Let me tell you something…
Special orders are not so special!
When you’re talking about jewelry and rings, special orders are a whole different creature.
Because jewelry isn’t like a washer and dryer that acts the same and looks the same.
Jewelry is more of an emotional purchase.
It’s one of those buys that’s very difficult to make without seeing the product in front of you. It’s hard for most people to imagine the finished ring. Gold, diamonds, gemstones, they all look different.
Most can’t visualize the style, the height of the mounting, how the prongs grasp the stones, how it feels on your finger, how it looks against your skin…
You can’t judge things like the weight of the ring.
Is it too heavy?
Does it flop around because it’s top-heavy?
Will it feel too thick on the sides and uncomfortable on your fingers?
Will it dig in and leave sharp indentation Marks?
It can be a huge problem…
You just don’t know.
All of these questions are ones that you can’t answer until you see the actual ring and try it on.
You either like it or you don’t!
It’s as simple as that.
That’s why special orders are a scary thing for most people, and what’s even more scary is this:
Special orders are not refundable.
No returns whatsoever.
Say for some reason you don’t like the way the jeweler interpreted your design… say he made the ring too big and bulky, you won’t be able to return it. You’re stuck with the gaudy thing.
Special orders are not so special now are they?
You can look at books, you can go through designs and patterns on a computer, you can see drawings and drafts of the final product, you can even have a wax made (for carving and casting purposes) that shows you the concept… but until it’s actually cast in gold, cleaned up, polished, stones set and sized, you’ll never really know if you’ll truly like it, hate it, love it or loath it.
So what can you do?
Is there a better way to custom design or special order rings?
To get the most out of special orders and custom designs, do this;
Start by looking at finished rings and jewelry in the jewelry cases at your local jewelry store.
Try them on.
See which ones are the closest to your “dream ring“.
Find one that feels right and looks right on your hand.
Take a good look at the width of the ring and the height of the ring. See how the weight of the ring feels.
You don’t want a ring that feels too heavy or flops around.
Try to find the closest ring you can to what you have in mind. Once you find that ring, that’s where the designing begins.
Special order requests:
Use that ring as a starting point in your special order quest. Tell the jeweler the things you like about that ring and the things you don’t Like. Show them from the other rings in their cases, what you want added, subtracted or altered.
Explaining to them in detail will save you a lot of time and money later.
Carve a wax:
The best way to special order or custom design a ring is to have a wax carved first.
Have them carve out your design in a wax that will later get cast into the real ring. Viewing this carved wax and trying it on will give you a better idea if you and the jeweler are on the same page.
Viewing the wax, you’ll be able to see things like the height of the ring, the width of the ring, and the entire layout and design. p>
It’s a fascinating process that I highly recommend.
Where do you have this done at?
Usually independent jewelers…
Jewelers that do a lot of custom designing, preferably.
Independent jewelers usually have a jeweler on the premises that will do the work and make any changes needed. It’s much easier to convey ideas to the actual people doing the work, versus the places that send the jobs out to another company in another state.
Good luck there!
Make sure you find out if you don’t like the wax, that they’ll carve you another or make the changes needed to the first. Because once the ring is cast and finished, it’s pretty impossible to say “Could you lower the mounting 2mm?”
Things like that are a nightmare.
Special orders are unpredictable…
While special orders are very cool (you get a one-of-a-kind ring), they are very scary and unpredictable, too. When you see a jeweler in hopes of custom designing your own ring, ask them if they do a lot of them and if they feel comfortable with them. If a jeweler hesitates, or is new, seems iffy about the process, or where to even begin.. don’t do it!
Find another jeweler.
Keep in mind, the more prepared you are going in, the better your ring will look in the end. If you go in having absolutely no idea what you want, chances are, you’re not going to be happy with the results.
Cut out rings that you like from magazines. Look on the internet for ring designs. Shop around. Find things that you like and want and address these issues with the jeweler.
Knowing what you’re in for and how to do it, is the best way to turn a custom designed nightmare into a ring that’s an awesome masterpiece.
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