From Sketch to Finish Things to Know When Custom Designing Your Own Jewelry
Sometimes custom designed jewelry is the right way to go. Let’s say you’ve looked and looked and can’t find the jewelry of your dreams. Or, maybe you were lucky enough to have been gifted diamonds or jewelry that don’t quite fit your personality. It may be best to come up with your own design…. something you really want and that you will love forever.
Here’s where you begin: Start by considering whether you like vintage, modern or traditional jewelry. Take time to consider your lifestyle to make sure that the jewelry will be functional as well as fashionable. Once you’ve completed these exercises, pour over jewelry images until you find consistent designs that you like—and dislike. Both are important!
Now you’re ready to get started: Armed with images, likes and dislikes, diamonds and gems, you’re now ready to meet with one of our designers and start the creative process. It’s very important to view the designer as a tool whose sole purpose is to bring your vision to life. Being clear about your likes and dislikes speeds up the design process. Also, if you’re designing a wedding set be sure to consider how you want the band to look too.
How long will it take? Give yourself some wiggle room. The typical time for just the design process (with 2-4 revisions) is two weeks. Once the design is approved, it takes between 4 and 6 weeks to complete the finished piece. However, there are exceptions either way of the time schedule, but we would suggest that you start planning in October or early November for something you want delivered over the holidays.
Be comfortable with who you're working with. Even though we take extreme care to show you what your design will look like before we make it, there is still a bit of a “leap of faith” you must take. Medlars has 5 designers and none are offended if a client asks to work with someone else. We know that sometimes a different designer is best suited to make our clients concept become a reality.
What about cost? A mass produced simple jewelry design that has no gemstones can be less expensive than a custom made piece of the same design. However, when you start adding diamonds or other gemstones the price difference narrows until it’s roughly the same. Plus, you would have control over the quality of gemstones used. If you’re using family gemstones a custom design will actually cost significantly less. Many times, people will want to save money on a design. We can help you with options but one mistake people make is wanting to substitute sterling silver for gold or platinum. While the cost of the metal is substantially less, keep in mind that all of the other charges (design, casting and gem setting) remain the same. It may not save you very much money in the long run. Plus, silver isn’t nearly as durable as gold or platinum and carries a much higher risk of losing gems.
So, whether you want to purchase jewelry that is already created or create something as unique as you are, we're here to help you.
Engagement Ring Trends In 2016
Medlars focuses on our client’s individuality, and that seems to be a good thing, since the most popular trends in 2016 are all about being different! Here are some of the engagement ring trends that we are seeing today:
Trend 1 –a different cut of diamond
Choosing an Oval, Pear or Marquise cut diamond is becoming more popular than before. While round cut diamonds are still the favorite, people are asking for something different when it comes to their wedding rings. You can add a halo, double shank or turn the stone on its side to give it another custom dimension. Sky’s the limit.
Trend 2 – add some color Colored stones can be used for your center stone or as accents to your bands. It’s up to your imagination where and how you would like to use them. Fancy-hued diamonds like yellow or pink are often used in center stones. However, if you are not tied to a diamond, you could choose something like sapphire, emerald or ruby. Think Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and her stunning blue oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
Trend 3 – something old is new again We aren’t talking about your grandma’s ring; we are talking about vintage inspired rings. There’s a difference. This year’s rings feel feminine and beautiful with many people choosing rings that have an element of floral designs, scroll work, or elaborate sides. These designs look flattering on just about anyone.
Trend 4 – mixed metals are okay The use of more than one color of gold in your ring is okay. Yellow, white or rose gold in engagement rings is a great way to customize your ring. Choose rose gold by itself for its pink tone. It will look good on almost any skin tone. People are also mixing rose gold with yellow and or white gold, so you don’t have to worry if you’re wearing more than one metal color at a time. No more matchy-matchy!
Trend 5 – interesting bands Square bands are very chic and comfortable. You may want to choose a twisted band or delicate solitaire with diamonds on the side. We’ve seen milgrain work, delicate bows on the sides and even double shanks. The major theme seems to be “different”, not the same as everyone else.
Medlars Spotlight On: Jane Norton
Jane thinks it was serendipity that brought her to work at Medlars Jewelry. After staying home with her daughter for many years, she needed a job, but wasn’t sure her skills were up to date. Previously, she was a graphic designer and knew her way around art, sculpture and design. She had no idea that these skills would translate to working at a jewelry store, but soon learned that her background in art was essential.
