Bespoke Custom rings: My Top 5 Tips

The Search For a Jewelry Maker

If you want to find someone who can make you a custom designed ring the first thing to work out is how to find a jeweler that can provide what you want.

I don’t know about you but search engines are my first call.

Using the Right Search Terms

Hey I don’t need to tell you that it’s important to use the right terms.

Sometimes when you’re dipping your toe in an area you aren’t familiar with you may not know all the words used to describe what you want.

 “custom design setting” or “hand crafted rings” are good starting points.

You can, if you want, restrict your search to your local area by including a mention of the city or town you are in, or your state if specifying your city doesn’t give you what you want.

Broaden the geographic area again if you still don’t get the results you want.

Sometimes what you need is located in another state.

Using more words can sometimes help, but the search results depend on many factors including which words the jeweler included on their site.

“where can i buy hand-forged bespoke engagement rings custom unique, earrings, pendants, bracelets” might work to .

There’s More Than One Search Engine

Google has long dominated the top spot as far as search engines go. It’s also worth seeing what a search on Bing, or DuckDuckGo delivers.

It’s also quite popular to ask for recommendations on Facebook, or Reddit.

You do need to have an account, or open an account in order to post on those. Chances are you do have an account with Facebook. If you want to post your question on Reddit it is easy to set up an account.

Wax Cast or Hand forged?

Yes you will find there is a marked difference between hand forged and wax cast jewelry knows in terms of quality.

Cast based production brings some compromises into the process.

Hand forged jewelry, made by a master craftsman has a lot of things going for it.

Wax cast jewelry is however by far the most common method of creating custom rings.

Look, it works fairly well for the majority of jobs.

However the art of hand forging jewelry still is reminiscent of the craftsmanship reserved for royalty.

So what are these marked differences between wax cast jewelry and hand forged jewelry, you may ask.

With hand forged jewelry the master craftsman has control over each individual part of the design.

Wax cast jewelry tends to be susceptible to a collection of minor problems.

There can be cases where wax cast jewelry may have one or more of the following deficiencies:

  • porosity and pinpoints from air bubbles,
  • less precise joints,
  • imperfections in cathedral openings or in underside baskets,
  • have more of a wavy surface (from the cleaning of the casting mold),
  • and can also result in a heavier yet weaker piece.

None of these are disastrous problems but if the piece is affected to a noticeable degree the jeweler will have to have the piece recast.

These problems can be avoided altogether by employing a master craftsman who hand forges the jewelry.

hand forged ringThe technological improvements in automation and mass manufacturing have still not dethroned hand forged jewelry as a method to produce jewelry of the highest quality.

An expertly hand crafted piece of jewelry has a smoother finish, and is surprisingly lighter while being stronger than an equivalent piece made by wax casting.

One of the finest craftsmen who not only produces remarkable pieces, but who also stocks the finest cut diamonds imaginable is Victor Canera.

Victor Canera is an atelier studio in California that physically produces jewelry.

With decades of accumulated knowledge in creating jewelry, they can provide sound advice based on their extensive experience producing jewelry as to what is possible with handmade jewelry.

Another example of Victor Canera’s work is shown here.

The Emilya Halo Solitaire, shown in the above video has a U-Cut pavé used throughout. This feature, accomplished by using the special tools at the Victor Canera atelier, maximizes the size of the pavé diamonds while at the same time minimizing the amount of seen metal. This hand forged ring in precious platinum features a 4 ct Canera Ideal Hearts & Arrows Round diamond. A halo of Single Cut pavé surrounds the center stone. The name used to describe the way the shank is adorned is “shallow U-Cut” Single Cut pavé otherwise known as cut down.

What about cost?

Yes hand forged jewelry will not be in the same price category as wax cast jewelry. But there are ways that you can avoid extra costs by carefully choosing the right options as to how the ring is to be made.

Labor Costs within the Context of Hand Forged Jewelry

Hand Fabricated and Hand Forged Jewelry is extremely labor intensive as compared to other forms of jewelry manufacturing such as using CAD\CAM and casting. Hand forged jewelry is superior in craftsmanship and quality to CAD\CAM and cast manufactured jewels in almost every aspect. It is not unusual for just the base metal work (hand fabrication) of a ring to take many days to complete.

This time consuming nature of hand fabricated jewelry means that a significant portion of the cost of a jewel are made up by labor costs.

Any changes in a ring design therefore that reduces manufacturing time would in turn decrease the cost of a ring.

This can apply directly to Intricate and Ornamental Ring Profiles of some designs that feature “filigree” or “ajour” which substantially add to the time it takes to manufacture a ring and therefore its cost (Fig. 2).

Many shoppers aren’t aware of this fact and I believe it’s important for a consumer to do a cost to benefit analysis of intricate profiles by asking for a break down of the added cost of these profiles.

In summary, simplifying the profile of a ring by eliminating ajour (with or without pave), filigree or other designs can lead to significant cost savings without effecting the top down view of a ring.

Two Victor Canera Ring Profiles Left:Intricate Filigree Profile. Right:Simplified Profile.

Two Victor Canera Ring Profiles Left:Intricate Filigree Profile. Right:Simplified Profile.

Pavé Set engagement ring designs have been very popular in recent years.

One option you may consider if you’re trying to reduce the overal labor cost is to see if you can decrease the amount of pavé from parts of a ring. This reduces both diamond carat weight which would be a significant part of the overall cost and also reduces labor costs.

Victor Canera passes those savings on directly to you.

Eliminating pavé on the band of a ring can substantially reduce costs.

Aside from cost reduction, omitting pavé on a band produces a glossy beautiful appearance.

Other small ways of saving on costs would be foregoing pavé from the stems of a ring design or the donut.

To summarize: the less pavé the less time consuming it is to make, the more affordable the end result.

Two Victor Canera Hand Forged Engagement Rings. Left:Pavé Band. Right: Plain Band

More Key Cost Saving Tips

With Trilogy Engagement Rings, otherwise known as three stone rings, the carat weight, measurements and quality of the side diamonds are a major part of the cost.

Selecting smaller and lower grade diamonds for the sides can result in considerable cost savings.

For example, if you go for E-VS1 side diamonds with a total carat weight of 1.00ct you are paying a great deal more than you would if you chose 0.80ct stones with an H Color and VS2-Si1 clarity.

It is perfectly fine in most instances to simply use “eye clean” clarity for the side diamonds while going a shade or so lower in color than the center stone.

The difference in color would be very difficult to distinguish especially if the center diamond and side diamonds employ different facet patterns.

Trilogy designs that use tapered baguette side stones or trapezoid shaped side diamonds are also priced out in millimeter lengths.

For example, tapered baguettes that measure 6mm long each are priced higher than 5mm tapered baguettes even if they theoretically had the same carat weight. See this example:

Top: 1.70ct Center w. 0.80ct Sides. Bottom: 1.9ct Center w. 0.45ct sides.

Top: 1.70ct Center w. 0.80ct Sides. Bottom: 1.9ct Center w. 0.45ct sides.

Browse Victor Canera’s engagement ring page for ideas and contact him today to have your custom ring hand forged.

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