Everyone has their own taste when it comes to fine jewelry. Some prefer simple pieces, others prefer ornate. Some wear signature precious stones or metals exclusively, while others mix and match. With so much variation in personal taste to contend with, it’s no wonder that sometimes commercially available jewelry designs don’t quite match what you’re looking for. However, there’s no reason to settle for something that isn’t exactly right. If you start with loose stones, you can have a piece custom-made to fit your vision exactly.
Perhaps you like a particular style of ring but would like it with a different center stone. Or maybe you haven’t seen the type of pendant you’re imagining in any jewelry store. An experienced jeweler can help you create the exact piece you want. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
Find your jeweler
Look for someone in your area who advertises custom work. Ask friends and family if they have anyone they would recommend, or check out online reviews to get a sense of who’s reliable. If you already have a jeweler you know and trust, even better.
Discuss your idea
Talk to your prospective jeweler about what you have in mind. What type of piece are you looking for—a bracelet, pendant, earrings, ring? What size? What kind of metal? What type of stone? The more specific you can be in what you’re interested in, the better able your jeweler will be to create a design that appeals to you. If you already have a stone or stones that you would like the jeweler to use, make sure they know. They’ll need to know the exact size of any stone you want to use in order to design the mounting accurately.
Be willing to listen to the advice your jeweler gives you during this step. For example, some softer stones, such as opals, are not well suited for harsh or daily wear. Other stones, such as emeralds, can be brittle and should be worn in settings designed to protect them. A thoughtful design can help ensure the longevity of your piece and maximize your enjoyment.
Establish your terms
Some jewelers may charge a minimum fee to create a custom piece of jewelry, especially if they are fabricating the mounting from scratch. Make sure the proposed price is in line with your planned budget. You’ll also want to be clear on the process, from preliminary discussions and sketches to delivery of the final piece. Getting a custom piece of jewelry made typically takes longer than simply having a calibrated stone inserted into a premade setting, so be prepared to exercise some patience, especially if the item you’ve requested is unusually complex. Knowing exactly what to expect will help you enjoy the journey from concept to reality.
You can help your jewelry budget go further by purchasing loose stones at auction, where you can avoid retail markup. Auction King regularly stocks an assortment of unmounted precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, amethyst, tanzanite, jade, and more. All are accompanied by gemological reports verifying their authenticity, and opening bids start as low as $1. Register for a free online account today to start bidding.