The 9 Steps Of Custom Jewelry Design Explained

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Designing a custom piece of jewelry is an exciting adventure.

Whether you are designing a wedding ring or special necklace, the process has 9 steps:

  1. booking an appointment
  2. design meeting
  3. sketching and modeling
  4. sketch approval and stone selection
  5. production
  6. handwork finishing
  7. gemstone setting
  8. polishing and cleaning
  9. delivery

Here is some information on each of these very important steps:

Step 1: Booking an Appointment

Before you can work with a designer on your special jewelry piece, first you will need to book an appointment. When you book, ask if there is a fee for the appointment.

If there is a fee, ask if the fee is converted to part of your purchase price if you go forward with production. Many times this will be the case as it encourages customers to purchase the pieces they designed.

Step 2: Design Meeting

At the design meeting, you can expect to work with the designer and clarify your specific needs, budget, timeframe, and expectations. You should bring along any ideas or examples along with a clear understanding of what you do and don't want.

Also, if you plan to incorporate metal or gemstones from another piece of jewelry into the new custom jewelry, then bring that along as well.

Step 3: Sketching and Modeling 

Once the designer knows what you want, then they will generate sketches using a 3D CAD program and send them to you for approval.

If you want to make design changes, then they will be incorporated and new sketches sent back to you. This will continue until you approve the design.

Step 4: Approval and Stone Selection

Once you have approved the sketched designs, then you will be asked to select the gemstones to go into the jewelry piece assuming it will have stones in it.

Step 5: Production

The CAD sketches are used to 3D print the casting model for your jewelry. After the model has been printed, then the jewelry will be cast in metal.

Step 6: Handwork Finishing

Once your custom jewelry has been cast, then any handwork finishing will take place. Some common examples of handwork include hand forging, engraving, and wire filigree.

Applying an optional antique finish is also completed during this step.

Step 7: Gemstone Setting

Once the metal portion of the jewelry piece is completed, then any gemstones will be set.

This step happens near the end of the production process to ensure the stones aren't scratched or otherwise damaged.

Step 8: Polishing and Cleaning

With the jewelry piece now completed, it is polished and then soaked in an ultrasonic cleaner.

Step 9: Delivery

Finally, your brand new custom-designed jewelry piece will be delivered to you. With the jewelry, you should receive a written receipt, certifications for any gemstones, and care instructions.

Talk to a custom jewelry provider to get started.