Turning gold into wire
In Perpignan gold is exclusively used for Garnet jewelry. Mined industrially near the village of Glorianes (Pyrénnées-Orientales) from the 1920s to the 1960s, Catalan gold has been used since time immemorial.
Processed and worked into fine sheets or wire of different thicknesses, gold is first passed through a manual or an electric machine to refine the metal.
In the nineteenth century Catalan jewellers were specialized in the profession of refined gold wire for example, Louis Quès, active in Prades between 1855 and 1889.
Apart from the creation of jewellery, refined gold wire was also used in production of gold embroidered and precious Church vestments.
Embossing and mounting of gold
The principle of embossing is to shape a sheet of gold into a hollow mount based on an original matrix. Jewellers do this by hand with various types of specialised tools.
On the other hand, gold wire is finely worked and flattened for mounting, and a groove is engraved into which the stone can be placed.
Each stone is contained by the mount which is solded together. The method of stamping by hand is widespread in the manufacture of claw mounts and in the constituent parts of the “badine” cross.