Custom jewelry sends a special message to the recipient, letting them know that they're as original as the gift you've designed for them. There's nothing quite as special as an ornament that you can't find anywhere else. With a custom jewelry design, you can let your imagination run wild, developing something that speaks uniquely to the recipient's personality. You can even commission a custom design to reimagine an antique item, giving it a fresh look while still retaining many of the original characteristics. The process of designing custom jewelry is easier than you might think.
Select Your Project
You may commission a custom piece of jewelry for a variety of occasions and purposes. One of the more common reasons to get a custom jewelry design is for an engagement ring. An engagement ring is a precious piece of jewelry that's worn every day. It's important to get this piece right, and a custom design lets you do just that.
You might also design a custom piece of jewelry for a milestone birthday, graduation, or other meaningful event. In these instances, you might want a custom item that includes the recipient's birthstone or other personalized features that make the piece distinct. While you can opt for a special ring for these events as well, you might also make a meaningful impression with a custom necklace or bracelet instead. There are many options you can explore.
Design Your Concept
You don't need artistic skills, detailed knowledge, or a professional background in fashion or jewelry design to take an active role in creating an important piece of jewelry. The most important thing is to let the jeweler know your preference. Most people take the route of custom jewelry design because they're dissatisfied with the options in their local jewelry stores or they want something that can never be replicated elsewhere. This is exactly what a custom piece will provide.
It's often best to begin by browsing examples of similar jewelry items so you can begin to make a note of important features that you want to include.
Most fine jewelry is made from gold or platinum. You can get different colors from your jewelry by opting for yellow gold for a gold tone, rose gold for a pinkish hue, or white gold for silver-colored jewelry. You must also choose the carat value for your gold. A 24-carat gold piece is 100% gold with no other alloy, while 18 carat gold is 75% gold, and 14 carat gold is 60% pure.
While pure gold is the finest and most expensive option, it's not always the most practical choice. Pure gold is very soft and easily damaged. If you're designing a wedding band or another item that's meant for frequent wear, you'll typically want something that's stronger than pure gold. This is accomplished by going with a lower carat so that a stronger alloy can be mixed in with the gold.
Selecting the gemstones for your jewelry is one of the most exciting parts. You can choose from dozens of distinct stones with different colors, patterns, and features. While appearance is a key consideration, you should also consider practical factors like hardness. For an engagement ring or other fine jewelry, you typically need a stone with a hardness rating of seven or higher. Diamonds are the hardest stone on the Mohs gemstone hardness scale, at a 10. Sapphires and rubies rate a nine. Topaz and emeralds are eights, while garnet, amethyst, and quartz have a hardness rating of seven.
Selecting the stone itself is only the first step. Next, you'll have to choose the appropriate cut for the stone. There are dozens of options to consider including square, round, emerald cut, baguette, marquise, and pear.
Gemstones must sit in a setting which holds them in place on the piece of jewelry. The setting for the stone greatly impacts the overall look of the piece. Some settings that you may want to consider include:
Prong: The most common option, this features small prongs that support the stone.
Pave: A pave setting surrounds the stone completely, "paving" it into the piece of jewelry.
Channel: The stones are suspended between two channels of metal in this setting.
Bezel: A bezel surrounds the stone and bends slightly inward.
Looking at other pieces of jewelry will give you a better understanding of the different settings and an idea of what look you'd prefer for your own piece. Some settings work better with certain sizes, shapes, and types of stones than others. A professional jewelry designer can walk you through the process of putting everything together so you get a look you love with the strength and durability that you want for your special piece.
Evaluate a Wax Model
Once you've come up with a draft for your jewelry, the designer will create a wax model of the item. If you approve of the model, the same mold will be used to make your finished ring. Once you see the design in three-dimensional form, you may notice elements that you'd like to adjust. You can still request changes at this stage, and will continue to receive wax models for your approval until the item looks just as you'd like.
Proceed With Production
During the production process, your design is turned into a finished reality. This includes casting the metal piece, cutting and setting the stones, and polishing your item until it gleams. A piece of custom jewelry generally takes between three and five weeks to go from the initial design to the finished item. However, it's important to get a more accurate quote when you place your order, as some seasons are busier than others. If you want your jewelry back in time for a special date, make sure to let your jewelry designer know as early as possible.
If you're ready to start on your custom jewelry project, contact our team at Martin Busch Jewelers to make your appointment. We're happy to help you navigate all your options and put together the perfect piece for someone special in your life.