Custom Jewelry Design: The Process
“The scope of custom pieces I’ve worked on over the years range from a great grandmother's heirloom to birth celebrations and repurposing of important family stones.” — Mimi So
Mimi, a proud third generation jeweler, grew up amongst the inspiring jewels and objects her parents created for private clients. In turn, she developed an appreciation for exquisitely handcrafted works of art — qualities which permeate her jewelry today.
Mimi learned as a consumer first, then as designer, to always work with the most qualified people for any task. It’s important to vet the person assigned to your project. This applies to any trade including jewelry, fashion, furniture design, and even renovating a home! If you understand quality, work with quality materials and hire an expert team, the outcome will meet or exceed your expectations. What qualifies a candidate in their field predominantly depends on their area of expertise. Many jewelers are accustomed to working only in certain metals or with certain stones. Rare gemstones can be damaged in the wrong hands so you don’t want someone learning on your dime.
A “Master jeweler” uses their skill and experience to work with all precious metals and stones with the care and precision of a surgeon or architect. Their valuable expertise is always worth the time and expense to execute a design the right way. Something done properly the first time is the best way to avoid disappointment.
In addition to our jewelers, setters, polishers, and engravers, we use the highest quality materials. All our stones are conflict-free and responsibly sourced. Center stone diamonds come with reports from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and our precious metal suppliers practice ethical and sustainable sourcing of recycled metals.
Not all customization services are created equal. We believe it’s important for you to understand the various levels available.
If you'd like more information on creating a custom piece or personalizing one of our pieces, send us a few details about your custom project by clicking the button below.
We offer clients the ability to customize our designs or create unique one-of-a-kind designs. Below is a breakdown of the various levels of customization.
General Custom: Minor adjustments to existing designs
- Metal Color
- Ring Size
- Chain Length
Mid-level Custom: Moderate adjustments to existing designs
- Stone color or stone type
- Stone shape
Bespoke Custom: New design created with the client
- One-of-a-kind design tailored to client specifications
- Custom engagement rings or wedding bands
Bespoke Customization Process
We take the time to inform and guide our clients through the customization process. We cater to those looking for a deeply personal experience with an intuitive and skilled expert to craft their most important pieces of jewelry. There are two main parts to this process:
- Consultation appointments can be made via phone or email. We discuss what the client is looking for so we can prepare options for their in-person visit. We can also set up a live video chat.
- If you are unsure what you want and need guidance, our team is happy to facilitate the design process. Every member of our team is trained by Mimi directly, so each client can benefit from the knowledge of her expertise and eye for design.
- During the consultation, clients can bring their own stones they want to use in their design, or we can educate the client on differences amongst stone options, quality ranges, and recommendations.
- We specialize in emeralds, sapphires, and fancy diamonds. That said, virtually any stone can be procured from our network of gemstone dealers. Our gemologists also evaluate the stones for quality and brilliance.
- We then take you through the different prices and tradeoffs for your desired item. Depending on how intricate the design is, sketches or models are made to further cement the details of the design. Pricing and timelines are set and approved.
- Our skilled artisans and production team start crafting your custom order.
- During this phase, models are refined for sizing and proportions. The piece then gets cast in metal. These raw castings are inspected for quality to make sure there are no pits or porosity.
- Our Master jewelers file and sand each casting by hand. Pieces are assembled and tested for durability.
- Emphasis is always placed on making sure the wearer will be comfortable in our jewelry. We may have the client try it on in case adjustments are needed.
- Stones are carefully hand set and stress tested by our setters.
- Our polishers smooth the metal to a glossy finish. The piece is examined under magnification to ensure it is finished to our exacting standards.
- Finally, the serial number is laser inscribed on your piece. This number serves as a record of your ownership.