Custom Jewelry FAQ

What types of custom jewelry work do you do?

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

Can you use stones that I have?

I love working with heirloom stones that belong to my clients, and would be happy to incorporate your stone into a custom piece. At this time, I work with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. I do require a full inspection of the stone to make sure it is in workable condition before agreeing to use it. 

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. I do try to work with each of my clients to design a piece that fits their budget, however my minimum cost for a custom piece of jewelry is $1,000. 

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

At this time, I do not melt down gold or platinum to incorporate into new pieces. Because of the extra work that goes melting down and reforming metal, it does not end up being a 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). On rare occasions, I will send out metal to be melted down and incorporated into a new piece if it is done for sentimental reasons. 

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, then  fill out this form.

 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. The cost of this initial meeting is $150, which is then applied toward the total cost of the ring (it is non-refundable if you do not move forward with our design services). 
  • Proposal - I 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, the full cost of the stone will also be charged in the deposit. 
  • Design - I work through the design with my clients (either editing based on our conversations in the pre-design phase, or starting from scratch) until a final design is decided upon. You will receive a CAD rendering if the piece during this phase. If needed, a wax model can also be printed.
  • Fabrication - Once the design is finalized, I will begin fabrication on the piece. Typically I hand fabricate all of my custom pieces. However, if the piece has a lot of intricacies/detailing or extreme precision is required I will work with a wax carver or CAD designer to create the piece and have it cast. 
  • Delivery - Once the piece is finished, I will charge the remaining 50% and then coordinate on delivery. Pieces can be picked up from my DC studio, 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 my work is made to order, I do not keep finished pieces in stock. That said, I 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 my custom work takes 6-8 weeks, however some pieces require less time (mainly plain wedding bands). I try my 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