What really does custom jewelry mean and is it more expensive?

A lot of people ask this question and think that if they have something custom made, that the cost will be much higher or out of their comfort zone. Nothing can be more from the truth.

To me, I think custom can be broken down into three different levels:

1. The Semi-Custom.

In my opinion, this means if someone is looking, say for example, an engagement ring and they fell in love with a ring in the case but they want to buy it in yellow gold rather than the white gold as it is now. We can easily make the ring in yellow gold to make their dream come true.

Or another example might be that they found the perfect ring but it has a princess cut in the center and they want an oval center instead. Depending on the design of the ring, we should be able to easily remove the head the current center stone is sitting in and change to out to set the oval in the ring instead.

To me, these are examples of a simple customization that we can offer. We are taking items that we already have on hand and tweaking or recrafting them to the exact specifications that the customer wants and loves. It by far is the most common kind of customization that happens in the jewelry world and is not any more expensive than buying it right out of the showcase.

2. Hybrid Custom.

Hybrid customization is taking two or more aspects of an item and combing them into one, newly created customized jewelry piece. A great example is that customer might be looking for an engagement ring and they narrow it down to an emerald cut diamond for the center that has a halo of diamonds around it. As they look farther in the case, they come across the profile of a totally different ring and love how the diamonds intertwine with a criss cross design along the shank of the ring. Then a third ring catches their eye that on the profile of the ring has a beautiful hand engraved design.

The customer wants all three of these aspects made into her perfect ring. The process for this is we take notes and listen to all the aspects of what they loved and want. From there we will calculate a cost to make their dream come true. Then we give the details to our designer and he will create a CAD of what the finished piece will look like. It is a computer rendering of how the ring will look once completed. From this stage, we share the CAD and go over any tweaks or changes that may need to be done. Once that is all finished, we will 3-D print a resin sample of the ring to show you in person of how the finished piece will look. Sometimes seeing an item in person is different than what you imagined in your head or on a piece of paper. Then with the approval, we will go ahead and cast the ring in the metal of choice, polish and then set all of the diamonds to complete the perfect ring.

So, it is a process that you can still be involved in and tweak along the way and give your input. Your ring is a creation of you and you need to be part of the creative process. We never want to show you ring, take notes and then ask you two weeks later “Is this the ring you hoped for?” We want you to be involved and active part of the process.

3. Creative Custom.

This is an item that has no sample to start with. It might be an idea someone had in a dream or maybe something that was drawn on back of a napkin at a bar. Imagination is the only thing holding back the design expectations. To me, this is a true creative custom piece. This style of customization is not any more, depending on what we create, they just take longer to get the details down from thoughts to finished piece. It is the same process as above but it normally can take a few more tweaks to nail down the design to the perfect piece.

All three processes are fun and let you be involved in all aspects of it. There is no need to just to buy something because it is close to what you want. Make it your own by designing it and telling everyone. The cost is really not any more than buying it complete already from the case. The only difference is that it can take a little bit longer to design and make the ring than just walking in one day and buying it from the case.

How long does all this normally take to do?

We can pull of miracles when needed and we are sensitive to any time frames that you need it within. The normal flow of custom is: Day one, meet and listen to what you want. If it is simple custom like the semi-custom, the item can be ready in few as a few days to two weeks. All depends on the nature of the design.

The Hybrid Custom starts the same way. After we understand what you envision, we will create a CAD for you to see. That normally is done in less than a week. After the CAD is approved, we will start to 3-D print the sample and that normally takes anywhere from 72 hours to a week to have the model ready to show you. Then after that we will cast the ring in the metal of your choice and set the stones. This entire process from start to finish can take anywhere from three to four weeks for this whole process but was have also pulled it off in less than 7 days for a super rush. So, let us know what you need and we will do our best to make it happen.

Creative custom follows the same timeline and aspects as the first two models above. The only difference is time can be added if we need to tweak the CAD to show you the changes. So, in a perfect world we are looking at 4 weeks but even with multiple changes, we should still be able to finish your job with 5 to 6 weeks and we are always willing to rush it if we can pull it off for you in a time crunch.

So please feel free to stop in and let us talk to you and show you how much fun it can be creating your own customized ring and break the myth that doing this is much more expense than just buying out of the showcase. It is an easy process that you will enjoy and be proud to tell everyone that you custom made this piece of jewelry. It was something that was created thought and love from your heart.