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What You Should Know When Creating a Custom Piece of Jewelry

Your individual style, from the clothes you wear to the way you accessorize, says a lot about you. A custom-designed piece of jewelry can truly set you apart from the crowd.

While many think it will be intimidating, the process is actually quite easy when you have the right designer. Whether you have a small project in mind or prefer a larger piece, here’s what you can expect.

The Design Process

During your search, look at the designer’s existing work and ask questions. Do you like their style? Who will actually do the work? Will your piece be outsourced?

You should feel confident that your jeweler has the talent to understand your expectations and can execute your piece as promised. This ultimately takes communication, trust and a strong personal connection between you and your jeweler.

Once you have chosen a jeweler, all of your design decisions are made during your initial consultation. You will determine the size of the piece and the materials you want to use. A good designer will listen carefully during your consultation to determine exactly what you want, taking cues from your personal style and conversation.

At this point, a rough sketch is drawn to scale by your designer. You can use this visual to make edits as needed. They will also provide a firm estimate and expected lead time for the project. Custom orders can take anywhere from four to six weeks to complete, depending on the scope of the project.

Create a Wearable Piece

Keep in mind that your custom piece of jewelry should be something you can wear any time, not only on special occasions. Even a couture piece can be designed to be worn effortlessly. Personally, I love creating earrings that can also be worn as a pendant, necklaces that can convert into a bracelet and rings that can be stacked together. This gives the customer a variety of options and allows them to be creative on their own.

When it comes to gemstones, many designers offer their own curated collection to choose from. I love to pull out my “box of candies,” complete with unset, fine-colored gemstones and diamonds, for my clients.

If you want to repurpose an heirloom gemstone, let your designer’s existing pieces inspire your choices. Once you’ve decided on a setting, your gemstone will dictate whether design modifications need to be made.
Next, choose metals and finishes that enhance the beauty of the gemstones. For example, the brightness of platinum works well with diamonds and aquamarine, and morganite and rose zircon look stunning with rose gold. Your designer will be able to guide you through the process of choosing from high-polished and textured satin finishes as well as mixing metals, if you prefer, to create a truly unique piece.

When it comes down to it, custom design is for everyone. Who wants to be ordinary anyway?

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Written by Almut Belote

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