Post # 1
Hi Bees! I need your input on ring designers and what the scope of their work covers.
My SO and I have come up with the basic design for my ring, and he’s planning on getting in touch with a jeweler to do the custom work. I’m stepping out of the loop for the actual design stage. I gave him my two cents and he’s going to handle the fine-tuning with the jeweler.
1) When you designed your custom ring, did the jeweler source a diamond for you, or did you select the diamond yourself? We’re going for an OEC, and we aren’t sure whether we should decide on the stone before contacting the jeweler, or if it would be better to allow them to use their contacts in the industry to source the stone for us.
2) Which designer did you use, and would you recommend them? Why or why not? I’ve heard great things about David Klass, but I want to be sure to send SO to the right person (or a few to talk to) so the process of designing the ring goes smoothly.
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
I’m using David Klass. I haven’t seen the finished ring so I can’t speak as to his work just yet, but he’s been incredibly nice throughout. My SO bought the diamond and we sent it to him. There are a ton of posts about David’s work, so I would just email him and ask him what he can and can’t do.
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
I think you’ll save money if you source the diamond yourself. I got my OEC from Ivy and Rose and their prices are great, definitely check them out! DK has made some amazing peices for bees around here. I had my ring custom done by Schubach’s. They’re a little pricier than DK but I *love* my ring and couldn’t be happier with their work.
Post # 4
If I were you I’d pick the stone separately, especially since you’re looking for an OEC. Sometimes depending on the pattern and size you want, looking at all retail/wholesale outlets is the best to see all that’s out there. Who knows, you may come across the perfect stone in an estate setting that you wouldn’t have found loose… David is great to work with and will set any stone whether he sourced it or not. Happy hunting and congrats on your impending engagement!
Post # 5
I will say I have had the WORST time getting into contact with DK. I am really unhappy with him thus far.
Post # 6
I’m on an OEC search myself and I’ve heard good things about Love Affair Diamonds, both for diamonds and design work.
Post # 7
I’ve gone through August Vintage and have been working with Jonathan. I got CADs within a few days and the ring should be done next Friday. AV does THE BEST vintage cuts (in my opinion). I’m getting a AV Cushion and two AV rounds on either side of it. He is on Instagram. Good Old Gold also frequently uses August Vintage stones as he used to work exclusively for them so check out their Instagram as well
Post # 8
Better timeline description:
Emailed day 1, CADs at day 4, purchased day 5, ring should be complete day 13 and sent to me day 15. Jonathan is great and so is his Assistant Vicki!
Post # 9
I usually source mine, as there are many ‘flavors’ of OEC and OMC and I figured I would have an easier time finding one I liked. I collect antique jewelry and am pretty particular (and passionate) about it, so I really enjoyed the process of hunting for the perfect stone for my engagement ring. (I can recommend LAD and JbG as I’ve worked with both of them.)
I’ve used CvB for both my engagement ring and wedding band and have been thrilled with the quality of her work. She’s a delight to work with, too.
I would not hestiate to recommend her. She has an amazing ability to magically pull out whatever half-baked design idea you have floating around in your head and turn it into reality.
I’m pretty sure she offers stone sourcing as a service and I might utilize this service when I get around to doing my ultimate RHR
Post # 10
sparklebee19 : how exciting! I can’t wait to see it! Please come back with pics!
bouviebee : I source my own stones and have had wonderful pieces made by David Klass. Good luck!
Post # 11
Slick : I definitely will! It’s now going to take a bit longer than originally anticipated for me. Whoever makes the settings did not put double claw prongs on so it is being remade. BUT I’m very glad he had the attention to detail to notice this. I’d rather him catch it than me.
Post # 12
bouviebee : I used David Klass. I picked out the stone, but he picked out all of the side stones. I will be honest, I think what I paid for and what I got were very reasonable. I’ve had my ring for over a year now and I don’t regret it one bit. But I think the biggest thing with working with someone who isn’t in the same city as you is the trust in your designer. I had to trust that David understood what I wanted and if what I got was what I was envisioning. I’d say we probably about 40+ on me changing and confirming what I wanted.
Post # 13
bouviebee : First of all, I’m super excited for you!! Starting on a jewelry design is exciting and fun. It can be a frustrating and long path at times, so my advice (no matter what jeweler / designer you eventually go with) is to remember to take a lot of deep breaths along the way and have fun with the whole process. I’ve only done 3 projects, which is not a lot compared to other bees. I have sourced my own stones for each of them.
I’ve used David Klass for my projects (all rings, because that’s pretty much the only type of jewelry I wear). My first one was pretty simple. It was my first time trying a custom project, and I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect. I wanted to test the waters. My second and third projects were a lot more “out there” / crazy in terms of setting design and detail.
Personally, I love working with him! I have found him personable and kind in the email communications I’ve had with him. I agree with PPs that he can be slow on communication. He stays really busy, and I am not sure he is adequately staffed for quick turn-around on emails, etc. I am not giving this as an excuse — just stating what I have seen to be a fact and what I have guessed at, given my own experiences working with him. For me, I have at times had a little trouble getting a reply in the initial stages of a project. He has always replied to me eventually, but not right away. Once my projects started, communication was more steady and a little more timely. In my last project, there was some lag toward the end of the process. But it all worked out, in the end. In working with him, I try to give myself a big lead time if I am on a deadline with a project. If I don’t have a set deadline, I try to remind myself to enjoy the anticipation and process. I like his creativity and energy, and I feel like he and his team “get me”, somehow. And I have gone to them with a couple of crazy ideas — ha, ha!
I think Greenlake Jewelry Works is also a great jeweler for custom work. I love browsing their website, and I have seen some of their beautiful rings on the Bee. When I started my very first custom project, I asked them for a quote. They were way out of my budget at that time. That’s why I ended up going with David Klass, initially. But I enjoyed working with him so much that I keep going back to him.
Post # 14
Thank you all for your recommendations. I had been looking at Love Affair Diamonds and Jewels by Grace, so it’s good to know people have had positive experiences with those shops. It will probably end up being that I have final say in sourcing the diamond, and SO can do whatever he wants as to ring design, because he wants that to be all him. Since he already knows what I like, I’m happy to let him run with that. It will be a total surprise, which is kind of exciting!
I think I’ll give him a few designers to contact and choose from, and he can decide which he can afford/which he wants to use.