What is granulation?

What is granulation? - Dainty London

We use a wide range of techniques to handcraft the pieces that quickly become treasured parts of your jewellery collection. Granulation is one of the methods we use to create a signature look in our countryside inspired collection Grain, and its effect certainly catches the eye.

The technique used to craft our Grain pieces is just as classic and intricate as its look. Here we take a closer look at the granulation method and the pieces it makes possible.

Granulation – history in the making

Despite its quirky, distinctive look, granulation is actually a rather ancient technique. We’ll let Britannica share a little more about the long history of granulation:

“First used as early as the 3rd millennium BC, it was known in western Asia and Egypt. The technique as practiced by the ancient Greeks, especially immediately following the Mycenaean Age, achieved an amazing fineness and could produce a texture of great richness. By the 5th century BC, granulation had been largely replaced by filigree in Greek work. The art of granulation probably reached its peak with the Etruscans between the 7th and 6th centuries BC…”

The art of granulation has travelled far and wide throughout the ages, with its tiny spheres, or ‘granules’, of precious metal revered by the highest in society. 

The granulation used in Etruria – a region in Central Italy that now covers Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria – is regarded as the most iconic. The methods used by their craftsmen are still shrouded in mystery even to this day.

The beauty and complexity of granulated jewellery pieces are well-loved and highly prized in the present day too.

The science behind the iconic look

There are some granulation techniques that can be used, namely hard soldering, fusing, and colloidal or eutectic soldering, each of which is as elaborate as the last. Not all metals are however suitable for granulation, with alloys and gold below 18 carats incompatible with granulation.

We granulate recycled sterling silver and 18 carat gold vermeil to create the iconic looks found across our Grain bangles, rings, necklaces and earrings. Using granulation, oats, quinoa and poppy seeds are cast in these metals to create those beautifully unique granules.

Introducing the Grain collection…

The detail and delicate texture created through granulation ensures a beautiful, unique and almost experimental look. Granulated metal works well with gemstones (like quartz, amethyst, sapphire and topaz) and all on its own, and this certainly shows in our Grain collection.

Earthy, organic and utterly charming, the Grain collection is made to be different. Its intricate and eye-catching designs provide timeless jewellery looks that are perfect for everyday and occasion wear. Some of our more delicate granulated rings, such as our Venus, Oceane, Sirene and Viviane can be stacked to add yet more drama.

We also use granulation in our Cornish Coastal collection, which features jewellery pieces inspired by beautiful beaches, rugged coastlines, local folklore and of course the odd mermaid sighting! Our Hiral Ocean Earrings – available in recycled sterling silver and gold – bring together the best of both land and sea.

Explore our Grain collection and witness granulation at its most beautiful right here.

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