Designing your own gemstone ring is a journey of identifying your own self. There is no greater satisfaction than custom creating a ring that you would potentially wear every day. But first and foremost you should know how to choose a jeweler for this almost sacred process.
Researching for a custom design and having it personalized to your character is a delicate process. Choosing the right and reputable jeweler to trust with your custom work is rather a difficult task. Even more so when you design your own gemstone ring. You may have already paid a fortune for the gemstone, but it’s not complete until you set it right on the ring you have in mind.
A lot of money and effort would be at stake. The final product should not be anything less than perfect when you chose to custom make your gemstone ring. This article elaborates some key areas to consider when choosing a jeweler for custom gemstone ring.
1. Check the Reputation
This is a trade-off between the cost and anticipated quality. A highly reputed Jeweler may not only charge a higher price tag, but it may take longer to complete your work. There could well be an extremely skillful jeweler that may not have a high-street reputation.
Do your research. Look for a list of jewelers around your area. Try to qualify them to a certain degree based on the information available at hand. Look for their social media profiles like Instagram to get an idea of what sort of rings they have been making. If available check who has been buying from them and what their comments and reviews are. Every small bit and piece will help to choose the jeweler.
Doing prior research may save you lots of time and avoid getting fall into the jeweler’s sales pitch. Check if the jeweler have professional qualification. However, this should not be the main consideration as creating jewelry is an art that is not guaranteed by professional qualifications.
2. See Some Sample Work
Once you have shortlisted few candidates, you should check some of their prior custom rings. This is the easiest way to judge a jeweler. You can do it either by visiting or requesting photos over the email. However, its always recommended to go and visit as those minute details may not be properly captured in photos unless the photographer has used a quality macro lens.
You can expect a similar overall finish when yours is done. This is an excellent opportunity to assess if the jeweler tends to value what you want in your ring. It could be those almost microscopic details, the finishing of the setting, the styles he or she has predominantly made previously, etc. You can also try some of their custom made rings if available just to see how good they will look on your hand.
3. Do They Do Their Own CAD?
CAD stands for computer-aided design. This is not an absolute necessity to choose a jeweler. But having the jeweler to present you the CAD of the ring in your mind is quite a big luxury. You may opt to do some changes yourself after seeing the virtual ring. Therefore this is an added advantage. There are quite a few software that jewelers use to present you with the 3D model of your intended design.
Especially when it comes to colored gemstones, a CAD will give you the best judgment of the color contrasts between the ring material and the stone. Thus it will particularly helpful when you design your own gemstone ring.
Something to keep in mind is that the actual work may not look exactly like the model. Creating jewelry is an art after-all. It will ultimately have the signature of the wearer and also the jeweler to a certain extend which exactly is what makes a custom ring special.
4. Know the Lead Time
A jeweler can take anywhere between a few days to weeks depending on your schedule. But the rule of thumb is not to rush your jeweler. It is a delicate work and it needs quality time. That is why you should know the delivery time in advance. Rushing the jeweler during the half of the work will not do any good to either party.
Longer lead time may often mean the jeweler has ongoing orders. It could mean the jeweler is in demand which is a good thing. But at the same time, he or she may not have time to give that extra care. Make sure the jeweler’s apprentice does not do the entire work. You choose the jeweler, not the apprentice.
Don’t pick holiday seasons like summer holidays or Christmas to give your order. Even after the first cut, you may need to do some alterations. Therefore you need to add some extra buffer. Especially for engagement rings that are time-critical should be planned in advance to avoid unpleasant encounters.
5. Know the Cost
Depending on your design, the jeweler may not always be able to give you the exact figure. A rough estimate cost with a little variation would do just fine. Have it written down along with the terms and conditions. Put some of your own conditions as well. Any additional cost that might incur must run through you first. A jump of a few hundred dollars should not be a complete surprise.
You should always have a good deed with your jeweler, cause you will be wearing their work every day. One unpleasant conversation could linger for a long time. A good reason why you should be careful when choosing a jeweler to design your own gemstone ring or any other jewelry for that matter.
6. Be Absolutely Clear About the Liabilities
Particularly applicable when designing your own gemstone ring. Diamond, sapphire, chrysoberyl, and spinel have the highest hardness out of all the gemstones, which leaves little chance for damages. But the culet which is the bottom point and the facet meeting lines on crown and pavilion can be prone to damages when enough force is applied in a certain direction. In a worst-case scenario, the jeweler might lose the stone altogether.
Therefore it’s essential to know the liabilities when you design your own gemstone ring. The point to consider is, in case of a loss or damage how the jeweler compensates the customer and to what extent. Have it written down if possible. Finding the correct gemstone with authenticity is even harder than finding the right jeweler.
7. Request for the Hallmark
Hallmark or the fineness mark guarantees that your jewelry is made with authentic precious metal and the level of purity. Some countries like the United Kingdom require the hallmark on the jewelry by law. This helps both jewelers and consumers equally. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium can all be engraved with the fineness mark.
In absence of a hallmark, a forgers seal would also add some value to the ring and some sort of a guarantee synonymous with the reputation of the particular jeweler. If you ever decide to sell your ring, this could play a role in appreciating the price.
8. Know the Refund Policy
Apart from the liabilities, you should ask the specifics of the refund policy as well. Each jeweler may have different refund policies that differentiate the materials used, labor, and the final product. Know exactly what they mean and how comfortable you are. You may most likely need to pay a deposit to start working on the ring. This deposit may not be refundable if you change your mind midway.
Finally, Choose Your Jeweler Wisely
Finding the right gemstone and finding the right jeweler to forge your ring are equally important tasks that should be done carefully. A custom made gemstone ring may always mean more to you than buying off the shelf. The entire process must be a pleasant and seamless experience. You must feel the love for the product and the process every time you look at your custom made ring. Therefore choose your jeweler wisely.
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