, and MILAMORE emblem piece on the center of the chain.


STEP #10: FINISH 仕上げ

After each piece is completed, it is inspected for quality and clarity. Once approved, it is ready to be worn and enjoyed.

Japanese Heritage is MILAMORE’s biggest source of inspiration. We strive for MILAMORE to be the platform which not just speaks for Japan’s quality, but expresses their detailed artistry. While we design in New York, our Japanese Atelier brings these concepts to life.
Honoring Japanese Heritage is a something we feel lucky to be able to do and is a contribution to Japanese Jewelry History. Thank you for being here with us to enjoy!

Xx,
MILAMORE Team

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