Considering Custom Jewelry? Some Points to Ponder
It happens to everyone. They spy a piece of jewelry they really love, “except.” Except the stones are wrong or there aren’t enough or the design needs just a very minor adjustment. Sometimes it’s a much bigger “except:” the right spirit, except the design is not at all right.
In a world full of “excepts,” custom jewelry can help you craft the ideal statement, whether you’re in the market for an engagement ring, a gift for someone you really love or just the perfect complement to your own wardrobe.
Crafting Custom Jewelry: A Primer
Jewelry making has come a long way with the help of 3D printing and other modern smithing techniques, but the basic process is still much the same it’s always been.
It all starts with a dream. Using your ideas as a guide, a digital model can be created that will show what the piece will ultimately look like. Changes on the screen are a lot easier than changes to a model that’s already been cast, so you’re also eliminating waste and saving time by working in 3D design software.
Once your tweaks have been completed, the model is printed, cast and the stones set. It couldn’t be easier unless a jeweler could literally think your perfect jewelry into being! It can still take many weeks – even months – to complete custom jewelry, owing to the collaborative nature of the process, but when it’s done, you’ll have something wow-worthy!
Getting Ready for Your Custom Jewelry
Although the process itself is fairly straightforward, there are a lot of things that go wrong with custom jewelry. Since the jeweler can’t know what’s in your mind, you both need to work together to try to breathe life into your vision. Succeeding in that requires a lot of moving parts to work together in ways they may have never had to before, so before you commit to a custom jewelry design – or even a custom jeweler – ask yourself these questions:
Who Will Be My Jeweler?
There are many options when it comes to jewelers and some have remarkably different processes from others. For the best success, you’ll want to choose a jeweler that has lots of experience with the latest technology and can show you exactly how it all works. Ask to see some examples that are in process to get a feel for their work. Like any artist, jewelers have distinct styles and you may find one you prefer over others.
What Do I Want?
Knowing you want a custom piece is only the first step, someone has to have a very good idea of what you want your custom piece to look like and achieve. If you’re very visual yourself, it might be as easy as drawing a picture for the designer, but for others, bringing in examples of pieces with elements you like (or looking over on-site pieces and pointing these things out) for your jeweler will help immensely. Often, minor changes can turn a stock piece into the perfect, dazzling accent for someone seeking a custom ring or bracelet.
Show your jeweler what you want, don’t leave them guessing! Even descriptions like a “chunky band” or “delicate details” may mean something entirely different to you than to your designer. But if you can point to a 4mm band with a rounded edge, well, now you’re communicating!
What Materials Can I Use?
The sky’s the limit with materials on a custom piece. That means that not only can you have your design built from the best gold and diamonds, you can also choose less expensive materials like silver and zirconias. Every element goes into the final cost of your jewelry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build something glorious on a budget. Even an incredibly intricate design can be made more affordable by swapping materials around for equally durable (but perhaps less commonly used) metals and gems.
Learn more about Selecting the Right Metal for your Custom Jewelry here.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a custom piece of jewelry, but the most important revolve around how and when the item will be used. For example, if you want to build a cocktail ring that’s covered in gems, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a setting type that will reduce the chances it’ll snag on your favorite cashmere sweater. Intricate pendants or earrings can be truly glorious to behold, but if they’re so small that no one can make out the details, going simple will almost certainly get more oohs and ahhs.
Custom jewelry pieces quickly gain heirloom potential, especially when there’s a great story to go with them. Make sure the story you tell with those accessories is the one you intended by working closely with a jeweler who’s able to forge fantasies out of metals and gems. You’ll never regret the time it took to get the details just right.
The skilled craftspeople at Images Jewelers have years of experience working with their clients to breathe life into a custom design. Contact us now so we can explain how we can bring your dream to life.