Post # 1
Those of you who have custom rings, how did you decide where to get it made? I have a family stone already, and would like to put it in a setting. I have searched and searched and can’t find the exact setting I am wanting, so we’ll probably have to do a custom piece. There are a few local jewelers, but I’m just not sure about the quality of their work. THe other problem is, if I use an online vendor, I’m wondering if they would let me mail the stone in, which makes me very anxious to think about. Thanks for all the advice in advance!
Post # 3
I’m (in the very early steps of) getting a custom ring made using family stones, and we are lucky enough to have a long time jeweller near by. They do alll the creation on site so won’t be sending my heirlooms in the post! I think you should definitely look for someone who works in store so that you know your jewels will be safe. Also, just go in and talk to some jewellers and see how you connect with them. They will be happy to show you examples of work. If you don’t like the way they treat you/if they seem sleazy or whatever, then go elsewhere. Family jewels are way too important to just give away to someone you don’t just and I think not being able to speak directly to whoever is making your ring would make me uncomfortable.
Post # 4
@woodchuck: i have had custom jewellery made and i would suggest going to a number of jewellery stores to speak to the jeweller/goldsmith directly. i would advise sticking to a place that does the work on-site only. i personally wouldn’t use a big box store that has to send everything off to head office. ask to see some samples of his or her work. compare the pieces. you can usually tell if the work is done by the same craftsman. look at the details. are they complete? are they clean? are they uniform? if not, don’t pick him.
i know that when i was selecting a jeweller for my custom job, his pieces were so perfect and strong. i compared his work to pieces that they have ordered in, no contest. the weight difference of the ring settings alone were unreal. the custom pieces were so much heavier, thicker, stronger and simply better. no worries about the band thinning or snapping.
it does cost more but typically you are getting a much better product.
Post # 5
Thanks for the info. I’m from a smaller-ish town and I was really hoping to not have to drive to a bigger city to do the ring. I’ll definitely have to go and look at some of the local places to see what they have done as a guide. Thanks!
Post # 6
What I did was that I had to figure out what cut of stone I have. Since you have a stone already and just need setting designs. I would suggest what I did. Was that I google searched asscher cut rings or asscher cut engagement rings. For ideas. Also try to decide what metal you want to use. This can also affect how your ring will look in the end. I had mine custom made, it was stressful, confusing, frustrating and well worth it!
Post # 7
My Fiance went to a jewller that was recommended by his friend (All of his friends go to the same jeweller to get their girlfriends/wives jewllery)
Post # 8
I have a custom ring! My fiance looked online and found a family run jewelry store that had been in buisness for, like, 100 years and had good reviews from the BBB and Angie’s list. We took in the family stone and ring we wanted to combine and sat with the jewler and he drew up some options. It was pretty easy. It drives my fiance crazy that the prongs are ever so slightly unevenly spaced on the finished product but I didn’t even notice it, until he pointed it out. And I prefer things that have slight irregularities as opposed to those that are CAD designed and perfect.
Post # 9
@woodchuck: my ring was custom designed by my FI’s friend’s father who is a jewelry designer. i would either find a jeweler close to you and look at their custom work. then you can decide if you think they can design something to your specifications. meet with a few designers.
Post # 10
I figured out exactly what I want first. I had some pictures of a vintage ring that sold from an estate jeweler’s, and I wanted that design with a few small changes. It was great to have pics.
Next, I figured out what we would be comfortable paying.
I took the pics and our budget info to some of the highest-rated custom jewelry stores in my city (I’m always on Yelp for help with local places!). They each got back to me with quotes, time ranges, and design plans. From there, it was all based on my gut – how comfortable did I feel with the jewelers that I spoke to?
In the end, I ended up going with the highest priced store because I felt so comfortable with the owner and she has so many reputable reviews and long-standing customers. She was willing to work with me to make a few changes that brought the price down. Throughout the design process, I visited her at least 6 times to go from blue wax mold to the final ring, and all along the way I made small changes – “Make this higher, make these holes smaller, I want the ring thinner, I want the band etching to look like this…” She totally got my vision and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
Long story short: you HAVE to shop around to find someone who you feel matches your “vision.” Don’t just go with the cheapest one!
Post # 11
I second hisprettygirl’s recommendation of Yelp. BBB and Angie’s List are also good.
My boy and I had the same situation – a diamond from his mother’s ring, but we wanted to reset it. I am in a major city with loads of fancy jewelry retailers, but we checked Yelp and went with a tiny local jeweler who has been there for generations. I haven’t seen the ring yet, but my future sister-in-law (my co-conspirator, ha) occasionally lets slip some details and apparently they are really enjoying the custom experience there. Can’t wait to see the results.
Post # 12
I love the idea of checking yelp and things, the only problem is, I think each jewelry store may (and I mean, may) have only one review, and I’m just not comfortable with that. There is a store that I have gone to several times to get things sized and my mother has used for a ring repair, I’m just not sure if he’s very well versed in more modern, current designs. It’s definitely worth a trip in to visit him again. Thanks for the input!
Post # 13
It had to be local because we wanted to work with them at each step and see their work as it progressed (this turned out to be a very good idea).
They had to have good reviews. We also looked at their portfolio of previously-done work, but good reviews are more helpful to determine that you really want to take a chance to work with someone.
Finally, we paid only at the very end. That gave us some additional insurance and also ability to put the pressure on when they made mistakes and we wanted them corrected before we would accept the final product (all mistakes were corrected and we paid only the originally agreed-upon amount).
Make sure you can identify your diamond easily. Ours (a loose diamond bought seperately) has a GIA number inscribed on the girdle so it couldn’t be swapped. You can also make an inclusion map and document its exact dimensions, color, clarity and cut grades.
It was an awesome experience, the ring is fantastic… much better than any pre-existing ring I’ve ever seen, IMO… and cost less than the most similar pre-exisitng rings. But it did take a lot of effort on our parts.
Post # 14
Whether you have the ring made locally or find a jeweler online, you will probably want to insure the stone first. Some jewelers require it and state that they will not be liable for anything that happens to your stone while it’s in their possession. If you’re willing to work with a non-local jeweler, go to the Pricescope forum and ask the members for recommendations. They can recommend reputable vendors who do custom work at different price points. Good luck!
Post # 15
I was referred to David Klass by several threads that applauded his work.
I was really skeptic about sending him my stones too, but once you get to know the jeweler, even if he or she is half across the country you just trust them.
My fav part about the whole transction above everything is, he never asked for payment. Not a single penny! I actually offered to start paying him I’m the middle of production, and he refused. He wanted to make sure I was 100% happy before excepting anything. I also didn’t have to send him my stones until casting was finished. With this said, how can you NOT trust him? 🙂 My dream ring is every thing I wanted to the “T”.
It’s been engraved in all our minds that custom is expensive. His prices are also super affordable. I would never imagine my dream ring be made with pocket change. I wish I would have found him sooner! I shopped around a ton before David, and I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter if the jeweler is local.
I hope this helped. Good luck!
Post # 16
I was really lucky that a friend of mine from high school has a jewelry company with her fiance – Mother of Gideon. Not only did I know them, but they use ethical sourcing and their style is more up my alley. Even though they are in a different state, we were able to go through the design process with no problems. Local is great, but if you find a jeweler who’s style you really like, don’t rule them out based on distance. I’m SO glad I followed my gut, I can’t imagine anyone else doing something so perfect for us. (It was a little nerve-wracking having our new rings shipped, but they are professionals and there were no problems.)