How to Estimate the Cost of Your Wax Jewelry
If you're curious about how much your custom wax jewelry will cost when cast in gold or silver, you're in the right place! Estimating the cost of your wax model can be straightforward once you know the steps. Here's a simple guide to help you calculate the cost using the current market prices for casting grain from Rio Grande, with a few adjustments I make for my business.
Step 1: Weigh Your Wax Model
First, weigh your wax model in grams. This is the base weight you'll need to estimate the final metal cost. Don’t forget to add an extra 8%10% to account for the sprue—a small piece of metal that will be left after casting.
Step 2: Convert Wax Weight to Metal Weight
Jewelry wax weighs significantly less than metal, so you'll need to convert the weight of your wax to either DWT (pennyweights) for gold or OZT (troy ounces) for silver. Use the following formulas:

For 10k Gold: Multiply your wax weight (in grams) by 13.07 to get the weight in grams for gold, then divide by 1.555 to convert it into DWT.
Formula:
$\text{Gold weight (DWT)} = \left( \text{Wax weight (g)} \times 13.07 \right) \div 1.555$ 
For Sterling Silver: Multiply your wax weight (in grams) by 10.4 to get the weight in grams for silver, then divide by 31.1035 to convert it into OZT.
Formula:
$\text{Silver weight (OZT)} = \left( \text{Wax weight (g)} \times 10.4 \right) \div 31.1035$
Tip: For ease, you can use tools like ChatGPT to help with these conversions—just provide your wax weight in grams, and it will calculate the metal weights for you.
Step 3: Look Up Metal Prices on Rio Grande
Once you have the metal weight, visit the Rio Grande website to find the current prices for casting grain. Here's the breakdown of how I apply my markups:
 Gold: I add a 20% markup to the casting grain price listed on Rio Grande.
 Silver: I apply a 25% markup to the listed silver casting grain price.
Step 4: Calculate the Total Metal Cost
Now, you can estimate the total cost of your metal using the weight and Rio Grande's prices. For example, if you have 10 DWT of 10k gold, and Rio Grande’s price is $72.06 per DWT, you would calculate it like this:

For gold:
$\text{Total cost} = \left( \text{Weight (DWT)} \times \text{Rio Grande price per DWT} \right) \times 1.20$ 
For silver:
$\text{Total cost} = \left( \text{Weight (OZT)} \times \text{Rio Grande price per OZT} \right) \times 1.25$
Example:
Let’s say you have a wax model weighing 2 grams:
 For 10k gold, the converted weight would be approximately 16.81 DWT.
 Using Rio Grande’s price of $72.06 per DWT, the raw cost is $1,211.93. With the 20% markup, the final cost would be $1,454.32.
For sterling silver, the same wax model would convert to approximately 0.72 OZT. Using Rio Grande’s price of $37.47 per OZT, and applying the 25% markup, the total cost would be about $33.77.
Step 5: DoubleCheck Your Estimate
If you want to ensure accuracy or get a quick estimate, feel free to ask for help! Tools like ChatGPT can handle these calculations for you in just a few seconds. Simply provide the wax weight, and you'll receive the final weights and costs for both gold and silver.
Why I Don’t Estimate the Cost of Your Jewelry
I highly encourage you to take the time to estimate the cost of your jewelry pieces before proceeding with casting. This ensures you understand exactly what metals you're selecting and the price associated with them.
I don’t offer cost estimates for individual pieces because it’s a timeconsuming process that depends heavily on the current market prices for metals and the exact specifications of your design. I can give the pricing for that day, however, I can not estimate each item with individual metal costs because depending on the number of items you have, this can take hours of work without any guarantee of the items being cast.
It’s important that you have full control over your design and material choices. Knowing these details upfront can save you both time and money, ensuring you make informed decisions about your jewelry. Plus, it allows you to choose the metal that best fits your budget and aesthetic preferences.
By following the steps above, you'll be empowered to accurately estimate the costs on your own.