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Inspiration may come from a variety of places. We suggest simply looking around . . . the perfect sources to consider for inspiration: Magazines, jewelry catalogs, online- social media sites, your friends’ jewelry, inside our display cases! Begin with choosing your favorite designs and your personal style will begin to emerge.
Listed below are design elements to consider when developing your perfect design.
Our staff is expert at helping you blend your favorite designs, ideas, your sketches, examples and whatever other sources of inspiration to determine your unique design. Sometimes this involves a hand drawn sketch at the counter, occasionally a more detailed drawing and sometimes a direct consultation with our goldsmiths and/or CAD designers. During this process your vision begins to take shape and a cohesive design emerges. At this point, we can give you a rough estimate of the cost of your custom design. The ideas and plans determined during this dialogue will soon be translated into your dream piece of jewelry.
It’s a fun and exciting experience, creating something uniquely yours.
That’s why we call it “YOU” jewelry.
This is when our CAD model/designer goes to work. Your design comes to life as it is rendered using our state of the art design software. We may communicate via email, telephone or in person during this and all phases of the design process to perfect your design.
We want you to LOVE your new treasure!
Once your “rendering” is complete you are presented with a realistic computer generated drawing of your design. At this time we also give you a detailed estimate of the approximate costs to create your design as our software makes it possible to pretty closely estimate the finished weight of your ring, the size of the gemstones and the resulting costs.
Changes to your design can easily be made at this point in the design process. We work closely with you during this phase to make sure your ideas have been communicated accurately.
In most instances, a wax model is created either by hand carving, using our milling machine to cut the wax or our 3D wax printer to build the wax (or a combination) which will be used to create your piece. Most of our custom designed jewelry is cast construction. Although some is hand fabricated depending on the choices you make during the design process and the actual design of your unique jewelry.
Hand Wax Carving
3D Wax Printing
Upon completion you will see the wax. This is an important step, as you will be able to really get a “feel” for what we are making. We are able to make adjustments at this point and will work with you to make sure you are pleased with the design. You are required to approve the final wax before proceeding to the next step in the process.
Once you have approved the wax we are able to cast your jewelry. We cast all gold and silver designs in-house using the “lost wax” method. All designs cast in platinum family metals must be cast by one of our partner casting houses and can increase the time required for completion by one to two weeks.
As you can see from the photographs of the rough castings, they come out with a dull matte finish and require extensive finishing to bring out the natural luster of the metals. A rotary tumbler is used to burnish the metal to create a shiny surface after which the finish is perfected by hand detailing and polishing.
Depending on your design we may choose to hand fabricate your piece by using wire, metal sheeting, bar stock and/or findings and jewelry parts. This is also used sometimes for constructing very detailed designs and requires a great deal of skill and time to perfect.
All gemstones are hand set by our skilled goldsmiths using one or more setting techniques dependent upon your preferences during the design phase and the style of your design. Setting techniques commonly used include: prong, bezel, pave, bead, channel, flush and fishtail setting. All setting is done under bench microscopes to ensure the best possible results.
It is during this stage of the process that delicate engraving and patterns are applied to your piece. A refined skill our artisans are expert at executing! This is the way the novice is separated from the master.
The final detail in the process is applying the finish to the metal on your creation. Depending on your choices, it could be completed with a high polish, satin, florentine, hammered, sand blast, bead blast, antiqued, or other finishing styles.
Quite a process – right! Don’t be intimidated, we’ll make it fun and easy!
And it really doesn’t even take all that long.
Because the whole process takes place under our roof, with our equipment, with our skilled goldsmiths it enables us to complete most custom design within 4 to 5 weeks.
So are you ready? Let's get started. The first step is always the hardest!
Contact us now to schedule an appointment.