Are styles important to you? Do you march to a different drummer? If so, you value jewelry that’s not accessible to everyone. You’re a candidate for custom jewelry design.
You can search jewelry stores and websites and still not find that perfect gift for your truly special someone — something that symbolizes your perfect relationship. It is also completely possible you are the unique someone and you just can’t find the exact piece that characterizes your unique style. (And, just because it’s custom doesn’t mean it’s more expensive!)
Custom jewelry is designed totally from scratch and the designs can be exclusively for you. Custom design occurs when you can’t find exactly what you are looking for anywhere else. We can customize a piece of jewelry similar to something you have found online or a piece of jewelry from a friend. It will be customized especially for you or your someone special. You might have diamonds or gemstones from a ring or pendant you want to use into another piece of jewelry to create your work of art that represents who you are.
Steps to designing:
1. Discuss what you do and don’t like with your designer. This is your initial consultation. You can click here to get started today.
2. Draw out a preliminary picture of what you want or provide pictures with elements that you like -- this is where you can say things like, “I want the top of this ring with the sides of that one.”
3. The idea is created by the designer in a CAD program (Computer Aided Design). This allows a jewelry designer like Charles Babb to build a precise model of the ring or other jewelry that matches the exact measurements of the stones and what the finished piece will be.
4. Next is the jewelry rendering. This allows the customer to see the piece before it exists through the magic of technology. The design software is used to apply realistic gold, diamond, and gemstones to the virtual model, with the resulting images sent to you, the client. Changing the color of any element is easily done at this stage.
5. Once you are happy with the look of your jewelry, you will give the approval to begin production. Upon final approval the designer will produce a wax model using one of several milling or rapid-prototyping machines. Charles uses a Solidscape 3D printer that ‘grows’ the wax model in hundreds or even thousands of microscopic layers.
6. When the wax model is complete, it is mounted in a rubber base, covered with a metal tube called a flask and filled with investment, a type of plaster.
7. After the investment has hardened, the base is removed and the mold is ready for the wax removal process. The flask is set into an oven, open side down, to be burnt out at high temperatures of 1350 F for approximately 12 to 15 hours. This leaves a hollow the exact size and shape of the wax model in what is therefore called ‘lost wax’ casting.
8. Casting is the process where liquefied metal is forced into a mold and cools into a particular shape. Charles uses a Master Cast Vacuum System for this process. The still-hot flask is removed from the oven with tongs and placed on a silicone mat and the vacuum turned on to help pull the metal into the mold. The metal, which has been melted in an electric crucible, is poured in. The flask is set aside to cool for a little while before it is quenched in water and the rough cast metal is removed. This raw mounting doesn’t look very pretty until it is cleaned up and polished.
9. Now the design is ready for the master jeweler to set all the stones. After that, it receives a final polish, cleaning, and inspection to ensure that the quality meets exacting standards.
jeweler setting stones