Our custom design process develops your inspiration into a concept sketch or CAD render. We have designers who are happy to sketch out ideas here at the store with customers, or via email for long distance design. Throughout this process estimates are provided and updated with every change of the design, to create your design in your budget. Once a design is perfected, we can move forward with defining details on proportions and stone options.
Choosing the gems for your piece is very important early on in the process. These choices will significantly impact the engineering aspects of the design. Our trained diamond, pearl, and gem experts are happy to design alongside our customers to offer education and guidance as you select from the perfect gem from our carefully curated collection.
We have well-established relationships with ethical gemstone dealers all around the world, who can provide us with stones (conflict-free, fair trade and ethically mined) within 1 – 2 business days. We also have an excellent selection of stones in the store, the breadth of which can only be seen to be believed. Depending on the rarity of the stone or the requirements of the customer, the search and selection process may take several weeks.
We love to work with your heirloom stones to create a look you love with incomparable sentimental value. We can unset gems from their original settings, or use your loose gems.
Wax carving and approval
After the concept design is completed and the stones are chosen, your bench jeweler will hand carve a wax model so you can see the design in three dimensions and make any modifications necessary before it is cast into your metal of choice. The wax approval usually takes place in person, but can also be done via email.
We specialize in the lost wax casting method, a traditional metalsmithing technique that allows you creative control of your piece. This means each piece is hand carved and one of a kind; each specific wax is melted away before casting, leaving only the finished piece. We are able to make a mold out of the finished piece but only at the customer’s request to ensure future reproductions of their custom piece.
After casting, gems are meticulously set by hand. We add security to the settings by soaking the piece in our ultrasonic to try and loosen the settings. After each soak the settings are tightened accordingly. It should be noted that metal retains memory and stones should be checked after no more than three months of initial wearing (especially rings) to ensure there hasn’t been too much movement and stones are still tight. We are always happy to clean and check your piece of jewelry free of charge, and suggest having this done approximately two to three times per year. Our talented gemstone setters have decades of experience on top of excellent technical training in setting custom cut gemstones, one of a kind pearls, lapidary art and diamonds.