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The Journey of Custom Jewelry

Updated: May 3, 2021

Custom jewelry has been one of our specialties since the beginning. Learn the ins and outs and why it is not something to shy away from. Whether you are hands on or hands off during all or part of the process, it's not as daunting as you may think.

To summarize, here are the seven steps of the custom jewelry journey. Read below to learn more about each one.

1. Goal

2. Sketch

3. Budget & Balance

4. Model

5. Production

6. Reality

Goal for the Gold

Just like most process in life, start with defining and determining your goal. In the case of custom fine jewelry, this goal just happens to be a most precious and treasured piece of fine jewelry. No matter what the item, define what it is that you want. Ask yourself questions like, “Where do I plan on wearing my new treasure?” These are important for both you and your trusted jeweler in order to make the process as seamless as possible.

Hand sketched design by a customer. He was an engineer so don't think yours has to be this good.

Sketching, 1, 2, 3

Once you have an idea of the kind of jewelry piece you want to end up with, gather images and examples that inspired you. For those pursuing a truly unique and one of a kind piece, this may mean uncovering your inner-child and sketching it out. Or if you feel you lack the ability to successfully sketch what you have designed in your head, sit down with your trusted jeweler and ask for them to help. Any custom jewelry designer should be willing to sit down with you and help bring a preliminary deign to life with no up front costs or commitment regardless of budget; from a $15,000 cocktail anniversary ring or a $500 bracelet to commemorate your daughters high school graduation. Sure this first design may not be a Picasso, but this is essential for keeping everyone on the same page from the beginning.

Don't fret if you need to adjust your design. Do so until it is right.

The Two B’s: Budget & Balance

Once you have your sketch, a more precise price can be discussed. This is a key step for both you and designer which can prevent any surprises down the line. There should really only be one surprise and that comes later, when the gift is unwrapped. Don’t worry about disparity here either. If your design came out more or even less than you budgeted, revise it until you have the right version for the right price.

We can't wait to see the look on your face when viewing the model for the first time.

Model Excitement

This perhaps could be the second most exciting part (for us too). For the buyer, seeing the excitement when viewing your design for the first time can really get the endorphins pumping. From our view, seeing you overcome with excitement and emotion is just as exhilarating. Computer aided designs (CADs) give the best first looks today. These digital renderings show exactly what your final design will look like. See something that doesn’t look right? No problem, make adjustments until it is just the way you envisioned. We at Dubin’s Fine Jewelry, often take it a step further by setting up a viewing of the wax mold. This can be a necessary step for certain projects to ensure size and proportions are in line with your original vision.

Diamond ring in setting at the jewelers bench.

Production in 3, 2, 1…. GO!

Once design is finalized, it is now ready for production. In short, the process is as follows: wax print, investment/mold, casting, clean up/tumble, set, polish/finish

Virtual Reality

You have come a long way since the beginning of your project; that little vision in your head is now sitting in front of you. The awe and sparkle are breathtaking. Now you wait (hopefully not too long) to present your thoughtful and meaningful gift to your beloved. I can’t wait to hear what they think!


How long does the custom process take?

Once design is finalized, the actual time to cast, set, and finish your item of jewelry usually takes less than four weeks. In some cases, intricate designs, or those with hundreds of stones can take longer.

Is custom jewelry more expensive than “stock” jewelry?

In many cases custom jewelry can be in line with "stock" jewelry. In other circumstances, custom can be more expensive than stock jewelry. This is because the cost of production for one item is almost always more expensive than to say making 1,000 of that same item. The cost per unit goes downs (albeit not infinitely) the more units you have. This is also known as economies of scale.

Can anything be customized?

Yes, we can create any item of custom fine jewelry. Other than the usual ring, earrings, necklace, or bracelet, we have done items such as anklets, belts, money clips, cuff links, body jewelry, to name a few. Want to challenge us with your custom jewelry project, contact us...we're up for it.

Why should I consider custom jewelry?

Jewelry unlike almost all other consumer goods is personal, loaded with emotion, and held on to for years or even generations. Want a new purse, new pair of shoes, net piece of tech; sure you can walk into a store and find something that scratches your itch. It will do the trick for a while. Eventually, it will be worn out or run too slow and you'll look for a new updated model. You will likely never have the same attachment to any of those items that you do for your custom diamond earrings you and your loved one designed together to commemorate your ten year anniversary; a pair of earrings you one day plan on passing down to your daughter or daugher-in-law.

Ok, I’m ready to discuss my custom project. What now?

Thanks for reading and learning about the custom process. Contact us and we look forward to getting started.


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