Custom jewelry is all the rage. Everywhere you go you’ll see ads saying “customize it” or jewelers proclaiming “we do custom!” But is custom really worth it?
The Benefits of Custom
Customizing jewelry is beyond fulfilling, it’s fun! Working with an expert jewelry designer can open up options previously thought inconceivable, and you can watch your dream design materialize right before your eyes. Custom is also a great way to repurpose pieces of jewelry that are sitting collecting dust. You can trade your gold in as credit towards your new design, and repurpose the gems, too. In the end you walk away with a one of a kind piece of jewelry that expresses your style in ways over the counter jewelry rarely accomplishes. You also get to support your local and US economies by supporting local artists.
How Much does Custom Jewelry Cost?
The same as most jewelry on display! Surprised? Custom jewelry has the stigma of being pricey, but whatever your budget, customizing your next piece of jewelry can be within reach. The friendly staff here at Kennington’s knows how to work with your budget to create something you’re going to love. Remember, you can trade in old gold, platinum, and silver jewelry as credit towards your custom design. You never know, you may have more options than you think.
Choosing a Jewelry Designer
With so many shops declaring their expertise in custom design, it can be a bit overwhelming figuring out which jeweler to trust. Let me clue you in on a little secret…most jewelers who make that claim don’t actually fabricate anything themselves. They “farm” out the design or choose a ring that closely resembles the design you like and order it from a national company. Have no fear; we’ve compiled some questions to ask the jeweler you’re considering seeing if they truly make the cut.
1) “Do you have a jeweler on site?” If they do, there’s a good chance they do their own repairs on site. Knowing that your custom piece can be maintained by the jeweler who made it is important. You can even ask to meet the jeweler.
2) “Do you set gems on site?” To have a jeweler in the workshop doesn’t mean a shop will set gemstones as well. If they have to send an item out to be set, repaired, or fabricated, the customer is the one who ends up paying for shipping and any other costs associated with completing the piece.
3) Are you really being listened to? Finding the right jeweler isn’t only about craftsmanship or style; you have the opportunity to make a lasting relationship with someone you can trust, and any respectable jeweler will see you walking into their store as an opportunity for a new and lasting relationship with you. Do you feel like you’re not being taken seriously? Do you feel you’re being “persuaded” to buy an easy, in stock item instead of developing on your ideas for design? These are some of the warning signs that you aren’t really being listened to, and you may be happier with another jeweler. Don’t get the wrong idea, some in stock items that custom design jewelers have to offer are unique, high quality goods, but make sure your wants are addressed instead of being pushed to the side.
4) “Do you have a gallery or portfolio I can browse through?” Any professional custom designer will have a gallery or portfolio available showcasing their work. Ask to take a look through theirs, and listen to what they have to say about some of the pieces. Does the jeweler act as though each piece was a chore to complete? Do they get excited when they talk about their work? Does he remember what the piece of jewelry represents to the customer who had it made? Remember, finding the right jeweler is as much about craftsmanship as it is about building a relationship with someone you can trust. Remembering the story behind a custom piece, or acting as though meeting customers’ requests is a drag will tell you just as much about the jeweler as the jewelry he’s crafted.
5) Do your research! The internet is bursting at the seams with customer feedback. Take a look and see what other people are saying about the jeweler, or ask your friends what they think. Since the development of social media, the power has shifted from the supplier to you, the consumer. You owe it to yourself to check sites like yelp, google reviews, and the better business bureau.
With these questions and tips on your side, you’ll be ready to take the first steps in finding the right custom jeweler.