The Tale of a Magic Crystal and Andy Lifschutz’s Earrings
Have you ever heard of rose silver? Neither had we. And somehow, this glowy silver-copper alloy is not even the most interesting thing about the starburst-like earrings that the Brooklyn jeweler Andy Lifschutz made for Of a Kind. We’ll let him tell the origin story
The from-the-earth inspiration.
The Of a Kind earrings (at bottom) awaiting their finishing touches.
“I’m a rock hound and have been since I was five. In taking the stone around to different rock hounds—the response I would get was like, ‘Oh. My. God. I have never seen anything like that.’ It was compelling to share this crystal, to have it cast and show the beauty of nature through metal.”
“A lot of metal that is used by jewelers today is reclaimed. But the impact of refining metal—even if it is recycled—can be almost as bad as mining new metal unless you’re doing it in a way that’s green. One major supplier of green metals is United Metals, and they’re at the forefront. They have really good-quality alloys as well, like this rose silver.“
Playing with fire.
“The earrings are cast in Midtown Manhattan. They come back with what’s called a sprue, a metal piece that has to be cut off and sanded. Once it’s sanded down, I drill a little hole right in the back of the earring where the post will be soldered in place. You have to be really careful to have that centered. I take the post, put it into the hole, and place a piece of solder where I want the two pieces to join. With silver, it’s really important that you heat the whole piece up evenly. It’s a very specific thing, soldering—there’s that moment where you’re either going to melt it or it’s going to happen. It takes a lot of practice to get to that point.”