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What You Need to Know About Custom Jewelry Design

Jul 13, 2020

There exists a countless number of jewelry designs out in the world. Many of which are unique pieces that are based solely on one person’s imagination. While the majority of people will choose to go with a tried and true, traditional design, there is always a healthy percentage that choose to go with something that fits the taste and personality of the person wearing it. There are many advancements in custom design today, much of which involves CAD (computer-aided design), 3D printed prototyping, and laser welding and engraving.

In the past, models were simply carved out of wax by hand, mold made and metal poured; and finally formed, hammered, and finished into shape. And while the amount of talent needed to make beautiful ornate jewelry was quite high, there was this unimagined level of detail and structure yet to be realized. Through CAD, the bar is considerably raised when it comes to structural designs. And now with 3D printing, having a physical prototype has never been so easy. That’s not to say that higher “technology = better jewelry.” Handmade jewelry still offers some of the strongest jewelry imaginable (i.e. rolled out annealed metals). Simply put, technology brings more creativity to the table, while handmade still maintains its organic charm and durability.

Seeking a custom jewelry project can sometimes feel like a daunting endeavor. But it isn’t as nerve racking as you might think. All you, as the client, needs to bring is your ideas, and a good Master Jeweler will do the rest. The benefit of meeting and talking with the person that will be hands-on with your custom jewelry only means you will end up with a clear understanding of what you will get in the end. When I take on a custom job with a customer, it all starts with that initial consultation. We schedule you to visit and sit down to go over what you have in mind. Some clients will come with pictures, sketches, and specific stones chosen. While others will come with only one or two aspects of what they think they want, and I take over from there with concepts that suit the goal they have in mind.

Once a design has been decided on, initial sketches are made and approved. It’s then up to me to calculate the amount of metal needed, and what the stones will cost (if any). Once a final estimate is reached, sent to the customer and approved, then work can be started on getting something from the realm of thought to the physical one. The final sketches are then drafted and labeled with measurements. These sketches then get converted into a 3D model and calibrated. This model can then be sent to the client as a PDF with multiple angles (or even a 3D file) for final approval. This is a good time to make any final edits. Adjustments are usually a breeze in the digital realm.

When the CAD is finalized, it is then sent for prototyping and printed in 3D. A mold is made and then the final cast in the actual metal. Once the rough casting has been checked over for quality assurance, it’s then ready to be assembled, soldered together (if needed) and scrutinized from every angle to be prepared for stone setting. In the end, a beautiful piece of jewelry now exists and is ready to be presented to that lucky person. A beautiful process that, while respecting the old way of doing things, celebrates how amazing technology is. Come see us for your custom needs. Perhaps there’s a meaningful pendant that you want made, or a very unique engagement ring that needs that personal touch. We at Samuelson’s would love to be a part of it.

    

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