A comprehensive guide to choosing custom jewelry. This article includes tips on how to find the perfect piece of jewelry for you, as well as some considerations that need to be taken into account before making any purchase.
It also provides information on what types of materials are typically used in handmade pieces so you know what you are getting yourself into when it comes to the quality of your piece.
Read this article if you want a little more insight into this topic!
1. Before purchasing jewelry
It is important to know what you want when it comes to custom pieces. There are so many options, and although that can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming.
To ensure that you get the jewelry that will last a long time and fits your personality, there are some things you need to consider before purchasing anything:
1.1 What is your budget?
This may seem like an obvious tip, but I cannot stress how much this needs to be taken into account when buying any item of jewelry or clothing for that matter!
Jewelry can vary in price depending on where you purchase it from and what materials were used to make the piece (i.e.: diamonds, pearls).
If you do not have a lot of money to spend, you can start looking at pieces made with basic metals such as silver or gold-plated.
If you are open to spending a little more, there are other materials that are worth considering!
For example, properties of titanium make it extremely scratch resistant so it is always a good option when purchasing any jewelry.
1.2 Is your piece for everyday wear?
There are different occasions where certain types of jewelry would be worn over others.
For example, if you were going on a night out with friends or dinner date then you may want to go with earrings that have some bling in them because they will stand out against the crowd (literally!).
If this isn’t something you want to do though and prefer to keep things modest, you can go with more subtle pieces like studs.
1.3 What occasion (if any) is your piece for?
This is another tip that seems obvious but doesn’t get taken into account often enough! Wedding attire might necessitate the purchase of specific types of jewelry that are worn only on this special day.
For example, an engagement ring or wedding band would be very hard to replace if something happened to it so they are worth investing in Custom Jewelry pieces.
Cufflinks are another type of accessory that may have sentimental value attached to them due to their history in western culture so they are not something you want to buy off the rack at a department store!
1.4 Does your piece match current trends?
Jewelry is popular amongst many people so trends are always changing. If you enjoy being fashion-forward then it might be worth keeping up to date with what is in fashion at the moment, otherwise your jewelry may end up looking out of place!
You can also go against trends sometimes by buying pieces that are either very unique or have a lot of personality attached to them. Either way, I recommend speaking with an experienced jeweler about current fashion trends if you are unsure where you would like to fall on the style spectrum.
2. Once you’ve found “the one”
Once you have settled on a design for your piece, there are still some considerations before purchasing anything:
2.1 Before making any purchases, try on the piece
This is a tip that is particularly important when it comes to jewelry. It may sound like common sense, but I often find it surprising how many people forget to do this before they make their purchase!
If you cannot actually try on your piece (i.e.: if it’s a necklace), then simply hold up various pieces of similar styles against your neckline to see what looks good.
Remember, after all, you are going to be wearing this every single day for years to come so make sure you are happy with the way it looks!
It is also worth considering other factors such as color because certain hues can look amazing in person but terrible under artificial lighting, thereby rendering your expensive custom piece worthless.
2.2 Which metal type is best for my piece?
This is a very important question and one that it is often hard to know the answer to without researching first. Different types of metal can be more or less durable, cheaper or more expensive and come with various aesthetics (for example: copper vs gold).
It is always worth having a discussion with your jeweler about these factors so you know what you are getting yourself into!
This also goes for jewelry made from precious/semi-precious stones as the properties of these vary wildly depending on the mineral.
2.3 Does my piece require any special care?
Certain pieces need special care if they are to look their best every day! For example, I work with many clients who have their diamond earrings set in platinum because it is a very durable metal.
While this makes them extremely hard to damage accidentally, it also means that they will tarnish over time! If you tend to work out or swim often then this may be something worth considering as, if left unattended, the white gold plating could become discolored and require expensive treatment.
2.4 Is my piece too expensive?
This sounds like an obvious question but I cannot tell you how many people neglect to ask it! Jewelry can get very pricey and sometimes we do not realize what we are paying for until it arrives at our doorstep.
It is crucial that your budget allows room for any custom pieces; otherwise, you may end up with a piece that is too small or you may even have to settle for cubic zirconia when you had your heart set on a lab-grown diamond.
It does not matter how stunning the design of your jewelry is if it does not fit with your financial plan!