After being at Medlars for a while, what really caught her interest was the numismatic side of the business. Coins. Jane’s Bachelor of Fine Arts was in drawing and sculpture, and coins are sculptures created by an artist using sitting models. In fact, the Indian Head nickel, designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser supposedly used three different models. One for the nose, one for the chin, and one for the hair.
Jane can tell you what your coins are worth, whether they are rare and many other details.
She does research on a daily basis and looks for things like; what kind of coin is it, the coin’s condition, and is it rare? The internet has a lot of misinformation and she can help you navigate your way through what has real value and what doesn’t. Because, while there are valuable coins out there, some coins are marketed as special but they really aren’t. Sometimes the packaging is designed to imply something is rare when it isn’t. So, don’t be afraid to ask about the value of your coins.
One of Jane’s favorite stories about coins. It involves a woman who came into the store rolling a small, very heavy suitcase. It was full of 90% silver coins that the mint had stopped making after 1964. She told Jane that when she was a kid, her parents owned a washateria. On Saturdays before she could play, she and her sister had to go through the coins that were put in the machines and pick out the silver ones. She hated it, because she wanted to go outside to play. However, she thanked her folks when she found out how much those coins were worth, over 40 years later. She ended up bringing in three suitcases full.
Another memorable story comes from early in her jewelry career.
A young man came in. Tall and skinny, with magenta hair, destroyed jeans, lots of chains, piercings, lots of tattoos… he was, as she says, “a real colorful guy”. She asked if he needed help and he said that he wanted a custom engagement ring. He was a pretty easy customer because he knew exactly what he wanted it to look like. Jane learned that he had been in several jewelry stores that day and that Medlars was the first one where a salesperson had approached him. The other store operators wouldn’t even look at him. Medlars ended up making the ring he wanted and he, his family and friends have become great customers.
Medlars did not hire a salesperson but someone who can give the customers what they are looking for……. even if it’s as simple as just getting waited on.
The Royalty of Sapphire
Sapphire is a gemstone that comes in nearly all colors of the rainbow.
Although blue is the signature color that has been recognized and mentioned as far back as ancient times. On the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphire is second to diamond. That means it is the second hardest gemstone on earth.
With sapphire's connection to royalty and romance it's no wonder that Princess Diana chose an 18 carat sapphire ring as her wedding ring. Ancient royals would adorn themselves in blue sapphire with the belief that it would protect them from envy and harm. In the middle ages blue sapphire was looked upon as a symbol of heaven or heavenly blessings.
There is also a rare pinkish/orange sapphire called padparadscha, meaning lotus flower. It's a magnificent gemstone to feast your eyes upon if ever given the chance. A few years ago we had the pleasure of working with a customer who had a matching earring, pendant and ring collection of padparadscha sapphire. We were we were very fortunate to gaze upon its beauty.
Click HERE to view up daily metals price indications for the most popular gold and silver coins.
Medlars Guarantees Our Work
At Medlars, we ensure enduring quality and satisfaction.
We guarantee ALL of our work and materials to be free of defect for a period of two years from the date of purchase. We will replace or repair as necessary any defect at our cost. This includes all parts and labor. Our guarantee does not cover damage caused by abuse or accidents.
We guarantee the silver, gold, or platinum purity of our jewelry, our custom design, and our restoration work. We further guarantee our stated weight and quality of the stones we supply.
Added Value Guarantee
Every finished ring (not just a simple solitaire but EVERY ring) purchased at Medlars includes Free Sizing, Free Appraisal for insurance purposes, plus Free lifetime cleaning, maintenance inspections, and polishing. At Medlars your purchase is the beginning of a lifetime of our personal attention and care.
Return and Exchange Policy
If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your jewelry purchase, you may return it within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund or exchange (not just a store credit) .
Custom designed jewelry is not returnable.
You may trade in your undamaged diamond, purchased from Medlars, for any diamond at least twice the trade-in value of your diamond. The trade-in value is your full original purchase price excluding sales tax and any labor. Colored gems are not eligible for trade in.
Price Protection Guarantee
If within 90 days of your purchase, you find a diamond with the same specifications, graded by the same gemological laboratory, at a lower price in the United States, Medlars will match it and give you 10% of the difference.
Here's how it works:
Bring in the actual diamond with certification and sales receipt.
A competitor’s diamond certification must be from the same laboratory . The competing diamond must have the following matching characteristics: