As of recent years, there has been a renewed interest in crafting jewelry and selling it online. The rising popularity of handmade jewelry is due to its one-of-a-kind, meaning you or your loved one will be the only one to sport this custom necklace, tennis bracelet, or earring set. However, this type of jewelry falls more under the costume type of jewelry is not deemed as valuable as the diamond earrings or emerald gemstones you can purchase in stores.
Those looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of handmade jewelry meets the glitz-and-glamor standard of reputable jewelry retailers. To meet this demographic’s needs, custom jewelry designers utilize the finest gems and most precious metals available. When you shop at jewelers like Diamonds Forever San Diego, you’ll be able to gift your special someone with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime piece.
With custom jewelry, each item of jewelry has a unique style. Similarly, each designer’s approach to designing custom jewelry varies. When determining a budget for your custom piece, you’ll need to account for factors such as the gemstones’ value, the karat/carat of the stone, and the designer’s reputation.
Karats and carats
As a first step, a jewelry designer will sketch their design on a computer or a piece of paper, depending on whether they prefer a more modern method or an old-fashioned approach. Then the designer has to decide how many karats of gold to use. Designers measure gold in troy ounces, while they measure purity in karats with a “k,” not to be confused with carats, which refers to precious stones’ size/weight.
After selecting 10k, 14k, 18k, or 24k gold, the designer creates the piece’s base parts. These base parts include the links of a necklace, bracelet or drop earrings, and the circles of rings. The least costly is 10k gold, while the most expensive is 24k. The price between the 10k and 24k gold ranges between a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.
Once the designer crafts the base piece or pieces and the jewel mounts in those pieces are set, the designer chooses the stones. Of course, diamonds are a very popular choice for engagement rings and other luxury jewelry items. Designers measure these diamond gemstones in carats with a “c,” not a “k.” Experts may also weigh other gems in terms of carats, ranging in size from 1/4 carat to 10 carats. However, the latter is extremely rare. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the stone, the greater the cost.
Additionally, specific cuts of rare stones raise the price when these cuts are difficult to find or difficult to achieve. The most common cut of stone is a round solitaire, making it the least expensive. Emerald-cut, heart cut, pear cut, and marquise-cut are rarer, depending on the stone type. You can expect to pay several hundred to several thousands of dollars more when you order specific shapes and sizes of certain precious stones.
The more stones, the higher the cost
Imagine the Queen of England’s crown, and then try to predict its costs with all of its rubies, pearls, and other gems. As of the most recent estimates, it’s currently valued at $3,500,000. Experts appraised the crown a very long time ago, but it’s no less costly now than before.
The takeaway here is that the more jewels that you request in your custom jewelry the higher the price. The more flawless each of those gems is, the more it will raise the total cost. Keep that in mind as you fill out a request for a custom piece of jewelry from an accredited designer.
The reputation of the designer
Much like designer handbags or designer shoes, how well-known your custom-jewelry designer is on the market will impact your requested piece or pieces’ cost. If you hire a local, up-and-coming designer, it won’t cost you nearly as much as it would if you hired a world-renowned, award-winning, and immediately-recognizable name in the jewelry world. Hiring Cartier, Givenchy, or Tiffany & Co. will easily run you into the thousands to millions of dollars price range while hiring a designer that’s just starting his/her career will dramatically reduce the cost.
Special occasion pieces vs. everyday wear pieces
If you want a diamond and gemstone ring designed and made specifically for you, the designer will always ask if it is for a special occasion or not. Unfortunately, many designers will add a charge for engagement, wedding, or anniversary pieces that customers request.
If you tell the designer that it isn’t a special-occasion piece, you may notice a price reduction. However, the designer may not devote as much time or as many resources towards crafting the perfect ring if you mention the jewelry piece isn’t for a special occasion. Remember, lower-quality stones will accompany lower costs. These cost-friendly rings may feature slight flaws. So, if you’re striving for perfection, ask for a special-occasion piece with the best materials/stones possible.
Why you should invest in custom jewelry
While the added expense of getting something custom-made may not seem worthwhile, these customized jewelry piece owners will treasure these gifts forever. Custom pieces are often of heirloom quality, meaning you can pass these custom items from generation to generation due to their one-of-a-kind and exquisite designs. The items you see in jewelry store cases, mass-produced for a broad audience, can’t hold a candle to these hand-crafted, uniquely-designed necklaces, bracelets, and rings. For your next anniversary or other special occasions, consider investing in custom jewelry.