Custom Creation vs. Mass Manufacturing (Part 3)

Custom Creation vs. Mass Manufacturing (Part 3)

Production philosophies and manufacturing techniques are far from the only factors setting custom design apart from mass manufactured jewelry like what you would find in most jewelry stores around the world.

Another big difference is that a custom piece is designed specifically for you. That can mean quirky and unusual designs, but it can also mean a classic design that has been built with care given to each individual element.

Here are a few things to consider.

Custom Design Stock Piece
Made to fit your finger Likely must be cut or stretched to fit
Made to fit your center Must be bent and adjusted to fit
Hand-selected accent stones Bought in bulk, often lower quality
Carefully selected metals Usually fewer options
Every detail is up to you Every detail is filtered by popularity and  price


Diamond measurements can vary greatly, even within the same weight bracket; and this is especially true for fancy cuts like marquises, ovals, and cushions.
That means that when you buy a stock piece that is made to fit a one carat, chances are high that the jeweler will still have to make adjustments to the prongs in order to fit the stone you select. This can be minor, or it can involve bending prongs at odd angles and cutting away metal, which ultimately makes the mounting less secure.

An even more common issue is that you might find a ring you love, but it isn't available for the size or shape center you want.

Custom design alleviates these problems. Not only do we build each ring to the exact measurements of the center stone, but by including trained gemologists and industry veterans on our team, we are able to assess each stone to figure out the best way to set it, and if there are any issues or sensitivities we need to be aware of ahead of time.

Measuring is also important when picking accent diamonds. Even a few tenths of a millimeter can make a huge difference when you're trying to fit a row of small stones next to one another.

Many larger scale production companies simply don't take the time to have each stone picked for each job, but simply use whatever is closest and move on. It is also much less common to find more than one or two options for diamond quality.

Our client asked us to source this fantastic old European cut diamond for her engagement ring. Like many diamonds of the time, it is much warmer shade of yellow than what is commonly sought today - which meant that any ready-made ring we could find would use accent stones that were 4-6 grades too white.
We were able to have beautiful Belgian ideal cut diamonds cut in an unusual combination of low color and high clarity to perfectly match her ring, and avoid unpleasant contrasts.

When it comes to metal type, choice can be extremely important as well.

Most companies offer platinum, as well as white, yellow, and rose gold. Some will also offer a few different qualities such as 14k and 18k golds.
What many people don't realize is that there are actually dozens of different alloys for each of these materials, each with its own benefits and special properties.

Just to name a few: In addition to the standard material, there are special white gold alloys that don't require rhodium plating to stay white, and alloys specially formulated for those with nickel allergies.
There are different shades and tones available in yellow gold, and even "green" golds that give a very unique color that is beautiful when paired with certain gemstones or contrasted by rose.

For mass production, offering all of these options is often not practical, but custom allows us to unlock all sorts of creative potential.

Most importantly, custom makes it easy to add your own details. This client wanted his family's birthstones set flush inside the band of his wife's ring as a personal touch, but the possibilities are limitless. From heartbeats to handwriting, we always love finding ways to help make your jewelry just a little more you.

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