Post # 1
My aunt called me up today and said “so I have some diamonds…” and omg I felt breathless. She is exactly 50 years older than me, a widow, and has no children of her own. She said she has some small diamonds from jewelry she received from people over the years that she doesn’t wear, and she’d like to get a custom piece of jewelry designed for me for my wedding (with my mom and I).
My engagement ring is the nicest piece of jewelry I’ve ever had by far (I wear sterling silver James Avery rings otherwise) and it wasn’t custom made; we only chose the stone they set in it.
What was your experience? How did you choose the jeweler? What sort of questions did you ask? Did you have an idea of what you wanted?
I haven’t seen the diamonds yet so I don’t know how tiny or not tiny they are. I’m generally thinking a necklace, preferably in white gold, but without knowing the stone quantity and size I have no idea what design yet. Luckily my mom will be starting the research on jewelers but man I have NO idea what I’m doing and my aunt said she’s never had anything custom made before either! I am SO honored that she wants to do this for me and just.. completely blown away. She is in her early 80s and without a doubt my favorite relative, but still, this was completely unexpected.
Would love to hear from others about how the process went for them!
Post # 2
That is SO sweet! I have gotten a lot of custom pieces made and it’s so much fun. Definitely find a jeweler that you feel like you can trust and who is willing to answer any questions you have and provide insight when you need. A lot of jewelers will show you a CAD for you to approve and if you want a wax model don’t hesitate to ask. So exciting!!
Post # 3
oh how exciting!! I would check out pricescope for recommendations of who to work with. Ladies on those boards are always working on some new project, and the input from others is extremely helpful! Can’t wait to see what you come up with 🙂
Post # 4
This is exciting!
it would help to know what size they are so that you can better choose a type of jewelry.
I received a 1 ct from my stepmom. It wasn’t great quality because it was an earring. I talked to my jeweler and we decided a bezel would look really nice and it helps hide the inclusions.
it’s a simple design, so it wasn’t hard to decide on what I wanted, but my jeweler still created a cad.
and recently I just inherited five 1/5 ct diamonds that I’m going to have made into a necklace similar to this…
custom doesn’t have to be super detailed or intricate. It’s just a way to make that stone fit into the perfect setting.
Post # 5
I learned through trial and error that the jeweler type I was comfortable with had :
1. great reviews on yelp, google, Facebook groups ect
2. someone who was honest ( smaller jewelers/family owned in my experience
3. my jeweler didn’t charge me a penny until I had the completed design in my hand. I’m not sure if this is jeweler specific but in my experience isn’t common but is so nice
4. They do CADs and waxes to perfect the image. You can research online. My CADs and Waxes were included in the price and I wasn’t charged per ” extra ” this again, could vary by jeweler as I’ve worked with both but in my experience I found this to be the most honest and comfortable
5. Communication: do they respond within a reasonable time for you? My lady always responded within 24 hours or sooner many times, which again I appreciated. In the past it has been weeks and I personally cannot work with a place like that.
6. of course price. My same ring for example was quoted at $800 at one place and $2400 at another place. Shop around. Believe it or not, both of my rings were in the most reasonable end of the numbers. That to me means they value their work and aren’t just out to make a buck.
7. Most designs these days can be made. So don’t be afraid to switch jewelers if they don’t see your vision. I did and at the end of the day you are the one paying and it should be your way. Within human reason of course.
Thats all I can think of now. I have had many experiences with this type of thing and these are some of the things I have learned to look for.
This will be so special! Congratulations!
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2019 - City, State
I’ve had a few rings made. Don’t be afraid to tweak your cad!
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado
We’ve been working with Do Amore to custom design our engagement rings! 🙂
MiaDonna is another sustainability-focused jeweller and they’ve told me that they do custom jewellery in general and they can use our preexisting stones, so I’m hoping to design earrings and necklaces with them in the future.
See if you can talk to the custom design team before committing to the process because you will be talking to them a lot so make sure you go with people that you will like working with.
Post # 8
Oh that is so exciting!
We worked with a custom jewler but he was a family friend, so we lucked out. If we were to do it again, definitely pay attention to reviews, ask around and see if any of your friends can recommend a jeweler, and don’t be afraid to speak up with CADs, etc.
I had my grandmother’s diamond set into my wedding band and it was awesome! I love it!
Post # 9
i’ve had numerous pieces of custom jewelry made. my grandmother, mom, and i have used him to make various pieces through my life. my mom lived elsewhere prior to her marriage and having me, so my grandmother had pieces made in her home state prior to that with another jeweler.
are you in any community FB pages, for example, i’m in a “best businesses of [my county]” group. people ask for recommendations all the time.
i would ask around who people use, then go look at that person’s work and see if your styles would work well together.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2019 - Arlington, Virginia
I sent you a DM with a recommendation for someone I’ve worked with online. Good luck!
Post # 11
That’s so sweet!
In addition to the advice already given, here’s some other things to think about:
- do you want a piece that would be suitable for daily/regular wearing or a piece that is clearly “special occasion/black tie only”?
- what is your jewelry style? clean, modern, vintage, Victorian, art deco, etc? If you really like particular styles, you may want to work with a jeweler who specializes in that look
If you’re really at a loss for what you want, start looking at pinterest and pinning anything you like. Then, go back and look for themes or trends in what you pinned.
Post # 12
These are all GREAT bits of advice, thank you all! Currently I’m assuming the diamands are very small, so maybe a little drop pendant of a line of them, or a bar across.. but small, as I do want it to be versatile, and still looking okay for my wedding day. I don’t dress up often if at all, so minimalist/petite might be the way to go!
Checking facebook groups, reviews, pinterest, looking at style, feeling out communication, etc.. all great things that I’ll be sure to keep in mind.
I know some people on here got their e-ring or wedding ring custom designed which I found to be really interesting. We just aren’t imaginative enough for that, lol!
I’m excited to start this process. In a FB group, someone asked today what others are doing for their something old/new/borrowed/blue and I had a moment of thinking “I forgot this existed/people still do this?/do I have to do this?” but if I do, I’d have the combo of something old/something new already done!
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2021 - Australia
I agree with this, especially how long to answer questions! We were working with the jeweller who made my engagement ring to commission a wedding ring to match, and they would take weeks to answer our relatively simple questions. We never even got to the point of designing a CAD with them, after 6 or 7 weeks of emails and calls with basic questions.
I think they thought our wedding was too far away at the time (over 15 months) so they couldn’t be bothered, but that’s really our decision to make. As the client, we should get to pick when we want to buy something, not be hogtied by what the seller thinks we should do.
They also told us that the stones we wanted weren’t available due to supply lines being impacted by covid, when in fact they never even bothered to ask their gemstone provider – which we later found out accidentally when we contacted the gem people directly to see if we could source the stones ourselves, not knowing they worked with our original jeweller.
Thankfully, the gemstone people gave us a recommendation for a jeweller who did such a beautiful job, and responded within hours if not days to each of our emails, and asked questions of their own. It was a lovely experience with them, nothing like the first people, which felt like trying to get blood from a stone.
Enjoy your diamonds, and find a provider that makes the process fun, and like a celebration of the beautiful gift your auntie has given you.