Solid Perfume › Forums › General Lauder Solids Talk › Base Metal › Re: Base Metal
I did not get as much time with my father as I would have liked regarding looking at my solids and letting me know how they were made… but this is what I got.
In general they look to be a nickel cast with some gold plated. The solids are very well made and the molds for these are very complex (mostly on the items that have a lot of detail and more than one finish) The solid is hung out to dry and sometimes you can see the hanger marks (Dad did not have his glasses to find the marks for me).
Vegas sign – the flow white acrylic background flow acrylic red and blude sign pole were probably injected by hand and the mold made in two pieces. With this mold the way the back was made (the pole being the brace for the sign) it would have been hard to color the back but they could have molded letters into in. Again it is really thin because the back is where the solid is held. The solution would have been to put the perfume in the base and finish the sign on both sides (as many of you had stated) But with the design they picked it was not possible.
The showgirl is made in three pieces- The body of the girl, the top half of the chips and the bottom half with the solid. This is eletrolplated in the gold the girl is mounted on the chips possilby by soder (hope I spelled this right) my spell check is not worknig and my kids are running all over right now!!
On to the slot machine – This was the most complex piece in my collection – (my collection is pretty limited right now) this appears to be a mold of dye cast nickel plated with the gold injected or melted into the mold first for the money , the arm is plastic and electroplated or covered in nickel. with the blue ball being added later. It appears the plastic sides of the slot machine are turning brown becasue of the fumes put off from the perfume.
– Some types of plastics can change color or texture due to fumes. I asked why then the fruits had not changed as they appear to be plastic ( I do not have this in my collection) He said they may have used a different type of plastic. The moving wheel on the front had to be hand applied and inserted with a pin, also plated in the gold and then the numbers, stars and lemons hand injected along with the tiny crystals applied.
Strongwater bird – this mold was probably nickel plated with electroplating over the top with a gold – and hand injected leaves and flowers.
All in all he said a lot of work went into these little molds – It is one thing to design them and another to actually mold them out of metal – every nook of the mold must be smooth and every detail must be finished before they can even pour them – The molds with a lot of detail are very very time consuming and he does not think a machine could just pop these out, some of them have to be hand polished.
My father feels any of the solids that have moving parts should be worth more down the road because so much more work went into them. Again that is his thought as he is looking at it from the making of the mold.
Lisa, I realize this did not really answer your questions as to what % is gold and got off the path a little but I thought it was interesting anyway.
My father is not an expert on Estee Lauder or solids of any type- He has worked with molds for over 40 years within the medical and aerospace industry.