3. What to do once you’ve made your purchase
Once you have received the finished product, there are certain precautions that will help ensure it lasts its full lifetime:
3.1 Do not shower/sleep in my piece?
I understand that this can be inconvenient but people need to understand how important this step really is. Gold and silver contain traces of nickel which make them very durable against accidental damage but also causes them to discolor under harsh conditions such as chlorine!
If you do not want your custom piece to turn green, yellow or even rust in some cases then avoid wearing it when showering/sleeping and in the times leading up to these events (i.e.: when applying makeup).
3.2 What sort of maintenance does my piece need?
It is important that every client understands how much upkeep their jewelry requires because this will affect whether they will buy said pieces again in the future.
For example: I enjoy working with clients who come back with fresh ideas/requests because I know they are happy with my work and they trust me enough to keep giving me business.
It also gives me a sense of pride when I see them return years later still wearing their custom-made jewelry!
Having said this, not everyone has the time to visit their jeweler once every few weeks for a basic cleaning. If you want your custom piece to last then it is best to ask what sorts of things you should be doing and/or avoiding in order to keep it looking its best (for example:
avoid wearing it when applying makeup or working out). These steps may be simple but they will help prolong the life of your jewelry significantly and make the investment worth it in the end.
3.3 Where do I store my customized pieces?
It is very important that you have a safe place to store all of your custom pieces so that they do not get lost/stolen by accident!
These trinkets can be very valuable and it’s a shame to see them go missing! For example:
I have two custom rings that were given to me by a lovely couple who did not tell me where they lived :(. So, if you want to keep your jewelry then make sure you store it in a place where its difficult to steal.
3.4 Should I take my piece off before/during certain activities?
This is another thing your jeweler will probably discuss with you but make sure you remember all of it! Certain pieces need special care due to the properties of the metal/stone used (see section 2.3).
If this is inconvenient for you then you may want to reconsider getting something like an engagement ring set in white gold or silver.
However, that does not mean that white gold or silver cannot be used in rings! It is simply a matter of preference for the client and ease of use for the jeweler.
3.5 How do I clean my piece?
This is also something your jeweler discusses with you when you go in to discuss your custom piece but it’s helpful to have a list of steps on hand anyways! Here are some guidelines:
- Use a soft cloth and warm water (or soap if necessary)
- Do not scrub too hard as this can damage the metal/stone
- Make sure to dry off excess moisture before putting piece back on because water conducts electricity which can ruin sensitive components inside i.e.: batteries, circuit boards, etc.
4 What are the stages of custom jewelry?
The first stage is simply discussing what you want to have made with your jeweler to get an idea of whether or not your design can be executed within budget.
This will be easy if you have already found a style that you would like but it gives clients the chance to see what kind of prices, they can expect for their designs beforehand! Once this stage is complete then the client should feel free to provide feedback before any work has been done so that changes can still be made!
You do not want to be stuck paying for something that does not match your artistic vision/does not suit you well after all!
This also means that if you have a budget in mind then you should discuss it with your jeweler before going any further!
This will be helpful to both parties because the jeweler can give advice on whether or not that price range is reasonable and allow you to get what you want within reason, while also assuring that they will get enough money out of the job if they invest time/materials into making your custom piece.
Once you have a design down and a budget has been made then the second stage begins:
prototyping! This means that your jeweler must make a model of your jewelry using cheap materials (usually plastic) so that they may test its durability/shape before moving forward with finalizing anything!
The use of these models saves both parties time and money by fixing mistakes before they are permanent. Your jeweler can also use this time to figure out how much each step will be if you have customized anything else other than the main piece of jewelry (for example: engraving, adding gems, etc.).
If you have not yet discussed price ranges then now is the time to do so!
The third stage is making your customized item using high quality materials! This step can take several weeks depending on what you are having done but once it is complete your custom jewelry will finally be ready for pickup/delivery! Congratulations!!
Lastly comes the delivery process where the client has their new piece brought home or delivered directly to them assuming that they paid extra for that service.
If not, then the jeweler will simply keep your new piece until they are ready to bring it to you or if you live close enough, pick it up yourself!
If there is anything unclear about this article (i.e.: price ranges of certain customizations) then please discuss them with your jeweler and/or wait until the sections of “5 Common Customizations for Jewelry” come out where more specific prices can be discussed in depth due to project length etc. Have a nice day everyone!!