Custom Jewelry Creation: The Process
Written by Annabelle
January 22, 2019
Do any of these situations sound familiar? You walk down the street and then your head turns because you see someone with an amazing bangle. You have a white gold ring you've been wearing for a long time, but recently you've been more into yellow gold. You've been thinking about a certain jewelry design for a while, but you're not too sure where to start.
Well, we have a wonderful solution- have the Quick Jewelry Repairs team make a custom piece of jewelry for you! Here at QJR we love creating custom jewelry designs, so read on to learn about our process.
How To Start The Custom Creation:
Your Side Of The Process
- Figure out your needs: If you know exactly what you want to create, then you're set! If you don't, you can consult with us and get some expert opinions on what might best suit you (or the person you're designing for.)
- Have a description: We can’t make the item for you without guidance, after all. If you have pictures, that’s an excellent way for us to visualize your item. If you don’t, our in-house designers are experienced at translating your verbal descriptions or sketches into a coherent jewelry design. Here's an example of one of our long-time customers, Jan, who had a beautiful Etruscan-style ring set with a ruby, sapphire, and emerald in yellow gold. She loved the ring so much, she contacted us to duplicate the ring in white gold. This particular order was easy to work with, since we had a physical item (the original ring) for reference.
- Choose your materials: You can choose to play around with other options to lower costs or change the appearance. For instance, 18k yellow gold might be a bit out of your price range for the piece. Downgrading to 14k or 10k would reduce your cost. Likewise, you might choose to splurge a little more and request for higher-quality diamonds. The choice is yours! In Jan's case, her original ring was 14k yellow gold, so she decided to match the new ring in 14k white gold.
Our Side Of The Process
- Creating a Computer Aided Design: After discussing with you, our designers put together a CAD (Computer Aided Design), or a model on the computer that will be the visual reference for the item throughout the rest of the custom jewelry creation process. A typical CAD will take into account every single detail on the item, including metal type, stone size, total item size and weight. Because it requires a specially-trained designer and industry software, the CAD is $150.
- Approval for CAD: Once our designers have completed the CAD, we send it to you for approval before we start any actual work. This is the last stage where customers can make additional changes. Once Jan reviewed her CAD, she decided to modify her order to a size 6.5 instead of a size 6. We updated the CAD and sent it off to production with her permission.
- 3D Wax Printing and Casting: This is where the cool stuff begins! The CAD file is sent to a 3D printer, which prints a replica of the item out of wax. The wax model is then encased in a plaster called investment. High heat destroys the wax, leaving a cavity within the investment that is perfectly shaped like the item. The cavity is then filled with the precious metal of choice, creating a rough casting of the item.
- Polishing and Setting: Once the item has cooled down from this process, it’s moved to a team of jewelers and polishers who add some finishing touches to ensure that the item looks like it should. The final step is sourcing and setting stones into the piece. Depending on the complexity of the design, this part of the process can take very little time or as much as two weeks, if the stone is a custom cut or difficult to source.
- The finished product: Once the item’s complete, we take pictures and send them to you for your reference. The jewelry is then packaged up nicely and shipped to you with a tracking number so you can see where it is every step of the way. Needless to say, our friend Jan was ecstatic:
“I sent a ring to QJR and asked if they could replicate. They responded saying they could. Communication was excellent! They made a 3D image for my approval; I said yes and they produced an exact copy of my yellow gold ring just as I wanted. I was more than pleased!!?? I have had several chains shortened here and QJR is reasonable and quick. I was very lucky to have found this company.”
The next time you're dreaming about a special piece you can call your own (right down to the design!), hit us up. We’ll be there every step of the way to make sure the item fits all of your criteria, from initial design to finished product. Create your custom jewelry with us today by getting started with the form below: