An intricate custom project takes more time that people realize. If you are thinking about having something special made for the holiday it is time to contact Richard Dolgin Private Jeweler.
To do a custom project from start to finish there are many steps. Many of these steps are very time consuming and some of the aspects are not 100% in our control. Here are the phases of a typical custom project.
Choosing a proper center stone: If a center stone is relevant in the project, this step is vital as this is the center of attention. Most of the time if a large center stone is part of the project, the rest of the design follows suit. Many times clients have their own center stone and other times we supply the center. When we supply the center we can offer many shapes and qualities to start to project.
Establishing the design: Finding the exact design that suits your needs and personality and getting it down on paper in a thumbnail sketch. Many times customers bring us the results of their research for the piece of jewelry they desire. Other times clients leave the entire design to us.
Creating a model: Once the design is approved we start on the model making. Some designs call for a hand carved wax model that can take hours of sculpturing time. Other more intricate designs are better suited for CAD/CAM computer design, which also can take many hours of computer design work.
Approving the model: Once the model is completed, we have a client conference to look at all the aspects of the design to make sure it suits all of the criteria we are trying to achieve.
Selecting and pulling the proper quality and size gemstones: This is one of my favorite parts of the project as I am very particular about the quality and size of gemstones that will go into the mounting. Each stones is measured and matched so that they will look beautiful in the finished product. Many times people making jewelry overlook this step. This step is key to the overall brilliance of the finished product.
Casting the model into the preferred metal: When using the CAD/CAM method we send a computer generated file to the casting house. When using a hand carved wax model, we send the actual wax to the casting house. We use only the finest casting houses in the country. This is one of the steps in the process we can't control in terms of time. We use one company for platinum and platinum related metals that is on the West Coast, and a company on the East Coast for gold and silver. We have established that these casting houses as being the best from our years of experience making custom jewelry.
Cleaning up the rough casting: Once we receive the rough casting (and it truly is gnarly after being cast) it is cleaned up using files, Dremel, and sandpaper. After the casting is cleaned up adequately we do an initial polish. All of the places where stones will be placed are pre-polished before starting the stone setting process.
Setting the gemstones: Once everything is cleaned and pre-polished we can start the process of setting the stones. Depending on the number of stones, this can take an hour or days. Different setting styles require more labor than others. We are very particular about how diamonds are set so that the jewelry will have functionality and wearability.
Finishing and polishing: The final step is to get a beautiful finish on the jewelry. This is done in our polishing and finishing room. Done properly, polishing can take much time.
Appraisal: We supply an appraisal for all custom work created at Richard Dolgin Private Jeweler. This appraisal includes a picture of the finished product, complete details about the stone weights, metal weights, and the details about the design. This appraisal is accepted by all insurance companies if our clients decide to insure their masterpiece.
As you can see, a custom project does not happen in a day. Each one of these steps is vital to result in a beautiful finished piece of custom jewelry.
If you are considering a custom project for the holidays, now is the time to contact us at Richard Dolgin Private Jeweler, to get started. Being a small, very detail oriented custom shop, large projects have to be cutoff at a certain date so we can be sure to have them completed for the holidays.