How Does the Custom Design Process Work?
Many people come to us curious about the custom design process, but some are intimidated by it. We get that. Unless you have experience with jewelry making yourself, it’s hard to wrap your mind around a process that feels very abstract and it’s another big leap to actually picture yourself in that process. Well, we’re here to simplify the jewelry making process and to show you how accessible it actually is. We help design custom pieces every day, and it’s never as hard as you may think it’s going to be!
So let’s talk through this process, step by step or email our design team today!
Step 1: Dream & design
Come in and tell us about your vision. Bring a picture, a drawing, your Pinterest, your Grandma’s diamonds…or nothing at all! Don’t worry: we don’t expect you to know exactly what you want walking in the door. Take a peek around the showroom and tell us what you like and don’t like about different pieces you see. Let the inspiration come naturally. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll make your way to the right design.
Step 2: Create a virtual image of the design
Once we have a pretty good idea of the look you’re going for, you are invited to sit with one of our designers. We use CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to create a virtual 3D image of the piece you have in mind. We do this on the spot, right in front of you, incorporating any suggestions you have along the way. The end result is a photo-realistic image of what the item will look like when it’s done.
Boom—you just designed your own jewelry!
Step 3: Create a wax model of the piece
Once you’ve approved the design on screen, we move on to the wax stage. Using our top-of-the-line wax printer we turn your digital design into a physical model, made out of a translucent orange wax. This is the part where you get to try it on!
Step 4: Cast the piece in metal
When you’re 100% thrilled with your wax model, it’s time for casting.
Here’s how it works: first, we submerge the wax model in a special type of plaster and bake it in the oven. The heat hardens the plaster and melts out the wax, leaving just a shell, which serves as a sort of “template” for the metal. Next, we pour molten metal into the plaster shell, allow it to cool completely, and then shatter the plaster shell to reveal the final cast metal piece.
Step 5: Finish the piece
Here’s where our jewelers get to shine! They hand set each stone with microscopes under 40x magnification, using precise craftsmanship skills it takes years to master. They are tirelessly meticulous, and for good reason: they’re securing each stone for a lifetime of wear. Once the stones are in place, we add any engraving requested and perform the final finishing and polishing.
Step 6: Oohs and ahhs
Now you have a stunning new piece of jewelry that’s priceless, because you made it yourself. What a feeling! The entire custom design process takes less than 4 weeks from start to finish. Come give it try. You’re a better jewelry designer than you think!