How Does the Custom Design Process Work?

Many people come to us curious about the custom design process, but some are intimidated by it.  We get that. Unless you have experience with jewelry making yourself, it’s hard to wrap your mind around a process that feels very abstract. And it’s another big leap to actually insert yourself into that process.

Well, we’re here to demystify the jewelry making process, and to show you how accessible it actually is. (Honestly, we help folks design custom pieces every day, and it’s never as hard as they think it’s going to be!)

So let’s talk through this process, step by step...or email our design team today!

Step 1: Dream & design

Come in and tell us about your vision. Bring a picture, a drawing, your Pinterest board, your Grandma’s diamonds…or nothing at all!

Don’t worry: we don’t expect you to know exactly what you want walking in the door. Take a peek around the showroom and tell us what you like and don’t like about different pieces you see. Let the inspiration come naturally.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll make your way to the right design.

Step 2: Create a virtual image of the design

Once we have a pretty good idea of the look you’re going for, you are invited to sit with one of our designers.

We use CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to create a virtual 3D image of the piece you have in mind. We do this on the spot, right in front of you, incorporating any suggestions you have along the way. The end result is a photo-realistic image of what the item will look like when it’s done.

Boom—you just designed your own jewelry!

Step 3: Create a wax model of the piece

Once you’ve approved the design on screen, we move on to the wax stage. Using our top-of-the-line wax printer we to turn your digital design into a physical model, made out of a translucent orange wax.

This is the part where you get to try it on!

Step 4: Cast the piece in metal

When you’re 100% thrilled with your wax model, it’s time for casting.

Here’s how it works: first, we submerge the wax model in a special type of plaster and bake it in the oven. The heat hardens the plaster and melts out the wax, leaving just a shell, which serves as a sort of “template” for the metal.

Next, we pour molten metal into the plaster shell, allow it to cool completely, and then shatter the plaster shell to reveal the final cast metal piece.

Step 5: Finish the piece

Here’s where our jewelers really earn their keep! They hand set each stone with microscopes under 40x magnification, using precise craftsmanship skills it takes years to master. They are tirelessly meticulous, and for good reason: they’re securing each stone for a lifetime of wear.

Once the stones are in place, we add any engraving requested and perform the final finishing and polishing.

Step 6: Oohs and ahhs

Our work is done, and you have a stunning new piece of jewelry that’s already priceless, because you made it yourself. What a feeling!

The entire custom design process takes less than 4 weeks from start to finish. Come give it try. You’re a better jewelry designer than you think!  Email our design team today.