One of the great aspects of buying jewelry is having the ability to impart your personal style into items, that you, or a loved one will wear for a lifetime. Jewelry is infinitely customizable, and can be build in a variety of ways, for a variety of budgets. Many people think that custom jewelry needs to be extremely expensive, but there are many options in how things are customized.
Making something beautiful is really possible at most budgets. The key is the process, and type of customization that someone wants. There are a few way to build a piece of jewelry, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
1. Pre-Made settings
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to have something custom made is to start with a pre-made setting. There are thousands of designs out there which only require the customer to chose the type and size of stone. Buying an existing casting, and choosing one's stones allows for someone to select the quality and color of stone, or stones, which fits into any one of those designs.
The advantage to this is speed and price. There are many settings in the market ready for gems to be set into. They don't require additional design work or processes. And, because they are ready to go, they can be finished in a matter of days. Of course there are a few issues. Typically, they work well for perfectly shaped center stones, notably rounds. Also, they don't allow you to chose how the stones are set (though different design choices do have different setting styles).
2. Custom CAD and Wax Carved Designs
Making something very personal often requires precise measurements and a greater attention to details. In working with CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, jewelers can build rings which match a client's criteria perfectly. It allows a designer to select, very precisely, all aspects of stones, setting, metal curves, prong shape. It makes it easy to build something based on a vision, then to view it, before it's completed. The software, can then print, in 3D a part in wax. Those waxes get cast in gold or platinum, and then can be finished and set by hand.
The advantage of this type of custom piece is that everything is adjustable until the end. Sizes, stones, dimensions. Everything can be modified to make an amazing piece, and adjusted right up until the piece is printed in wax. Of course there is a greater labor cost in developing a model this way. Also, it takes a little time for these to be made. That said, this is the standard process today for building custom jewelry.
3. Fully handmade
The process of building a handmade ring is slow and exacting. Done right, it's considered the ultimate way in which to make custom jewelry. But, by today's standards, it's very slow and tedious work, which not so many craftsman know how to do well.
As I have outline in a prior blog post, there are quite a few steps in making a fully handmade ring, starting from a raw piece of metal, and finishing in a fully made ring.
Making a fully handmade ring is, for some, the ultimate in custom jewelry. This however, comes at an extremely high price, is a slow and labor intensive process, and requires patience and time.
Making something custom comes down to personal choice and budget. There isn't one perfect solution for everyone, but having options is great. It assures that someone wanting a beautiful custom designed ring can have one in their budget.