Custom Jewelry FAQ

What types of custom jewelry work do you do?

We create engagement rings, wedding bands, heirloom resets and redesigns, and any other special pieces of jewelry.

Can you use stones that I have?

Usually, yes! We love working with heirloom stones that belong to our clients, and we’re happy to incorporate your stone into a custom piece. At this time, we work with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. In order to use client provided stones, we require a stone take-in report to be done in-house ($150, non-refundable fee). This arrives 2-3 days after providing the piece, and covers stone weight, size, condition, etc.

How much does a custom piece of jewelry cost?

The short answer is: it really depends on the piece. There's a lot of work that goes into creating custom jewelry pieces - client conversations, design, pricing materials, working with a CAD designer and stone setter when needed, and labor/fabrication of the piece. In addition, the type of metal, the kind/type of stone, and the intricacy of the piece will all play into the cost of the piece. We do try to work with each of our clients to design a piece that fits their budget, however our custom pieces usually start at $1,000. 

Can you use gold or other metal that I have from old pieces?

Because of the extra work that goes melting down and reforming metal, usually providing your own does not end up being a big cost saver for a custom piece (on the contrary, it can sometimes end up adding cost depending on how much metal is needed for the new piece). If you would like to incorporate gold into a piece for sentimental reasons, we are happy to discuss options and cost with you. If you are providing gold for cost savings reasons, we typically scrap the metal and provide a deduction from the custom piece cost.

What is the process on having a custom piece designed?

If you are ready to start creating a custom piece of jewelry, we ask that you book an appointment here

 The rest of the process is as follows: 

During our initial meeting, we will discuss your overall budget for the piece, timeline, what design you are going for, what other pieces of jewelry you wear, how you plan to use this piece, and more.

  • Initial Meeting -  During our initial meeting, we will discuss your overall budget for the piece, your timeline, what designs you had in mind, how you plan to use this piece, and more. You are welcome to book a 20 minute consult at no cost, where we can explain general pricing and design options. If you'd like more in-depth design services or stone sourcing, we suggest booking one of those options. 
  • Proposal - We will send over a proposal that includes a description of the piece being designed, an estimated price, timeline, and any other pertinent details for the piece.
  • Deposit - A 50% deposit is required on all custom pieces. If a diamond or precious stone is being purchased for the piece that is over $4,000, the full cost of the stone will also be charged in the deposit. 
  • Design - We work through the design with our clients via CAD software. You will receive an initial design as a 3D mock up, and are welcome to suggest any edits or changes to the piece until we get it just right!  We allow up to 2 revisions during this time - any additional revisions will be charged $75 per design.
  • Wax Printing - Once the design is finalized, we will print a wax mold of the piece. We ask that you try this on and approve the design, as it is a fully-to-scale piece. The price of the first wax is covered in your total price of the piece. If any design changes need to be made (excluding size adjustments), there is a $75 design fee, plus a $30 wax printing fee. 
  • Fabrication - Once the design is finalized, we will put the piece into fabrication. 
  • Delivery - Once the piece is finished, we will charge the remaining 50% and then coordinate on delivery. Pieces can be picked up from our shop, shipped (client is responsible for cost), or hand delivered for a $50 fee. 

Is there a place in DC where I can see your custom work in person?

Because all of our work is made to order, we do not keep finished pieces in stock. That said, we do have a small selection of pre-made men + women's wedding bands, along with engagement and wedding work from other designers in the shop. You are welcome to drop by during normal business hours, or schedule an appointment by emailing hi@shopshelter.com. 

How long does a custom piece take?

Most of our custom work takes 6-8 weeks, however some pieces require less time (mainly plain wedding bands). We try our best to accommodate any deadlines you may have.

Do you have a gallery of your previous custom work?

Instagram is the best source for up to date pictures of custom pieces. You can also view a gallery of previous custom work here