The Custom Process


The first step is for you to dream—and to discover. Before we meet for an initial consultation, we ask that you assemble a collection of ideas and designs you like. Browse the Internet, flip through magazines, or window shop to gain an understanding of what is possible in jewelry design. We will never copy any other designer or manufacturer’s work, but we can use examples to isolate design elements to include in your own special piece. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment. We prefer to meet on Tuesdays but can be flexible.


Consider how you’ll wear this piece. Is it for everyday wear or special occasions? How does it need to perform to match the needs of your everyday life? Are you active outside or do you work with your hands? During the initial consultation, we’ll discuss how usage, materials, construction, and durability inform the design process. After this conversation, we will begin to make thumbnail sketches and estimate the cost.


After the initial consultation, we will refine sketches and design. We may produce a prototype wax model or generate a computer aided rendering depending upon the design. This helps to give you a more concrete feel for the piece. In some designs we may proceed directly to hand fabricating the piece from the sketch. After the piece is either cast or hand fabricated, finished and polished we set the stones. This is the most specialized and often the most time consuming and delicate part of the entire process.

What is custom design?

The design and restyling projects vary in their complexity and in the degree of personalization. There are basically three degrees of the process.

  1. The first method is what we refer to as remounting. This involves choosing a pre-made piece from one of our vendors that will accommodate your stones shapes and sizes. Photos of vendor styles are available in catalogs and on line. There are links in our website to these vendors. This is usually the least expensive process.

  2. The second process is what we call a light custom. This involves modification of models from our in house collection of hundreds of molds. We produce a wax model that you may like and modify it to accommodate the shapes and sizes of gems that you may wish to use. This is a relatively flexible way to create a unique design at a reasonable cost.

  3. The third method is a full on custom design. We create a totally new and original piece from the ground up. This produces a totally new design and is usually the most time consuming process involved with custom design. This may also be the only process that can be used when considering gemstones that are not calibrated, unusual shapes or very large.

We will provide a rough, verbal estimate during your initial consultation, but please remember that this is an approximation. Firm estimates can only be given after we calculate the actual metal weight and time involved exclusive of any major adjustments to design changes by the client as the project proceeds.

Simple designs and remounts average three to four weeks to complete, while more complex full on custom projects can take eight or more weeks. If you have a special date by which you need an item, please let us know. We try to accommodate our clients any way we possibly can.

After we provide a firm estimate we require a down payment or merchandise that will be used for the project to be left with us. We ask for full payment up front for any gemstones or diamonds that we may procure from our brokers for the project.