Custom Jewelers

A custom jeweler is a jeweler who will work with you to create a very personal piece of jewelry. Custom jewelers are very skilled at helping you express what you want, and then turning your idea into a piece of jewelry with your story baked into it.

Maybe you have diamonds and a ruby from your great-grandmother, and you want them remade into a ring that you can wear every day. Or perhaps you and your husband share a favorite code word or phrase, and you want it designed into a bracelet for you and a dog-tag pendant for him. The possibilities to express yourself in jewelry are endless. A custom jeweler helps you create your vision.

Get ready for a great experience when you work with a custom jeweler. Though every jeweler’s process is a bit different, there are some similarities in how the process will work.

Most custom jewelry products start with a meeting between you and the jeweler. Typically, that meeting takes place in person, though such meetings are now taking place on video conference as well. During your first meeting, you will discuss your ideas for the piece of jewelry. Some jewelers will start sketching ideas right away. Or they may show you pictures of different designs and concepts. You will discuss what the piece of jewelry means to you, who it is for, and if it is to commemorate a special occasion. You’ll also discuss the type of metal you want to use, and your gemstone preferences.

A very important part of that meeting is to get to know each other. For a custom jeweler to create the perfect design for you, there has to be a meeting of the minds.

After the first meeting, the jeweler will create a design proposal. Some jewelers do this by creating a detailed rendering with pencil or color. Some jewelers create a computer aided design (CAD) drawing. You will review the design with your jeweler, and there may be some back-and-forth while you finalize the design. Then, the making begins!

The first step is often the creation of a wax; a replica of the jewel that will be made. This wax will be used as part of the casting process later on. Some jewelers will show you the wax before they cast it. Many jewelry items don’t require a wax, so the jeweler proceeds straight to working on metal.

The jewelry-making process involves forming metals, sawing, filing, soldering, stone setting, and polishing. This is all hand work, and it will likely take 3-4 weeks before you can see your finished piece. Some jewelers will keep you apprised of the process, showing you their progress at each step. Others may proceed quickly to the final piece.

Then, finally!, the day arrives and you will be presented with your finished jewelry. Your custom jewel will be one of the most gratifying purchases you ever make, because it’s truly personal, it’s art, and it’s genuine craftsmanship that you get to observe first-hand.

Sound fun? Call a custom jeweler and start your own project!
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An Initiative of the MJSA Education Foundation

The trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design.

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Funded in part by a JCK Industry Fund Grant

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