Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Buy a 3D Print of That Missing Heirloom Family Jewelry

American Pearl, a jewelry company based in New York City, now offers a service where it will recreate jewelry based on photographs.  You send a photograph, it will create a 3D digital model.  If you want, you can then order the piece of jewelry.  American Pearl will create a mold based on the model, then cast your jewelry.  An article on Yahoo! says that the photo doesn't even have to be very high resolution, though I am sure the better the resolution and the clearer the image, the better the match to the jewelry in the photo.

What a great way to make a connection with your family history!  If you have photographs or paintings showing relatives wearing pieces of jewelry, and the jewelry is no longer in the family (or at least not in your branch), you can now have those replicated and wear them.  You can create new heirlooms to pass down through the family.

Some of the caveats:  American Pearl will not give/share/sell you the digital model.  If you decide to have the jewelry made, American Pearl will then make that item available through its regular sales channels.  If you want your item to remain exclusive, you will have to pay a significant fee.

When I first heard about the advent of 3D printing, I never imagined a use for it like this.  I'm going to send a photo of an earring that belonged to my great-grandmother.  I used to have the pair, until someone stole the second earring and a necklace my great-grandmother had made (from her engagement ring!) to give to me on my 16th birthday.  But I've never let go of the remaining earring because of its connection to my great-grandmother.

My thanks to my friend Dorothy from my local costuming group for posting about this!

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