[This is the fourth article in a four-part series on custom-designed jewelry. The other articles are listed at the bottom of this page.]
The creation of a beautiful jewel must include an imaginative design, quality gemstones and metals, and superior craftsmanship. In my last two articles, I discussed the importance of creating an imaginative, personalized design and selecting complementary gems and metals. In this article we will take a look at how to choose the right craftsperson to execute your design.
When selecting a goldsmith or "bench" jeweler to fabricate your jewel, there are four factors to consider:
Craftsmanship: Not all goldsmiths are created equal. And, more importantly, not all goldsmiths will be equally adept at creating the type of jewel you have designed. The goldsmith you choose should be experienced in creating designs like yours and working with the gemstones and metals you have selected. Different metals and manufacturing techniques require different levels of skill. It is important to review the goldsmith's prior work and references.
Artistry: A custom-designed jewel is best described as a miniature work of art. Your goldsmith should appreciate and enhance the artistry of your design. He/she should have an instinctive understanding of the jewel's form, colors and textures. In short, you want a goldsmith who will create a masterpiece for you, and not just paint by the numbers. Your goldsmith should also understand whether or not a particular design is technically feasible, and better yet, wearable and functional!
Timeliness: A custom-designed jewel often celebrates a special occasion or person. If you need to have the jewel completed by a certain date, make sure that the goldsmith will be able to meet your deadline. Remember......if you wish to create a jewel for Christmas, you should begin the design process by early November.
Cost: High cost is not always indicative of value and quality workmanship. Many high-priced jewellers produce second rate, low- quality work. By the same token, you must not shop for the lowest price either: a low price may result in poor quality gems, under-karated metals and mediocre craftsmanship. In choosing a goldsmith you should seek to maximize the quality of the workmanship, while remaining within your budget. Some goldsmiths in other parts of the country may offer equal or better workmanship at a lower cost - it may be worthwhile to use craftsmen outside your local area.
A truly great piece of jewelry is created when the best design, materials and craftsmanship are brought together. At Bijoux Extraordinaire we work with you to assure that these three elements come together. First, our designers help you create a design that reflects your taste, style and pocketbook. Second, our gemologists work with you to find gems and precious metals of the highest quality and value. Finally, our experience with the finest gold and platinum smiths throughout the country will assure that the best craftsmen are enlisted to execute your design. The result will be a jewel of lasting beauty and value.
Bijoux Extraordinaire is a practice of independent gemologists providing custom design, appraisal and gemstone brokerage services to the jewelry consumer. If you wish to remember a special occasion or loved one with a truly beautiful and personal jewel, please consider working with one of our gemologist/designers.
If you would like to see some wonderful custom design jewels that we created for clients, please visit our Gallery of Custom Design Jewelry.
Or, if you would like to read more about creating custom design jewelry, check out the following articles: