Patience, patience, patience. Remember when your parents used that all too familiar mantra on you as a child? Little did you know then that the same discipline would apply when finding the love of your life as an adult.
Like you waited patiently for the right one to come along, you need to exercise the same patience when ordering custom jewelry to express your affection for your one and only.
A good custom jeweler won’t make you wait forever to get your custom piece just right, but be warned that sometimes what you visualize in your mind and what the custom jeweler hears you say are two different things. In fact, says one international jeweler, it is not uncommon for six or eight weeks to pass while conferring back and forth with a custom jeweler before your opus finds its way to your finger, wrist, or neckline.
This is why jewelers will ask you to provide visuals and even your own sketches to get your idea across. If buying from custom designers afar, Skype and other video formats are often used to ensure the jeweler and customer are on the same page. All the while, the custom jeweler continues to produce sketches of his or her own to compare it to your mind’s eye of your custom ring, necklace, pendant, or bracelet.
Don’t lose faith; your ideal piece will appear. First, however, it will appear as a prototype, which in the case of a ring usually means a fairly unadorned mold—void of polish and accessory stones if they are involved. All you need to do is stretch your imagination a little to picture the final product, and let the jeweler know if he or she should run with it. All the custom jeweler needs to do now is go back to his or her crafting studio to turn your maquette into a piéce de résistance.
To rest assured that both you and your custom jeweler are both heading toward a piece of jewelry that says “I love you” in a way that only your lover will understand, try to follow some basic guidelines or approaches to creating the perfect fit—both physically and romantically.
Take Your Time Finding a Custom Jeweler
You wouldn’t jump into the first dress or suit you see at the boutique or men’s shop, would you? Of course not! You usually shop and compare, then shop and compare again. Right? So simply deploy that same MO with custom jewelers.
Ask friends, family members, or others close to you—especially those who recently united in matrimony or similar—about their process when customizing a piece of jewelry. Did they use a previously owned diamond? How did that work out? Did they buy the diamond from the custom jeweler? Did they use an existing heirloom, and if so, what approach was employed by the jeweler? Was it used intact or was it disassembled and reformatted? The options are truly endless.
Be aware that if using a previously owned stone, an expert jeweler, like those at Carats and Stones, may not recommend the cut for the design you choose. The custom designer may recommend purchasing a new stone to make your vision a reality. Make sure the stone you are using is cut just right for the stage on which you set it. At the same time, the custom jewelry designer might recommend a different format on which to incorporate the existing stone. Gathering a second opinion is also always an option.
This process is all about patience and chemistry. You will know whether the custom jewelers you survey connect with you or not. Sometimes, this is ascertainable over a simple, initial phone conversation. May this be your case—like love at first sight.
Begin Your Homework Early
Again, harken back to what mom and dad always told you: Do your homework. Decide what you want well before you shop for a custom jeweler. As already noted, talk to those close to you who customized their jewelry. Take a look at several custom jeweler websites, such as Carats and Stones, to see some of the pieces specially designed for others or even connect with them for a complimentary custom design session.
If your expression of passion involves a ring, know the exact size for your lover’s finger—right down to the very millimeter. If an existing wedding band is to be complemented by a ring, take picture of the band so that your prospective designer can better imagine what the ring should look like.
Then start drafting your own visual to finally take to your prospective custom jeweler. And don’t be shy! It’s not a sin, while shopping around, to ask jewelers or recently betrothed friends whether your visual representation of a ring—for instance—works. Is it realistic? Is it easy to interpret?
In the end, you will connect with a custom jewelry designer who will find great pleasure in working with you. After several days of tweaks and revisions, you will end up with a piece that can even exceed your mental picture of the individualized masterpiece.
What if the Custom Jeweler Just Doesn’t Get it?
A perfect match is hard to find! Sometimes, it’s hard to find just the right custom designer who understands where you are going with your design idea. For example, those in the LGBT community may not find the right jeweler connection as quickly. Though not as likely in areas such as San Francisco, some custom jewelers in other areas may not possess a lot of experience in serving jewelry requests from gay couples.
If you are hitting the wall repeatedly with custom LGBT jewelry in your local community, search for jewelers, like Carats and Stones, outside your zone who are familiar with the LGBT community. As mentioned earlier, you can exchange ideas, drafts, and concepts electronically with jewelers located hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Custom pride knows no boundaries, whether seas or mountains.
Sometimes all it takes to find that “aha!” moment is a photo or two of pieces you like that may currently adorn a close friend or family member. Relay your own modifications to it and, presto! A custom jeweler will get the gist and shoot back a perfect draft for you to approve.
How to Avoid Spinning Your Wheels
The amount of time it takes for your ideal piece to come to fruition depends greatly on you. Be up front about your budget. Tell the custom jeweler all you know about your lover’s tastes, wardrobe, proclivities, and existing jewelry as soon as you can. When a diamond is involved, examine different cuts in other jewelry and know what kind of cut you want to see in your mate’s custom piece.
In the end, it is not the time spent on finding a piece that uniquely speaks to your lover, mate, or partner. Nor is it necessarily the money. Rather, it is how the love of your life responds to your expression of love. Don’t stop in the customizing process until you are 100 percent sure it will speak resoundingly of the love you and your one and only share.
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