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Five Steps to Design Your Own Custom Jewelry

Posted by Catherine Claus on


Design your own custom piece of jewelry and make a personal statement.  Select your fine gems and gold, and from your creativity, comes meaning and ultimately a heirloom

Jewelry produced in a factory is quite different from a bespoke piece. Like a bit of decoration that — no matter how lovely — is replaceable.

That’s why I love collaborating on personalized designs with our clients.

It’s incredibly exciting to start with the seed of an idea, then develop it, nurture and adore it. Only a month later, after dozens of hours of creative work, it is magical to hold the fruit of that idea in your hands. (Or drape it around your neck, dangle it from your ears, or slide it onto your loved one’s finger.)  

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Personalize Your Jewelry Down to the Source

How personal can a piece of jewelry be if you don’t know who mined the gemstones, or the goldsmith who cast and worked the metals?

Whether you want to design a custom engagement ring, a pendant to mark a milestone, or the earrings you’ve always dreamed of, your sources matter. Take this into consideration from step one so you can feel confident your investment is supporting environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices.

Realize Your Dream Design in Five Steps

You don’t need to know anything about jewelry design or fabrication. All you need is an idea and the right team to bring it to life.

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Step One: Find Inspiration

Are there existing pieces of jewelry you would like to borrow from? Snap pictures of pieces you see or gather images online.

Designing for someone with a unique sense of style? Collect images that capture their taste and fashion. This goes for yourself as well.

Simply inspired by a particular gemstone? Start by asking yourself what it is about rubies or opals that fascinates you.

Inspiration can come from many places. The key is to focus your inspiration and find images and materials that clearly communicate your vision to a design team.

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Step Two: Honor Your Past

Heirloom jewelry and inherited gemstones are a natural place to start. This is a common way to approach custom jewelry design because family pieces carry deep personal meaning. The new custom piece can be a way to preserve older pieces and extend their life. 

Honor an inherited gem by repurposing it in a custom ring, pendant, or cuff. For example, the gold from your grandmother’s wedding band could be recast into a contemporary design. An antique brooch can be set as a pendant. And a damaged can be repaired and transformed into a ring.

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Step Three: Sketch it Out

Choose a metal that you love and start sketching possible designs. You do not need drawing skills or design experience to start doodling what you see in your mind’s eye. Have fun with it.

These drawings are simply another step in refining your idea and ensuring your design team understands exactly what you want.

Your designers can then generate detailed hand-drawn sketches or 3D renderings of your piece. This allows you to work closely with designers and give specific feedback to perfect every element of your custom jewelry.

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Step Four: Know Your Artisans

Once your design has been perfected and approved, you can remain closely involved in the creation of your piece by getting to know the fabricators.

At Thesis Gems and Jewelry, we think witnessing the work of San Francisco Bay Area master goldsmiths is one of the most thrilling steps in the process.

The sheer anticipation of waiting to receive your custom jewelry is a true delight. And finally holding your completed design in your hands is an indescribable feeling.

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Step Five: Protect Your Investment

Now that your inspiration has come to life, you want to ensure it lasts for generations. And if the unthinkable does happen and your treasured jewelry is lost or stolen, you want to be able to recoup your investment.

First, guard your treasure carefully by storing it in a secure place and taking proper care of the metals. At Thesis, our jewelry is guaranteed forever. If needed, we can repair your custom piece so it doesn’t end up permanently hidden in a drawer or safe.

Then insure your new heirloom through your renters or homeowners policy, or through a reputable jewelry insurance company. 

What Do You Have in Mind?

Our design team is ready to work on your idea. Together we’ll take the first step toward creating an original piece of jewelry you can treasure for years to come. Get in touch today for a custom design consultation.