The lost-wax casting process, although not an invention of the Hellenistic period, nevertheless played an important role in the metal and glass industries of that time. If you had lived in the period and wished to cast a gold, bronze or silver bracelet, you would follow six steps, numbered in these drawings:
(1) Make a model of the bracelet in beeswax, either by hand, or by forming the model in a mold carved from stone. The model should have an extension of wax, the sprue, that will allow access to and from the clay mold that is made from this model in the next step. (2) Completely surround the wax model with clay, except at the end of the sprue. (3) Heat the clay until the wax melts and flows out through the sprue, leaving behind the empty mold. (4) Pour molten metal into the mold. (5) When the metal has cooled and hardened, break the mold. (6) Cut off the sprue to obtain the finished cast product.
The lost-wax process was the only means in antiquity by which non-ferrous metals could be cast, because the molten metal would destroy a stone mold. Stone molds were used to make wax models from which a metal cast could be made by using the lost-wax process.