How Does Custom Work?

Creating Your Dream Jewelry: A Guide to Custom Design

Are you ready to turn your dream jewelry piece into a stunning reality? At Shaw Fine Jewelry, we specialize in designing custom fine jewelry tailored to your unique vision. If you're new to the world of custom jewelry design, don't worry! We're here to guide you through the exciting process and offer you three fantastic options for customization.

When clients first hear the term “custom jewelry,” they may think it is too difficult or too expensive, or just generally not for them.  However, building a custom piece is so much fun, and can be done even in the $350-400 range for a pre-designed silver setting. 

We offer three main approaches to helping you build something uniquely yours.  These range from choosing a setting and a gemstone(s) to build your piece all the way to the most creative design, where your imagination is the limit.  The first and second options below can range in cost from $350 (silver) to as high as your selections take you.  It’s to your comfort level.  The third option, Straight-Up Custom, is used for precious metals (gold/platinum) and can range from $900 to as high as your tastes and budget allows.  We can do Straight-Up Custom in silver, but the cost will generally still start at $900 due to the labor involved in custom creation, even though the metal is less expensive.  We support whichever path gets you to Exactly What You Want, but generally encourage reserving option three for those clients who want pieces in gold/platinum.

1. Choose a Setting, then Choose a Stone(s). SFJ partners with Stuller, the leading US manufacturer of fine jewelry.  Stuller stands out as a company that goes above and beyond to support independent jewelers like SFJ with a history back to 1970, uncompromising quality, and commitment to preserving the artistry of jewelry making in local communities.  Our clients can either let us know what they are looking for, and we will provide options; or, have fun exploring the Stuller options themselves through the SFJ website at:      /.  This process takes 1-3 weeks, and might be able to be expedited.

2.  Choose a Stone, then Choose a Setting. We LOVE gemstones!  Peruse the jeweler-curated (hand-selected) gemstones pictured on SFJ and select your favorite.  We can also source any type of gemstone you may desire if you want something that isn't on the website.  Once you have picked your gemstone, let us know what type of setting you are looking for or search our digital Stuller catalog for settings you like.  We will review the precise measurements of your stone to ensure it will work with the setting.  Then we’ll order the setting for you, set your stone and deliver you a one-of-a-kind piece sure to Bring You Joy.  This process takes 1-3 weeks, and might be able to be expedited.

3.  Straight-Up Custom. When you want EXACTLY what you want, join with SFJ to create your custom piece from scratch.  Have a Pinterest board?  Just want to send us a couple of general example images?  You sketched something on a napkin at a restaurant?  We can take that, work with you every step of the way, and take your concept from idea to a sparkling one-of-a-kind heirloom jewelry piece.  I did this with my own original wedding ring, entrusting my grandmother’s diamond and the custom design to my custom manufacturing partner.  You can see this piece in the Gallery (The Wave Necklace).  The straight-up custom process generally takes 6 weeks.

                                       The Straight-Up Custom Process

    1.  Start with an Idea or Image

      The journey to creating a custom jewelry piece begins with your imagination. Perhaps you have a special memory, a cherished image, or simply a concept in mind. Whether it's an engagement ring, a pendant, or a pair of earrings, your idea is the spark that will ignite the creative process.

      2.  Sketching and Client Review

        Once you've shared your idea with us, our expert jewelry designers will start sketching your piece. These initial sketches serve as a foundation for your custom jewelry design. We'll work closely with you to ensure every detail matches your vision. Your feedback is essential during this phase, as it helps us refine the design until it's perfect for you.  Choose from a wide range of high-quality materials, such as various metals (white/rose/yellow gold, platinum, silver) and a dazzling array of gemstones. Each material brings its unique charm and character to your jewelry.

        3.  Artist Rendition and Client Approval

          After the sketches have been reviewed and adjusted to your satisfaction, we take the next step by collaborating with a custom manufacturer. They will transform our sketches into a detailed artist's rendition of your jewelry piece. This rendering provides a realistic preview of what your custom jewelry will look like, helping you make any final adjustments.

          4.  Computer-Assisted Design (CAD)

            The CAD engineer will then design your piece in software, taking care to ensure it meets standards for strength and stone setting, and another rendition will be provided to you electronically by SFJ.  Further refinements can be made in CAD until it is Exactly What You Want.  Once you're satisfied with the rendition, and every detail is perfect, we'll move forward with approving your piece for manufacturing. Our skilled artisans will bring your vision to life, using their expertise to create a masterpiece that you'll cherish forever.

            5.  Delivering your Dream Piece and Bringing You Lots of Joy.

            The manufacturer will ship your one-of-a-kind piece to SFJ, where it will undergo a final quality control inspection.  Then, it will be carefully packaged and insured and delivered to you.  This part brings us both joy, because we love thrilling our clients!

            At Shaw Fine Jewelry, we take pride in turning dreams into reality, crafting custom fine jewelry that reflects your individual style and story. If you're ready to embark on this creative journey with us, please don't hesitate to reach out. Let's create a jewelry piece that's as unique as you are!